The Spanish forces of Francisco Pizarro inflicted their first major victories over the Inca Empire in the early 1530’s, capturing the Inca capital of Cusco and executing the Inca Atahualpa. However the Incas as a people were not easily cowed. Under the command of Atahualpa’s half brother, Manco Inca, the Indigenous peoples of the region began a ‘guerrilla’ war against their European conquerors that lasted 36 years. Manco and his successors fought from bases in the Vilcabamba Mountains, an area of tortuous river canyons, snowy peaks rising to more than 6000m and dense jungled slopes. At Espiritu Pampa you explore the last stronghold of the Inca Empire, Manco Inca’s magnificent palace at Vitcos, the sculpted ‘White Rock’, the Yurac Rumi, beautifully carved and the location of many of the Incas most important rituals. Finally our trek brings us through these misty forested mountains to Vilcabamba Viejo, Manco’s last stronghold, the legendary ‘Lost City of the Incas’. This city, only now being excavated and explored, has been extracted from the dense jungle that had consumed it and sits on a plain known as ‘Espiritu Pampa’ – the plain of ghosts. This is perhaps an appropriate name for such mysterious location and brutal conflict that claimed so many lives here nearly 500 years ago.
An 8 day expedition is arrange from Cusco, level of expedition is hard and geography changes from snow cover peaks to lowlands Amazon basin.