Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Where is the Lost Inca City of Paititi?

One of the enduring legends of Peru is the lost city of Paititi.  In 1533, fleeing the Spanish conquerors, some forty thousand refugees of the crumbling Inca Empire, laden with golden religious treasures, fled into the remote jungle of what is today Peruvian Amazonia, where they established a great city.  A Jesuit missionary named Brother Lucero wrote that the city lay behind the forest and mountains eastward of Cuzco in the general area of Madre de Dios.  The Spanish tried to pursue the fugitives, but turned back after being ambushed by the savage Chuncho Indians.     

Several attempts have been made to find the city in recent years.  In 1972 a Franco-American expedition led by explorer Bob Nichols disappeared and was never seen again.  It is believed that this expedition may have fallen victim to the Machiguenga Indians who, at the time, had never previously had contact with the outside world.  Many of the remote tribes of this region have the habit of killing intruders on sight. 

The region of Madre de Dios in Peru is one of the remotest regions of the Amazon.  The purported coordinates of Paititi are 71 degrees 30' minutes longitude West and 13 degrees latitude South.  If these coordinates are correct, the city lies in the heart of an area guarded by the ferocious Yaminhuah Indians.  

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