Pablo Escobar, the son of a farmer and school teacher, led the Medellín drug cartel, which supplied an estimated 80 percent of the cocaine smuggled into the United States. Known as the wealthiest criminal in history, Escobar had an estimated known net worth of $25 to 30 billion dollars by the early ’90s.
In the 1970s, Escobar started his criminal life by kidnapping for ransom, before moving into smuggling for contraband smugglers. He soon graduated to setting up a distribution channel for cocaine himself while establishing smuggling routes to the United States.
The Medellín cartel managed operations via air, land, and sea through sophisticated operational processes. At its height, the cartel earned over $420 million while distributing over 20 tons of cocaine per week. Escobar and his cartel were also considered responsible for the deaths of over 4,000 people including numerous government officials, journalists, informants, and policemen.
Casa Museo Pablo Escobar details the rise and fall of Pablo Escobar, as told by his brother, Roberto Escobar. The museum exhibits include Escobar’s motorcycles (a pink Harley Davidson that he brought illegally from the United States), classic cars, even a gun allegedly used by Al Capone as well as other artifacts he used for establishing the drug transport routes. One car, in particular, was used by Escobar (with his cousin, Gustavo) to transport cocaine from Bolivia and Peru (as cocaine paste) into Colombia, a trip that took almost 125 hours one-way.
Decades after his death, Escobar and his tumultuous life still intrigue Colombians and travelers alike. Today, Escobar’s gravesite can be found in the Cemetario Jardins Montescaro in Itagui.
Know Before You Go
The Casa Museo Pablo Escobar entrance fee is $30 USD. The museum has a small curio and souvenir store carrying key chains, mugs and Escobar memorabilia. Most taxi and Uber drivers know of the Casa Museo Pablo Escobar as well as where his grave is located. Mention “Tumba de Pablo Escobar en Cemetario Jardines Montesacro en Itagüí” or “Casa Museo Pablo Escobar." The cemetery can also be accessed via metro by the Medellin metro line A south to Sabaneta station. Travelers should note that Casa Museo Pablo Escobar was temporarily closed in 2018 for not meeting the Colombian tourism guidelines. Check the museum's website for updates.