Near a scenic waterfall in the jungles of Colombia sits a strange sight: A massive stone European-style mansion built right into the side of a hill, overlooking the Bogota River and the Tequendama Falls. Once one of the premier destinations in the entire country, it sat abandoned for decades.
As nature reclaimed the structure, inside and out, rumors of something sinister swirled in the countryside.
The building was designed and constructed as a mansion in 1923 by architect Carlos Arturo Tapias, for some of Colombia’s wealthiest citizens. It was known for its great beauty and magnificent view of the falls.
According to local lore, during the Spanish people in the area would jump off the waterfall and become eagles to fly to their freedom, escaping slavery.
For nearly 30 years, the house served as a venue for indulgence and excess.
In 1950, the owners decided to convert the house into a hotel.
Hotel del Salto would be the most extravagant the country had ever seen.
But construction was slow to begin and increasingly heavy pollution in the river made the whole area stink mightily.
People began to leave the area in droves and the hotel was abandoned and overtaken by nature.
According to local legends, the spirits of the many people who died on the falls during the Spanish conquest in South America still haunt the mansion.
It wasn’t until just a few years ago that the Institute of Natural Sciences of the National University of Colombia decided to convert the structure into a museum as part of their efforts to rehabilitate the area. But there are still those who think that the building is cursed.
Who knows if they’re right, but I think I’ll take my vacations somewhere else just to be safe.