Oral Inca traditions tell of a magical kingdom hidden deep in the Amazon jungle, east of the Andes area of Cusco, Peru. This place is called Paititi the Lost City of Gold.
Over the years many explorers, treasure hunters, and archaeologists have searched for the legendary city, but finding this mysterious place is far from easy. The Amazon jungle can be a dangerous and inhospitable place. Cocaine trafficking, illegal logging and mining are also rife in this part of Peru, and many explorers that enter are shot on the spot, never to be heard from again. This is the reason why many people died on their quest to learn more about Paititi.
According to a legend Paititi was built by the Inca hero Inkarri, who founded the city of Cusco before retreating into the jungle after Spanish conquerors arrived. When the Spaniards entered Cusco, they plundered gold and silver, but they only found a small portion of what existed in the Inca capital. The real gold treasure has never been found. The Inca hid it before the arrival of the conquistadors.
Is a huge gold treasure hidden in Paititi?
In 2001, Italian archaeologist Mario Polia discovered the report of a missionary named Andres Lopez in the Vatican archives. In the document, which dates from 1600, Lopez describes in great detail, a large city rich in gold, silver and jewels, located in the middle of the tropical jungle called Paititi by the natives. Lopez informed the Pope about his discovery and the Vatican has kept Paititi’s location secret for decades.
A Finnish/Bolivian team investigated the harsh jungle for two years beginning in 2001. They found some intriguing ruins near Riberalta in Bolivia that contained shards of Incan pottery, but no gold or silver or gemstones.
In 2008, Peru’s state news agency reported that “an archaeological fortress” had been discovered in the district of Kimbiri and that the district’s mayor suggested it was the lost city.
Mayor Guillermo Torres described the ruins as a 430,000-square-foot (40,000-square-meter) fortification near an area known as Lobo Tahuantinsuyo. The discovery was intriguing without doubt, but experts did not think the place was the legendary city.
In 1984, legendary explorer Greg Deyermenjian started to explore the area north and northeast of Cusco. In 1994, Deyermenjian and his team joined Peru’s foremost living explorer, Dr. Carlos Neuenschwander, who had been conducting his own investigation into Paititi and the significance of the Pantiacolla plateau since the 1950’s.
“We found the very rough and decayed remains of an ancient Incan, as well as an apparently pre-Incan habitation, and we made a first ascent of another legendary tropical peak, known as “Llaqtapata”. On our way back through the remote and dusty highlands of the Cordillera de Lares/Lacco that overlooks the Río Paucartambo/Mapacho, we passed through impressive and finely constructed Incan sites such as Tambocancha and Uncayoc, which must have at one time guarded these routes, “ Deyermenjian said.
In 1995, the explorers discovered mighty peaks which seemed to reach to a height quite uncommon for tropical mountains out beyond the Andes. The entire range was enveloped in what appeared to be a thick mantle of green vegetation, the actual peaks were shrouded in what appeared to be perpetual cloud around the summits. Adjacent areas, as described by long-time Paititi seeker, Padre Juan Carlos Polentini, are said to harbor the extensive ancient stone ruins that could be the legendary Paititi.
Over the course of many years, Deyermenjian and his team have discovered numerous unknown archaeological Inca sites, fortresses, small centers of agricultural production, several necropolises and complete cities populated with hundreds of buildings, but so far they have not been able to locate the legendary Paititi.
Paititi, the lost city of gold remains a myth for now, but Deyermenjian is convinced he and his team will soon experience the discovery of Paititi.