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Haunted Mansion el Salto on the edge of Tequendama falls, Colombia

Petar Djajkovski

Salto del Tequendama (The Fall of Tequendama) is a natural waterfall in Soacha, a municipality in Colombia approximately 19 miles southwest of Bogota.

It is a heavenly place and thus a great tourist attraction. According to the Muisca myth, the savanna Bogota was flooded and the Gods created a patch (the waterfall) the save the people from the flood.

Modern day scientific studies show that this is exactly what happened, but they still can’t prove the part where the Gods did it.

The Bogota River travels more than 62 miles along the Bogota savanna until it reaches the ridge from where it falls 515 feet (157 meters) down a rocky abyss. The region is permanently covered in fog, giving the waterfall and its surroundings a mystical atmosphere.

Before the building of the two dams on the river for electricity and economic progress, the area around and under the waterfall used to be rich with flora and fauna.

That lasted approximately until the middle of the 20th century when, due to high pollution of the area, the vegetation and animal life have largely been lost.

Tequendama Falls depicted in an 1854 painting.

Tequendama Falls depicted in an 1854 painting.

 

Tequendama Falls, Outside Bogota, Colombia, foggy place / Hotel del Salto (top right) – Author: Donald H. Allison – CC by 2.0

Tequendama Falls, Outside Bogota, Colombia, foggy place / Hotel del Salto (top right) – Author: Donald H. Allison – CC by 2.0

In this beautiful landscape, just on the verge of the abyss and opposite the waterfall, a big mansion like hotel named El Mansion Salto del Tequendama was built, with luxurious accommodation and a great view of the waterfall.

The hotel was designed by the architect Carlos Arturo Tapias and construction started in 1923. It opened it’s heavy wooden gates for wealthy visitors in 1928.

The palatial hotel with its grandiose design was a symbol of happiness and elegance of the elite class in Colombia in the 1920s. At this time the hotel could be accessed by train from Bogota.

 

Fall of Tequendama with corner of the Mansion Hotel del Salto – Author: Andrés H. Cabrera – CC by 2.0

Fall of Tequendama with corner of the Mansion Hotel del Salto – Author: Andrés H. Cabrera – CC by 2.0

 

Tequendama Falls Hotel before renovations – Author: Petruss – CC BY-SA 3.0

Tequendama Falls Hotel before renovations – Author: Petruss – CC BY-SA 3.0

During the following decades, El Charquito hydroelectric plant dam and the Muña reservoir made the waterfall lose much of its flow. Apart from shortening the water flow, the most essential thing of any great waterfall, the plant, and the reservoir contaminated the water beyond repair.

The seriousness of the pollution of the water deflected tourist from visiting the mansion and the great park around it. 

Across the chasm from Hotel del Salto’s nights of endless cocktails, rare exotic dishes, and expensive old wine, stand the lonely dark, rugged cliffs of “The Jump of Tequendama”, cliffs from which many people have taken their own suicidal jump into the abyss, together with Tequendama.

Because of this, spooky stories of all kinds of ghostly apparitions and paranormal activities are tied to Hotel El Salto.

Colombian local newspapers regularly reported on this events, both the suicides and the paranormal activities happening especially at night, with high intensity.

Since the early 1990s, the hotel closed down and has been left abandoned ever since.

Haunted mansion – Author: Grace Lillo – CC by 2.0

Haunted mansion – Author: Grace Lillo – CC by 2.0

 

Hotel del Salto next to the Salto del Tequendama – Author: Pedro Felipe – CC BY-SA 3.0

Hotel del Salto next to the Salto del Tequendama – Author: Pedro Felipe – CC BY-SA 3.0

These days the hotel functions as a museum of biodiversity and culture. It’s named Casa Museo del Salto del Tequendama. It’s main objective is to raise awareness of contamination and pollution through the great example of the Bogota river.

And the final goal is to recover the beautiful and rich ecosystem of the river and the waterfall. We hope they succeed in their goal so that everyone can be left breathless by this place, and not because of the pollution.