Bagota, Colombia is a high-altitude area. It is best known for its cobblestoned center called the La Candelaria. It has colonial-era establishments and landmarks like the Teatro Colon and Iglesia de san Francisco. Many people also visit it for the Museo Botero, Museo del Oro, and others.
An aerial shot of Bagota, Colombia. (Link: https://manhattan.edu/academics/study-abroad/study-abroad-programs/Bogota-Colombia.php)
Another reason why people visit Bagota, Colombia is because of the alleged haunted Hotel del Salto. Hotel del Salto literally translates to “hotel of the leap” so it is linked to why suicides allegedly occurred here making the place a hotspot for paranormal activities.
A foggy view of Hotel del Salto. (Link: https://www.science-rumors.com/top-10-creepy-stories-of-hotel-del-salto-haunted/)
The History of Hotel del Salto
Carlos Arturo Tapias designed the Hotel del Salto in the year 1923. It was supposed to be his home, but many said that he was so lonely and scared of the spirits that haunted his house, so he turned it into a luxury hotel. He succeeded in converting it to a hotel because it appealed to the elite travellers and became a place where the richest people gathered. It attracted many visitors because of its elegance and amazing view, as it was just beside the Tequendama Falls. However, it is not all glitz and glam.
An old photo showing people gathering at Hotel del Salto. (Summary: https://moco-choco.com/2013/03/24/hotel-del-salto-colombia-the-haunted-hotel/)
Allegedly, the place where Hotel del Salto was established is where the Muisca people first settled. The Muisca people once ruled the area. However, when the Spanish landed, they tried to take over the Muisca people. These native people got raped, murdered, and forced to become slaves. Because they did not want this fate, most Muisca people reportedly ran off to the edge of the Tequendama Falls and died. The fall was 515 feet.
The Tequendama Falls just outside Hotel del Salto. (Link: https://twitter.com/mrewanmorrison/status/991330618586869760)
Reports claimed that the Hotel del Salto became the place of extravagance and parties for two years. Many went there to drink, smoke, and eat as much as they wanted. After the two years, it became less fancy. Allegedly, it was because of the Great Depression brought about by the Wall Street fiasco. Many people could not find jobs, so they could no longer afford vacationing at Hotel del Salto. Another reason why Hotel del Salto became less popular was because of the reported suicides in the area and how haunted it was. Also, the pollution from the river below added to the further fading of Hotel del Salto as a luxurious hotel.
The staircase at Hotel del Salto before the restoration. (Link: https://www.pinterest.ph/pin/304767099788450938/)
Finally, Hotel del Salto closed in the year 1990 because of the overwhelming pollution in the area.
Inside the Hotel del Salto before the restoration. (Link: http://valentinasv14.blogspot.com/2015/10/hotel-del-salto-colombia-haunted.html)
The Muisca People’s Alleged Curse
The Muisca reportedly believed in curses, so when the Spanish forces drove them away from their land, they reportedly cursed it. Some believe the curse affected those who committed suicide in the area and the unresolved water pollution.
Stories also circulated about the Muisca people finding their peace through their death. So, many locals who got depressed or wanted to escape their problems also jumped off the hotel’s edge.
Because of the frequent suicides, which took place at the edge of the hotel, police officials had to ask the visitors to assist with the investigation, which grew old fast. These frequent suicides and investigations took a toll on the visitors.
Although people wanted to believe that what closed down Hotel del Salto was the pollution, many still think it was because of the paranormal activities the visitors heard and saw. Some claim they saw shadows of people only to find out there weren’t any, distant conversations using an unfamiliar language and the cries of the supposed Muisca people.
Hotel del Salto’s Transformation
The Hotel del Salto was later transformed in the year 2011 into a museum. The museum is called “Taquendama Falls Museum of Biodiversity and Culture.” It is a cultural heritage and an environmental restoration.
How the inside of Hotel del Salto looks today as a museum. (Link: http://desertedplaces.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-haunted-hotel-at-tequendama-falls.html)
The Ecological Farm Foundation of Porvenir & National University of Colombia Institute of National Science are now managing the museum on days it is open to visitors.