Vilcabamba Espiritu Pampa Trek is one of the most extraordinary ways to experience the best of Incas history. This was the last capital of Incas.
After winning the battle of Ollantaytambo in 1537, Manco Inca II moved to Vilcabamba. He was certain about a following attack by Spanish troops because of its closer proximity to Cusco. In 1539, he declared it as their capital.
After his death, his elder son, Titu Kusi assumed power. To protect his throne and the Inca empire, he agreed to be baptised in exchange for a crowned prisoner status. The Spanish ambassadors often visited him from Cusco to reach an agreement. But soon his health started deteriorating and he died.
Unaware of his death, the Spanish rulers sent two of their ambassadors to continue their negotiation. Tupac Amaru, who was the emperor then felt humiliated. Unlike his brother, Tupac was keen on preserving Incas traditions and culture. He had both these ambassadors killed.
This provoked the Spanish rulers to mark an end to Incan Empire. In 1572, they invaded and captured Tupac Amaru. They beheaded him in Cusco which ended the Incas rule.
As the encroaching jungle covered the complex, even the locals were clueless about the existence of the city. Espiritu Pampa wasn’t always known to people. Over the time it was discovered and recognised as an archaeological complex.
If you are inquisitive about the history of Incas, then this is an unmissable trek. However, it is important to know that the trek is somewhat challenging. It is highly recommended that you hire a local guide.
The path descends from snow capped Andes Mountains down to dense Amazon Jungle. Not only is this terrain rugged but it can also be dangerous. However, if you are determined to visit, you will earn bragging rights to this challenging trek.
Hiram Bingham, a renowned American explorer, went to discover the site. When he reached Machu Picchu, he was under the impression that it was the last capital of Incas.
Antonio Santander Casselli in the 1960’s along with Gene Savoy was able to validate the history.
Much later, Vincent Lee did an exhaustive research. He wrote a book called forgotten Vilcabamba. This gave a wider attention to the lost city of Incas.
Three notable locals from Cusco, Juan Cancio Saavedra, Manual Lopez Torres and Manuel Ugarte travelled there in 1892.
It is highly recommended to visit this last capital of Incas to get a complete overview. Taking a step back into the past is just the beginning of your adventure in Peru.