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The Secret Inca City that was Never Found


Paititi is the name of a legendary hidden Inca city in the southeastern part of Peru.

It is believed that the Incas have hidden their treasures in this secret city in order to keep them safe from the Spaniards. Legends do exist and many people did take this seriously!


Is Paititi another real city hiding somewhere in the jungle?

Another legendary city like the Greek Troy, which was thought to be a story only, until it was discovered by German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann?


Let's take a look at what we know about it!




Myths, Documents and Possible Locations of Paititi


In Quechuan language the word Paititi means "Home of the Jaguar Father".


The descendants of the Incas, the Quechuans tell stories about Incas fleeing from the conquistadores and hiding tremendous amounts of gold, silver and previous stones in the legendary city.


The most often talked-about possible location is in the southeastern parts of Peru, in the jungle areas. Some have speculated that it might actually be across the border in Brazil or in northwestern Bolivia.


The descendants of the Incas, the Quechuans tell stories about Incas fleeing from the conquistadores and hiding tremendous amounts of gold, silver and previous stones in the legendary city.

It is said to have been a thriving big city located behind mountains, in a place with waterfalls.


In 1533, the last Inca fighters had retreated into the Vilcabamba area  - where they had laid down the foundations of 2 new cities: Vilcabamba. and Vitcos. The Spanish - Inca war lasted almost 40 years, but after that, the Spaniards finally managed to conquer the Vilcabamba Valley in 1572.

Vilcabamba was the last Inca capital and it was abandoned by the Incas when the Spaniards were approaching it. It is believed that the inhabitants, including the high class Incas have taken refuge in the eastern rainforests. Some of them probably fled to the Amazonian flat area in what is today's eastern Peru or western Brazil.

Túpac Amaru was the last Inca leader. He was captured and killed by the Spaniards.


After the Pizarro-led Spanish occupation, the stories about the city have multiplied.


Many have been looking for the hidden city, but for hundreds of years nothing was found.

In the 20th century even more treasure hunters ventured into the Andes and have even crossed them in order to find the city. Some claimed victorious discoveries, but were not officially credited with it.


In 2001, Italian archaeologist Mario Polia has come across a Jesuit document in Rome, written in 1600 by missionary Andrea Lopez, describing a large city, rich in gold, silver and gemstones. The document tells that the inhabitants of this city called it "Paititi" and it was located in a rainforest.

Andrea Lopez describes the area around Paititi as one covered with deep rainforests with waterfalls.

The document was presented in details to Pope Clement XIII.

The Vatican might keep the location of the city secret, even today.


The Paititi legend tells us about a hero called Inkarrí or Incarrí who had taken refuge in the city of Paititi. Inkarri is considered the founder of Q'ero and Cuzco.

This story about this person tells us that Paititi is in the Pantiacolla jungles.


Expeditions are being carried out from time to time, even today.

The most likely areas for it are considered: the Vilcabamba, the northwestern parts of Bolivia (rainforest-covered area), the western parts of Brazil and the southeastern part of Peru - east of the Urubamba (Vilcanota) River.




Expeditions, Explorations and Treasure Hunters...


Many adventurers and explorers have wondered deep into the Andean rainforests and beyond to discover Paititi. So far, officially it wasn't discovered, although, some smaller groups of people have claimed to have actually found it. There is no proof whatsoever that the not long ago found small ruins could have been part of Paititi.


If the city exists, then it must be a large city.


There is theoretically the possibility that Paititi was discovered. Anyone who would come across such a place would have all the reasons to keep it secret.


Sites were discovered under dense vegetation in this part of Peru: Llactapata, Machu Picchu, Corihuayrachina, Choquequirao - the "Sacred Sister of Machu Picchu", Vilcabamba, Vitcos, Cota Coca.

Machu Picchu is the best example, but Corihuayrachina and Choquequirao have both impressed when they were discovered.

Dense vegetation may hide large cities in this part of South America...


Among some of the most famous searchers for the lost city of Paititi are: Carlos Neuenschwander Landa (Peruvian medical doctor/explorer), Juan Carlos Polentini Wester (Argentinean Salesman priest/explorer), Gregory Deyermenjian (USA - psychologist/explorer), Paulino Mamani (Peruvian frontiersman/cartographer/explorer).




Real Legends, Modern Fiction and False Myths


How much of what we hear and read about Paititi should be taken seriously?


The Paititi legend has many variants. Throughout the centuries newer stories were created, original information was distorted.

Legends are often inflated and TV documentaries do not present the real story. We know, that for attracting viewers, the real stories are distorted, extended and even mixed with other exciting stories in order to deliver a fun show on television.


Indiana Jones-type stories are adored by the viewers and they have even become "standards" to which each archaeological subject is adapted.

The "beautification" or archaeological facts and traditional myths distorts everything.

We get to hear stories that we like, rather than what is real.


Paititi is plausible not only because of the myths about it, but also because:


The Spaniards have omitted lots of areas, including Machu Picchu: reason why there is the possibility for other such hidden cities to exist somewhere

During Atahualpa's captivity, the Incas brought large amounts of gold to Pizarro in order for him to let him go: nobody ever found out where they brought the large amounts of gold from

There were many gold, silver and precious stone mines in the Andes

The Spaniards believed that by occupying Cuzco they will be able to control the whole Inca Empire: these were typical European tactics, but they didn't work in the Inca lands - they had to fight multiple local wars for decades and during this period the Incas must have hidden their valuables

The conquistadores were well-known for their brutality and greed: the Incas had all reasons to hide their gold

Much of what was once the Inca Empire is still undiscovered even until today




Possible Similarity with Troy


There are less documents about Paititi than about Troy, which is very well described in ancient Greek documents.


The legend of the Greek city of Troy was considered pure fiction, a tale...

German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann had heard of Troy from his grandfather's stories. He later became an archaeologist and started looking for it in what is today's Turkey.

Schliemann was 47 years old and everyone thought he "went bananas" when he announced that he wanted to find Troy. Everyone laughed him out...

But he found it!


Schliemann took large amounts of treasures with him to Germany: golden jewelry, precious stones etc.

There, he built himself a large house and decorated it beautifully. Nobody ever caught him. The rest of his life he lived happily without any problems.


The Troy legend is a very old one. The city had thrived until 3.300 years ago, when it was destroyed by a massive earthquake.

Paititi could be 500 years old. Not older... It is a newer story, but there aren't many documents about it. There are almost no written clues about where it could be. The location descriptions are vague...


Troy was in an accessible place in the Mediterranean area.

Paititi is situated in a wilderness area, well concealed and there are very few possibilities for getting there.




The Difference Between Paititi and the El Dorado Legend



The myth about the El Dorado are often mixed with the one about Paititi.


The two stories are different from each other, but perhaps you might have heard of mixed stories.

Therefore we have created this little section to clear things out: Paititi has nothing to do with the El Dorado.


The El Dorado legend is not an Inca legend, but a Muisca Indian legend.

Rumours about the El Dorado refer to a "Land of Gold", but originate from the story of the El Dorado - from the Muiscas. The original Muisca legend is about a Golden Man, who is the El Dorado (not the territory).

The Golden Man is said to have had golden skin. He had walked into a lake in today's Colombia and had vanished. Together with enormous quantities of gold.


Paititi refers to the lost city, as presented higher in this article.

Paititi is a rumour, a legend yet to be proven.


Both stories are Amerindian stories and both talk about treasures and many have went out to find them without any positive results.



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