The first time I visited Dallas, Texas, I found it to be a little strange, creepy and uncomfortable when they took us to the area where President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. You could buy a ticket that would take you in a replicated limousine and drove past the book depository. Then a shot would ring out just as the limo was driving by. I thought it was kind of disrespectful to make money from such a tragic event. Oh well, only in America, so I thought.
Macabre Tourism in Medellin
When I visited Medellin, Colombia, for the first time, I did all the touristy stuff that people do when getting to know a city. I used Airbnb Experiences site to get an idea of things to do and what to see.
Post after post kept offering visitors to view a famous estate. The estate of a man who became infamous for kidnapping, murder, drug cartel, prostitution and corruption. A man who terrorized and almost destroyed an entire city for years… Guess who?
Meddelin is Famous For?
Yeah, you know him as Pablo Escobar! And now his estate is a tourist attraction. Because of the show Narcos on Netflix, the violence has been glorified and made him almost like a folk hero.
He’s been dead for almost 30 years, but when people come to the city, that’s one of the first places they want to see, and those who were ready to capitalize on this history are glad to oblige. It was a burned-out shell, not really anything there.
Pablo Escabar’s estate has since been turned into an amusement park with lots of attractions for the whole family. The tourists flock to it.
One thing I quickly learned about Colombians is a large part of the population would rather forget about this dark past. They remain very sensitive to it. Most of them would rather you not ask about it at all.
A Better Medellin
There are so many great things to do in the city, especially since Medellin has completely turned around their city to become a cosmopolitan and technological role model.
I wonder if Al Capone or Adolph Hitler’s homes tourist attractions…? How would the citizens feel about that? How many people would go? Who would go? Would you want to see it?
There memorials to the victims of Pablo Escobar that the citizens want to remind people to see. Also, Communa 13, which was one of the most dangerous areas in Medellin during Escobar’s reign of terror, has totally transformed into one of the cultural areas. It is a must see! The district is famous for its graffiti art shown throughout the neighborhoods. It’s really something to experience.
Have you been to Medellin and seen the Escobar Estate attraction? Do you know of any unusual tourist attractions in your travels? Please share.
by: Gail Turner Brown