For Escobar, it at first paid off spectacularly, with Forbes magazine ranking him among the world's 10 richest men in 1989, when he was in his thirties.
Escobar purchased the 22sq km (8.4 sq miles) Napoles Estate, about 320km (200 miles) from the capital Bogota, in 1978.
He turned it into a fantasy land with concrete dinosaurs, a bullfighting ring and a private zoo that would have made Michael Jackson jealous, with giraffes, elephants, kangaroos and hippopotamuses.
To keep them company, he built a herd of concrete dinosaurs.
Above the entrance gate to the estate, the never-subtle Escobar put a plane he had used to smuggle cocaine into the US.