Inca Gold: The Treasure of the Llanganatis

Deep in the remote mountains of central Ecuador, the largest undiscovered treasure in Latin America waits to be found. This ancient horde of Inca gold comes complete with a vengeful curse, multiple treasure maps and a trail of dead adventurers.

With an estimated value of over two billion dollars, this stash of Inca Gold tops my list of lost treasures.

The Backstory – Conquest of the Incan Empire

In 1532 the Spanish Conquistador, Francisco Pizarro led 183 cold and hungry soldiers up the spine of the Andes and began his conquest of the Inca Empire. The empire was in a state of turmoil caused by a civil war between two brothers, Atahualpa and Huascar.

Victory had recently gone to Atahualpa, the brother who controlled the northern half of the empire. Lucky for Pizarro, the long civil war had weakened the Inca’s army allowing the Spaniards to easily captured the newly appointed Emperor at his capitol city of Cajamarca.

With Atahualpa as their hostage, the Spaniards began sacking the city, stripping sacred religious objects from the temples of the sun and moon.

Atahualpa, seeing that the Spaniards’ valued gold and silver so highly, made Pizarro an offer he couldn’t refuse. In exchange for his freedom, The Emperor promised to fill his massive prison cell with gold – as high as Pizarro could reach his hand – and the two adjoining rooms with silver.

Pizarro agreed to the bargain and for the next three months the treasure streamed in as promised, borne on the backs of Inca peasants – hundreds of beautiful, handcrafted gold artifacts from the far corners of the Inca empire – all of which Pizarro melted down into ingots for transport back to Spain.

The ransom continued to pour in – but by now the Incan people were growing restless. The imprisoned Atahualpa still had a great deal of influence over his warriors – so to head off a possible uprising Pizarro broke his bargain and had the Inca emperor executed. Atahualpa was garroted on August 29, 1533, then burned at the stake.

Atahualpa burned at the stake
Atahualpa burned at the stake

This was a classic case of killing the golden goose. What Pizarro didn’t know was that at the very moment of Atahualpa’s murder, a caravan of 60,000 men was on its way to Cajamarca. The caravan, led by the the Inca general Rumiñahui, was carrying 750 tons of worked gold with which to pay the balance of Atahualpa’s Ransom.

When Rumiñahui learned that Atahualpa had been murdered, the furious general, diverted the treasure caravan into a mountainous region of Ecuador called the Llanganates, then, somewhere in this unforgiving wilderness, he stashed the vast horde of treasure to keep it safe from the marauding Spaniards.

Ruminahui continued fighting against the Spanish, and though he was eventually captured and tortured, he never revealed the location of the treasure.

Over the next forty years the Inca Empire was decimated, its people enslaved – and the Treasure of Llanganates was all but forgotten.

Where’s the Treasure?

Well, if I knew that I wouldn’t be sitting here writing this, would I? No one (alive) knows the exact location of the treasure, but I can give you a general Idea to get you started.

According to legend, the treasure lies somewhere in the the Llanganates Mountain Range. Today this area is encompassed by the Llangantes National Park. This huge reserve (219707 hectares) is located smack-dab in the center of Ecuador and boasts some of the most treacherous terrain and extreme weather conditions in the country.

Map of Ecuador with Treasure location
Click to Enlarge

Situated at an altitude between 1,200 and 4,512 meters, with temperatures ranging between 5 to 24 degrees centigrade; It rains, sleets, or snows so frequently that thick cloud banks shroud the volcanic peaks of the Langanates throughout most of the year.

On the ground, dense fog obscures the rocky cliffs and the land is saturated in mud – not a place for the feint of heart! If you want to launch your own expedition then go between December and January when the weather is the most hospitable.

Trail of Clues

Many generations of adventurers have sought Atahualpa’s gold, but the mountains of the Llanganates have refused to surrender their secret. Here is a short timeline of clues that may lead you to the treasure:

Several decades after the death of Atahualpa, an impoverished Spanish adventurer named Valverde marries an Inca princess from the area. She is said to have led him to the treasure, because Valverde becomes unaccountably wealthy and returns to Spain, supposedly having removed only a small amount from the hoard.

When he lay dying Valverde writes an itinerary which has come to be know as Valverde’s Derrotero – Valverde’s Path. The document describes various Llanganates landmarks which will lead one to the treasure. On his death, Valverde bequeaths the document to King Charles V of Spain.

King Charles sends Valverde’s Derrotero to provincial authorities in Latacunga, a town near the Llanganates mountains. These officials then undertake an expedition and apparently stumble onto something extremely promising. But their leader, a Franciscan monk named Father Longo, mysteriously vanishes one night. The hunt is abandoned for the next hundred years.

In the late 1700s, a miner named Don Atanasio Guzmán, who worked the old Inca mines in the Llanganates, manages to draft a detailed treasure map. But before he can claim his prize he too disappears in the mountains. The treasure is forgotten until….

Guzman's Treasure Map
Guzman’s Treasure Map (click to enlarge)

1860 when a British botanist named Richard Spruce, while doing research in the archives at Latacunga, stumbles upon Valverde’s Derrotero, and the map drawn by Guzman. Spruce publishes this information in the Journal of Royal Geographical Society in 1860.

This article, entitled Notes of a Botanist on the Amazon and Andes, rekindles the treasure fever. The accumulated weight of Guzmán’s map, Spruce’s notes, and a translation of Valverde’s Derrotero into English sets off a small stampede of English-speaking explorers.

In 1886, working with Spruce, a pair of treasure hunters from Nova Scotia reportedly solve the riddle of Valverde’s Derrotero and find the treasure. Their names are Captain Barth Blake and Lieutenant George Edwin Chapman.

Blake makes maps of the region and sends letters to a friends. In one of the letters Blake writes…

It is impossible for me to describe the wealth that now lays in that cave marked on my map, but I could not remove it alone, nor could thousands of men….There are thousands of gold and silver pieces of Inca and pre-Inca handicraft, the most beautiful goldsmith works you are not able to imagine, life-size human figures made out of beaten gold and silver, birds, animals, cornstalks, gold and silver flowers. Pots full of the most incredible jewelry. Golden vases full of emeralds.

Captain Barth Blake

So, why didn’t Blake and Chapman claim the treasure? Because Chapman didn’t survive the journey out of the mountains and Blake fell overboard on a trip to North America to sell the gold they’d taken from the cave.

The Curse of Atahualpa’s Gold

You’ve already read about some of the victims of the treasure’s curse; Father Longo, Guzman, Chapman and Blake. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg:

  • In the mid-1930s a Scotsman named Erskine Loch mounted two disastrous treasure hunts in the Llanganates. During the first expedition, porters deserted Loch and violent rains dogged him for 37 out of 39 days.On his second trip, Loch’s party ran out of food and fell to hallucinations. “The country ahead,” Loch wrote in his book, Fever, Famine, and Gold, “had spur after spur of precipitous rock faces descending into raging torrents below. Everything we stood upon, everything we clutched gave way under us.” Soon after the book’s publication, Loch shot himself.
  • Yet others kept coming – and dying. In the 1920s, an American known in local accounts as “Colonel Brooks” established a bank in Ecuador and then got the treasure bug. On his first trip into the mountains his porters mutinied.Later Brooks decided to take his wife to the Llanganati for a “romantic getaway”, but they were promptly greeted by torrential rains. She died of pneumonia, and he ended up in a madhouse in New York – muttering wildly, one imagines, about gold and silver and emeralds.
  • Bob Holt was an American geologist from Arizona who had worked with various oil and gold-mining companies in Ecuador during the 1960s. On his first treasure expedition into the Langanati Holt slipped and fell on a sharp broken tree trunk. It stabbed him directly through the heart.

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226 thoughts on “Inca Gold: The Treasure of the Llanganatis”

  1. LOL I ran into this because their is a slot machine called golden incas. If I ever went to look for that lost treasure I would take an OKM metal detector just to make sure to detect that lump sum of gold.

  2. What a tragedy more European Adventurers seeking to rape the new world and its ancient cultures of its vast cultural heritage and wealth.

  3. If a group of archeologists and students from anywhere try to find out if the story is true at all, and will give anything what will be found to an Ecuadorian museum, to show the vast cultural heritage and wealth of the inca to the world.I can accept this.(And the pay the costs themselves)

  4. the inca treasure is an interesting history, i live near of this mountains, also i ve been several times in this zone. searching this treasure, In the futur ei will writte a book if you are interested to travel to this area called me and i will arrange this trip.

  5. I will go to the Llanganati mountains and try to find the treasure… I have a number of topografic maps that I hope can be useful… 🙂

  6. I which you good luck and come healthy back.
    My first trip was in 1983.And since than, I have been searching.And there are others, who have been searching longer and more times in their life than me, who go in rent now. BR

  7. I left an email some weeks ago. Again, I’d like to invite anyone with practical ideas of how and where to locate that treasure to get in touch with me. I took three trips into the Llanganatis forty years ago over a two year period, and I have a very interesting theory as to where Valverde was directing people to look.

  8. gold or not, the fun to run into it might be even better or just to enjoy the landscape arpund the area. But it is sad that people like Stan Grist that anonce on this page are giving people ideas tomine for gold in our country. The river I live by is polluted thanks to people like this, the amalgamation of gold uses mercury and Cianide that are causing the fish to die and the people are getting poison. The treasure of the inca was not about the gold the treasure of the incas lies on the secrets drawn on the metal plates… is ok to be idiots?

  9. i have made over twenty trips into the llanganates over the last two years. if anyone is planning on doing a trip there i can help you as to what equipment to take and what to expect. feel free to email me.

  10. Thanks for your response, Felipe. You are right, and it is a shame that harm is being done to your country. Whereabouts do you live in Ecuador? I might be coming back one of these days, probably to climb Chimborazo and Cotopaxi. Possibly, even to venture once into the Llanganatis. It is a wonderful adventure, even without the gold. Finding it would be a gift to your country, of course. What’s this about secrets on metal plates? And….

    often, idiocy precedes wisdom.

    Be well,


  11. hi all, i am an american citizen who is half ecuadorian and i would love it if all you people that are foreign and not ecuadorian stop looking for it, you people dont deserve it, all the damn spaniards took what they wanted, enough! all your descendants from all over have tried and failed doesnt that tell u something?
    leave it alone and if someone is to find it let it be a nacional or indian they desrve it their people died for it, so money hungry foreigners be gone!

  12. If you think that Valverde knew where the treasure is, then you are truly in for disappointment.

    However, one must realise that to search for treasure is not to be taken lightly and that everything is never as it seems…..

    What you see is not what you always get.

    The truth is that even if the ‘treasure’ has been discovered, it will simply never be made public. If you think otherwise then i’m afraid you are very new to the game.

  13. I know where Valverde’s Derrotero leads. It remains to be seen if there is actual treasure inside. It was easy to find but it will be difficult to get to.


    I am looking for two or three more women (to join a team of 8) who may like to take part in a Bristol based expedition to the Llanganates National Park in Ecuador in November that will be filmed for broadcast next year by a Bristol television production company. This is extremely difficult terrain and we will be following Valverde’s route and investigating the lost Inca gold and our team will be fronted by a TV presenter used to rugged and hostile conditions. You will have to pay your own costs but will have professional backup and support. Please contact Jacki Hill-Murphy at if you are interested.

  15. Well, i’m only 15. And i live in Denmark, wich is pretty far from Ecuador. But i have been studying the inca’s, and this treasure the past year. I’ve found an old map from a previous expidition, who found a lake using Valverdes Derrotero. I bet it’s not t”THE lake” but i’ve got a pretty good guess about where the treasure could be located. I’ve not been in
    llanganati’s before, so my research has been done with Google Earth and the known maps. I’d suggest as most of us Adventure willed Treasure Hunters (more or less) as possible, could do a masterminded expidition together. So if you’re up to this, post a comment. Or we could share experience. I’d really like to know what you know HAROLD. Pls. responce. If not before, with any of you guys, i will search for it myself when i’ve done highschool.

  16. Nice to make your acquaintance, Jonas. Well, it’s a great adventure to get involved in, as long as you don’t become obsessed. There might be a treasure hidden in those mountains; there might not. But, in the quest, you might stumble upon some great treasures hidden inside you. Anyway, it’s a lot of fun.

    I went in three times in ’71-’72. Once, to Cerro Hermoso; twice, to the area around Pan de Azucar. On two of those trips, two of my party came close to dying due to stupid decisions. So, it’s not an undertaking to be taken lightly. Then, again, it’s not adventure without risk.

    Everyone who has gone in has his own theory as to where the treasure is. I, myself, stood upon Guapa and looked for the three cerros in the shape of a triangle and saw nothing that fit that description. It then occurred to me that Valverde may have been describing a single mountain in the shape of a triangle but which had multiple peaks. So I looked for that. Pan de Azucar looks like a triangle from a distance, so I concentrated on it. Found nothing. But I wasn’t very thorough. I’m thinking it might be worth another look, but with more time spent in the area.

    I should be back to Ecuador within a year or two.

    A very helpful contact for you would be Frank Alte. He’s a German residing in Quito for over ten years, married to a local girl, working for a tour company and who has been into the Llanganatis many, many times. He appreciates fellow adventurers. His email is

    Let me know what ideas you have. And keep in touch.


  17. Hallo
    It is a good idea to finish your school before to go on such an expedition.I read about the treasure when I was a teenager and made my first expeditin with 18, one year before ending school.If you go to the army, if you have to do in Denmark, it would not be wrong as a preparation.Good luck.And learn spanish in school.

  18. Hallo
    It is a good idea to finish your school before to go on such an expedition.I read about the treasure when I was a teenager and made my first expedition with 18, one year before ending school.If you go to the army, if you have to do in Denmark, it would not be wrong as a preparation.Good luck.And learn spanish in school.

  19. Hi Everyone,
    This subject is all very new to me as we didn’t study the Inca’s in school.
    My Grandad sadly passed away last year although he had lead an exciting and very full life. It was only last night when I was looking through a few envelopes containing stamps to see if there were any vintage ones, that I came across what seems to be a very old hand-drawn sketch of the Ecuadorian Andes, which mentions Valverde and various landmarks. Intrigued, I googled Valverde and to my amazement came across this story.
    I saw above that a Bristol based TV station are planning an expedition which will be televised and I would be very interested to see this and hopefully learn more about this subject. I have spoken to my Grandmother today and she has never seen the sketch before but confirmed that it was my Grandad’s handwriting.
    I wonder whether my Grandad met someone during the war who told him about Valverde’s Gold … unfortunately I will never find out where / when he was passed on this information.
    I am completely amazed that this treasure hunt is so widespread and hope that if someone does find the gold that it will remain in Ecuador but be displayed for the artistic appreciation that is deserves and the enjoyment of those who have been so passionate to travel around the world to try to find it.
    Good luck to all of you pure-hearted treasure hunters x

  20. I am from the Philippines and reading about the lost treasure which is not yet found. If really any of there among you who want to locate that hidden treasure I can assist you provided you will shoulder the expenses in my expedition there. there will be no compromised agreement if what is my share nor how much is my finders fee. all what i am after for is to prove to all that i can locate the said treasure. should there any any in kinds as formed of gratitude upon finding it is my honor to accept it. that is all.Try to visit my web. or contact me through email : thanks

  21. Thanks for your responce and support guys.
    Yeah, it will be smart to finnish school first, and i will. But it’s many years to wait if you are just a bit excited over this adventure. And i am. After highschool, theres more school, where i can teach spanish. Then, after my first trip to ecuador, i’ll study archeology. Thats a lot of school…

    Harold, if you want to, i could sent a picture of an old map, and the map remaked on google earth. I’m pretty sure that the remake is quite precise to the old. Just more understandable.

    In the initiation of Valverde’s Derrotero, he introduces the treasure, and the quest. Theres just something strange about the way he describes the treasue lake:
    on whose declivity there is a lake, made by hand, in wich the ancients threw the gold they had prepared for the ransom of the Inca when they heard of his death.

    It was threwn into a lake made by hand? Theres a bit riddle over it. Wich kind of lake could have been made by hand in the early 1500? I’d like to know what you think about that. It could be a normal lagune/lake, or something a lot diffrent. Maybe they dug down to ground water and buried the treasure. I dont know, but it sure sounds strange.


  22. Hi Sophie. It sounds pretty interesting. If you agree, i would like to see a picture, or a scanned copy of the map of yours. Then if i could work something out of it, i would let you know. If not, thanks anyway.


  23. The expedition of 2003 by an American/Anglo team identified the lake site and recovered and removed a very small % of artifacts without incident. The site was left secured and has been visited several times since then and on each occasion more has been removed but only a very small amount due to the extreme depth of water it lies in. It is impossible to take the equipment needed to recover the entire haul without being very noticable to every one. This information is given for 2 reasons;1) to stop people travelling to the area and becoming victims of a pointless exercise and 2) To recruit physically capable people to join our next expedition in October 2011 (It requires a 10 day gruelling march to the site carrying packs of 35 Kgs) . Trigger

  24. Trigger, i would like to join. But at that time, i will be 16. So, you’ll, have to understand that i cant travel with that less information. In Denmark, we have 9 groundschool grades. And iv’e finneshed them all next year. Then, i can take a year off before i go to highschool. But i wouldnt do that on this less information. If you can tell me more over Email, i would happily leave my email to you.


  25. Trigger,
    Perhaps, you should’ve said…This information is being given for three reasons: 1. To ensure that everybody – and his uncle – will be waiting in Pillaro, and its environs, in Oct 2010 in order to follow you in; 2. To ensure that those interested in protecting the patrimony of Ecuador will be on the lookout for you, and, lastly, though the most important…3. To mess with people’s minds. Grow up!

  26. I live in Pillaro, where the story and Valverde path begins. I have traveled many times on this route, after several investigations I am convinced that there still exists part of the treasure, treasure or not, I think the real wealth of Llanganates National Park is its extraordinary biodiversity, with a unique endemic animals and plants. If anyone would like more information please contact Juan Medina
    Naturalist Guide

  27. Very interested in the Treasure hunt. Help me stay in shape. Love things like this. Juan, could you pls send me an email. Any & all information would be appreciated. Nick sends

  28. I’m an Antropologyst, born in Ecuador and I have been studing any data on The gold hidden by Ruminahui and I have an idea of it’s location. I Came out with a grid of 1.5km by 1 km. of it’s location. Following Valvelder’s route and Atanasio Guzman map, the treasure is defetnely near Aucacocha and cerro llanganati. ????
    If naynobe interested in chating about this please emailme at , please tittle the email as incagold or i won’t open it.

  29. Why someone would be worried about a foriegner finding the Llanganati treasure makes little sense when even if they are Ecuadorian;are they of Incan descent? Any treasure found belongs to “all Ecuadorians”, minus a well deserved finders fee. Most likely it will be found by someone who has thoroughly studied the Incas, knows the Llanganatis well, has inside information, and has spent thousands of hours thinking outside of the box. For example as follows: The Incans who helped Valverde knew that the ecomenderos were killing off their people, all across South Ameridca. They knew of the insane lust and greed of the Spaniards, how it brought about the torture of their people. In helping a Spaniard, Valverde, who was going to marry one of their own, they found a way to use this Spaniard, especially knowing that he couldn’t be trusted. And indeed, upon his deathbed he squawked like a chicken. Finding a lake in an inhospitable area, where there was some firm rock foundation in a part, they placed a little treasure, telling him, “Here is a vast treasure, whatever you carry, you can have!” Had it been like all the lakes I’ve seen in the Llanganatis, even in boots you don’t dare stand too close or the mud will swallow you. (The reason for a shallow lake with a firm bottom to hold heavy metal.) So Valverde took some out and wrote the Valverde Directero, which leads everyone to vast “inumberable” lakes. A great way to use him as a pawn to send the Spaniards, and nowadays others, waisting their resources to search away from where it really is. And this trick worked so well that even Eugene Brunner was fooled, he failed to understand the Incas and their most firm religious beliefs.
    Fact known to a very thorough historian, water is the entranceway to the underworld, the Incans believed. The underworld holds all the lowlifes, those who are the very last to ever deserve gold, which comes from the sun, silver, tears of the moon, and precious gems only reserved for the elite. To place their treasure in water is a grave sin going against their religious beliefs and the Incas were extremely religious. And never, never would they tell any Spaniard where it is, only use him as a pawn to mislead everyone. At the same time the little bit of wealth he received would be proof that the horde is in the lake, as people are so easy to fool! I could go on about Ruminavi and what he was really up to and did, or about Barth Blake, why he and Chapman had a falling out; the truth behind Blake’s cave discovery…etc. But the turth of what I do know or think I believe, and what is, will only be settled by the one who discovers this treasure, rather than yap about it, as I have done. Please do not contact me as I have nothing more to say.
    Jim Barns

  30. Irian,
    Please don’t believe everything you hear. If the treasure were actually discovered, it would become world news covering nearly every channel and the attention given to it would be mighty. In reality no one would ever “play around” with such a discovery!
    Jim Barns

  31. Thats right Irian.
    Trigger hasn’t responded me or my friend HAROLD, since he wrote that comment. And were also after this treasure.
    So i think that his comment was really, and only, clear advertisement for his so called expedition..
    Sorry to disappoint you.

  32. Hallo
    I did not get a answer from trigger,until now, too.
    But tell me: Why should someone, who found just only a part of the treasure, do not take the rest alone. If he only found ten kilos of gold and took the back to civilisation.With this money he could finance a well equipped expedition. Or ask the gouvernment to help him, if he shows his founds.Tom Trasure from germany

  33. Anyone who finds the treasure and it happens to be in a National Park, must understand that it belongs to Ecuador and the people of Ecuador. It doesn’t even belong to any particular part, not the government, the military, or any rich corrupt official, although it would belong to him as much as the poorest man, as long as he’s an Ecuadorian citizen. For, the treasure belongs to all of Ecuador. If one took any of it out of a National Park, they’d be breaking some serious laws. However, from the phtography, the book rights of the information laying behind the discovery, and working out a finders fee, which might be well deserved, this individual would also be quite famous, receiving their place in history, and be incerediably rich from the pictures, book rights, and film. If they made a documentary of their expedition and included prior trips and history, along with the history of the treasure, it would send millions to the box office hit…who needs any of it then anyway?
    From the treasure, which includes at least the complete wealth of two Sun Temples, or posibly as many as four, Ecuador could rebuild Sun Temples and stock them with the hundreds or thousands of precious jewels, life-size gold and silver objects, put the 300 plus Gods back in each temple, all of which represented the different tribes they conquered and their own Gods; made from stone to gold etc.. Full of walls sheeted in gold and holding historical objects of unequaled value, Ecuador would become the leading tourist attraction in the world, bringing in annually billions of dollars from the tourists. Oh, how a man can dream when he makes up his own perfect world! But first one must find it!

  34. Jim, I totally agree with everything you said. as you may know I have an expedition leaving next year with many various people involved. For us it’s not the finding so much as the looking for it in such a remote and amazing place.

  35. To Jacki,
    For your expedition wear comfortable rubber boots higher than the bottom of the knee, hopefully with soft tops that won’t chafe you; take lots of socks as your feet will sweat and then you need to wear fresh new ones to sleep at night. Dress very warmly when you are laying down to sleep with a heavy blanket. Its light twelve hours and dark twelve hours, the sunrise and sunset about the same year around on the ecuator. Use an ice pick that’s about thirty inches long to help you along the trail as often the next step will raise you up a third of a meter or down a third, more or less. The trail is almost always muddy anywhere in the Llanganaties, the vegetation is beautiful, mostly numerous, but small and close to the earth at the higher altitudes. The wind and weather and mist might change from minute to minute, one moment you are cold, the next the sun breaks and you easily sweat, so don’t wear too heavy a coat nor too light. Take lots of sunscreen or the high altitudes will burn your skin badly, especially your face and nose. Always at sunset and sunrise try to camp and place yourselves where you have mountain views for photography. There’s a bush that’s waxy and burns wet at high altitudes, so it’s easy to cook your food as long as you have people who know the area and how to use and make a fire from the easily available fuel. Animal trails are everywhere, but rarely will you see any animals as they are all very keen and extremely shy. There are however lots of birds that you’ll always hear, but hard to get close to to film. Endless lakes and the weather changes the clouds and mountain views continuously along with the ever changing terrain. When going through swamp grass or brush, “never” follow within whipping distance, or you’ll suffer an injury. The Llanganatis are beautiful, but offer a lonliness that will make everyone feel exceptionally small and even lost when your not; all the comforts you are used to will be behind. Hopefully you are a runner, for time your breathing, {no panting} in going uphill, for the air is thin and the steps trying and often high. Feel no hurry, take your time and enjoy the trip. You will grow in a way you never have!

  36. I believe nobody is ever going to find this Treasure. It’s buried under a Fan of Volcanic Eruptions, or Earthquake Movements. Good luck to those Treasure Hunters. But like someone said earlier. The Inca’s threw out that map to throw everybody off the trail. A man made lake could be a damned up Creek that over the yrs became huge. Never gonna Find it. The Load

  37. True, there are a lot of volcanoes in Ecuador, but none in the Llanganaties, the most likely place that is where the treasure is hidden. And, damning a creek would not make as good a lake as the many hundreds spread throughout; that any one of which could be used. Again, I know it is most likely not in any lake if one knows Ruminhaui or the Incan nobles and their beliefs, especially religious. Possibly, the treasure may indeed be discovered soon, but only by one who knows the incas history really well, the land about, has all the inside information of the most serious past treasure hunters, can see from outside the box, takes no information for granet, (however many people or those so-called educated people of authority may support it as fact), and is willing to go where no man has been since the incas. This must be a person who values human life before greed and wealth, and respects nature; holding morality above all else. Such a person may soon lay a mighty gift before the Ecuadorian people to enrich their history beyond any comprehension that has come before! A gift not so much of raw wealth as cultural history and pride in who they are and what history their country represents—this would become Ruminahui’s true legacy!

  38. Hello folks,

    Take a step back from the mystery, romance, chivalry and ‘facts’, and then consider the whole issue. Tons and tons of precious treasures and they go undiscovered for hundreds of years????

    Guaranteed they are/where allegedly placed in a very difficult and hard to reach place. But the truth of the matter is that in pre-columbian times – even during the Spanish reign, the area was well traversed by the people and even if the incas had used hundreds of soldiers or porters to store this treasure, then Ruminhui was not the only one with knowledge of it. It is accepted that the Inca nobles would probably not have divulged the location of such treasure but what about their hostile foes who started working for the Spanish. Did they also sign up for this pact????
    The only possible true point in all of this is that the northern or Quito ransom did not reach Cajamarca for Atahualpa’s release and that is the main reason conquistador Sebastian de Balcazar was sent there by Pizarro. He did not find it. What is now Ecuador, was relatively a recent conquest for the Inca and even though Atahualpa was their undisputed Lord (unlike in Peru and Huascar), the Spanish quickly established links with people and tribes that were hostile to the Inca. Would they not have divulged the location had there been such a huge hoard and the possibility of winning favour with the Spanish and by doing so get payback against the Incas?? Or where the inca that superior masters of the land, that they knew places that not even the locals could find?? Look people – even the puppet Sapa Incas placed on the throne by the Spanish started divulging the whereabouts of treasure that had been missed by the rapacious and cruel conquistadores in order to ease their own existences. Yes there was parts of treasures that were concealed in protest against the inhumane treatment meted out by the vicious Spaniards without the knowledge of even the orejones, but there simply was not ‘hundreds and hundreds of tons’ as per the popular imagination of fiction now accepted as fact. Those of you who only accept evidence and fact as the basis of any proposition probably have no doubt heard the story of the native mason, which is linked into the larger story of the ‘treasure’ and is the only verifiable fact (even then it is only in snippets). The ‘Valverde Deroterro’ – can anyone prove there was a ‘Valverde’?? When and where de he become wealthy?? The document itself contains true descriptions from the general area but come on folks, it leads you to a treasure so vast that there is hundreds and hundreds of tons?? If there was so much there, then why did Atahualpa send his runners straight to Cuzco to assemble his ransom from the temples there instead of Quito where his orders would have been accepted unequivocally?? He was fighting to retain his liberty and indeed his life, and would he have played politics with the locations of treasure at such a critical time?? Yes whatever the treasure was/is it was more than likely on its way to him when it was diverted as news of his murder spread. Where and how is the mute point. Do not forget that the deroterro of Valverde only mentions a lake where ‘the ancients threw the ransom assembled’ but does not link it to his ‘own’ cave. The chief whose daughter Valverde allegedly married and who then showed him the location, was he the only one privy to its location?? Each and every treasure seeker truly believes he or she will solve the riddle and is the only one capable of finding the key to the whole mystery. It is also worth mentioning the story of ‘Barth Blake’ and his friend/colleague ‘Chapman’. If they found the ‘treasure cave’, how is it that the individual could determine between Inca and pre-Inca artefacts and gave a description similar to one printed in a book about the Inca conquest that was printed at a similar time (an early case of plagiarism)?? It was such a big hoard that he did not go straight back to retrieve it, but instead ‘went back to sea for a while’?? He got ‘lost’ in the mountains after finding it when Chapman perished yet still drew ‘maps’ ot its location?? Look there may have been small stashes of precious items located in the Llanganatis region placed by those in times of peril and with the intention of reclaiming them at a more agreeable opportunity, but it is open to conjecture whether there was a truly large amount that represented part of the Atahualpa ransom. Oh and by the way all the large bodies of water have been dredged for any signs of treasure. The mining of minerals on the outer reaches of the area probably represent the best prospect of a return but of course that isn’t instant like a ready made treasure………..

  39. Its not hard to find the real map to gold in ecuador. Every day I am there somebody will take you to the spot, whatever secret place you are looking for, and for a price.
    Truth comes with difficultly in Ecuador. I have not yet found a complete truthful person there so be careful, especially of “volunteers”. I search different areas of the country for different things in accordance with the rains. From San Lorenzo/Mira to Cuenca
    I may be able to swap/share info with certain people.
    Jay, from Canada

  40. I’d say a lot of people let their Imagination get ahold of their better judgements a bit. Question? If anybody do’s find the supposedly Hidden Treasure, Don’t they get to keep 50%? El Dorado, now I’ve heard that before. In Colombia. Where they bath the new King in Gold Dust and he throws Gold and Emeralds into a slough from a bamboo raft. Same type of story. Or Just maybe there is 2 El Dorado’s. Ha! Would’nt that be great. We all could Dream about 2 finds.

  41. The llanganaties was picked because, if been there, as I was for a week, but ten days ago, not one house or road in any direction for at least two days travel, easy to post guards to watch all incoming hills and attack or kill anyone watching, that would have to follow closely to see anything, which is almost impossible when between the endless mountains there’s a certain amount of open terrain. So, you couldn’t follow the porters without getting detected. Once the treasure was in a very secluded and guarded place, a chosen group made numerous trips to where it was next put, then, perhaps even totally voluntarily, knowing afterwards they would be killed to keep its location secret, they were all put to death. Most of them might even be burried where the treasure is. In pre-incan times a commun practice was when a chief died, his wife or wives, and often friends and other important members were voluntarily place in the grave and burried alive with him. When Ghengis Khan was burried and over 800 men, all loyal, took about twenty thousand horses of treasure to his grave, they all then returned to their home city where their fellow friends and relatives came out and all done voluntarily, put the 800 plus to death–the reason why no one has found his massively rich burial sight. Anyone who does extensive serious historical research will know that the treasure does exist, it is quite a lot, and that it was well hiden by a powerful man who knew the area extensively and had a lot of people under his totakl control. Sixteen months did he have to gather it up and hide it, creating rumors to mislead the Spanish, who were busy raiding the south and believed the foolish rumor that it was headed south to be used to help free Autalapha. Buy the way I photographed the place where Richard Chapman died, having the man who found his body who me exactly where he found it. (And the weather in the Llanganaties was horrid, rain everyday, lots of fog, and got burried by a rush of snow on the peak of one of the higher mountains.
    By the way, when you read about the Valvberde Directero and Barth Blake’s cave, you have to figure out the truth of the story and think outside of the box. Some information is true and some is a person being folled by a smarter man, or some is a lie by the person telling the storty. Once you do this you can make complete sense of what you do read.
    One last comment, Ruminhaui was well aware of which indians were his enemies; that’s why he chose the Llanganaties as the place to hide the treasure.

  42. Ah.

    Cannot honestly say how the above actually relates to my earlier piece.

    Some choose to only consider those points which fit in with their overall ideas, hopes and imaginations.

    How Genghis Khan’s burial and its history is comparable to Atahualpa’s is anyone’s guess. One was the lord and master of all he surveyed. The other had just been murdered hastliy by foreign conquerers with savage brutality and then buried in haste.

    The writer states that he found ‘Richard Chapman’s last resting place’ – how somebody could determine who it was after close to 150 years is again anyone’s guess. The ‘Blake’ person had said he buried his companion, so it is to be assumed that the body found ‘high on a mountain’ had thawed after the snows had melted.Did you find the missing pieces from the cave he is alleged to have visited??? Of course not.

    The ‘Dereterro’ which does not have any associated documents in Spain is true ??? This is a genuine article which needs ‘thinking outside the box’, in order to make sense of it??? Pick and choose what you believe as long as it fits in with your own version.

    Ruminahui was foiled at every turn by the rapacious Spaniards. Every trap he laid was discovered by those in league with the conquistadores.

    I am afraid that this so-called ‘historical research’ is so resourceful, many academians have not come across it and it has still not divulged the location!!!!

    Good luck to those who search for it, I look forward to reading about how close you got to it, but not quite there, in future months, years and decades!!!!

  43. I am glad that a lot of academians feel the way you do. You go on thinking your way and I’ll stick to what best works for me. Remember, when Benalcazar went north he had no historians to take heed of a history that had already been changed by Ruminhaui as he saw fit. Read about Cieza de Leon and what he has to say? (Ghenghis Khan is an example of how easy it is to hide a massive treasure.) What counts is someone finding Rumenhaui’s treasure. Until then, you may be quite right about everything you said and or wish to say.Thank you for that. And if it is found it doesn’t prove a thing about the Valverde Directero unless it is found in a lake following his route, which is quite doubtful that that will ever happen. About Richard Chapman; you lack a lot of information that I have. I also need to send a tooth to England to have its DNA checked with possible relative there. Until then, once again you are RIGHT! Blake, I believe mixed thruth with fiction, by lying. So possibly he never burried Chapman, but that they went their own separate ways after a serious argument. I only said possibly. You might believe that he buried his body, but I doubt that you think he found and entered a cave full of treasure where he should at least have carried out several million dollars worth of emeralds and ignored the gold.

  44. Nick,
    The weather changes often and quite fast in the Llanganaties. One moment the clouds break and because of the high altitude, the sun’s heat is much more intense. I had the strongest suntan lotion you can buy, 50%. The time before this last expedition, three months ago, the skin was burnt off my nose. Then a heavy storm cloud can come in against a mountain and burst upon you; it can bring up to forty or fifty mile an hour winds. In one place when I stopped to take two pictures, because my camera was in a bag, inside another bag, plastic for waterproofing, I had to have one of the Indians close up my plastic bag as my hands wouldn’t work. Then he took off, nearly stranding me as I was unable to get my gloves on so frozen were my hands.
    My guide showed me where he found the body of a ninteenth century man and backpack from that era, sitting against a rock. It was said Chapoman split up from Barth Blake after an argument, of which I believe I understand, but that’s unimportant, anyway, he was suffering from re-occuring bouts of malaria, which severely weakens one. On our way out I told my guide I’d only take some quick pictures; the weather was horrible. He said all that was left were a few teeth and parts of a skull, mostly everything was burried. I was burnt out on the mountains at the time and we were trying to get out quickly, as I wished to go to Quito on some important business, so I decided on another day, when its warm and sunny and not a fog-wet-ridden, cold-wind-blasing day, I’d try to asquire a tooth to send to England for DNA. I’d put a photo of this site in this web site, but so far no one has answered my question of how to do that. Location can also bring in gusty winds, if you are in any high and narrow outlets to broader valleys, when the winds hit the outlet, they are funneled though, picking up speed and chill. During a period of 4 months I went into the Llanganaties twice. I have made many other trips in and once I lived alone there for a while, but that I would not advice this at all to anyone. I have read and done historical research for 42 years on South America’s history, reading litteraly hundreds of books. I also read historical books about many of the ancient civilisations, the 10th century Japan, and native americans of Middle america and North America. I have a collection of various historical things such as samurai swords, arrowheads…etc, which I received many years ago. Even a few pre-incan artifacts I aquired in the United States, which came out of Ecuador over five decades ago. Nothing however of great value, mainly sentemental value to me, knowing their past was unique. If anyone were to outfit an expedition for the Llanganaties, I’d be glad to advice them what to take and why. My first expediton I hired 15 carriers and many things I needed I never had. Now I have only three, extremely turstworthy and very close friends, and most of the equipment I use is special and no one ever takes such things into the Llanganaties. I have my own agenda, which has nothing to do with anyone else. I do take a lot of photography equipment and thousands of photos every time I go in.

  45. JIm I can tell you one thing, I don’t doubt the weather. I’ve worked up in Alaska at the Radar Sites for 33 yrs. It get’s really nasty really quick. Blink your eyes and it changes. One thing when it’s cold and howling, the wnd chill could kill ya easily. I do alot of Weather Observations for Military Cargo Aircraft starting usually around 03:30 in the morning. Got caught in a Whiteout once . Wnds howling ovr 135 miles an hour. That Surburban was just a shakin. Scary stuff man.% hrs out there. I guess the Man up Above was blessing me alittle. I can handle some tough stuff but after reading Valverdes Gold, I think I will let someone else handle the Hunt. I like working a Highbanker, or Dredge. Still hard work, but nothing so Dangerous as putting your life in harms way. A lot of people look at the Hidden Treasures as a Dream. Oh yea, I’ll just go out there with a pair of Tennis Shoes and kick around some rocks. Not So. Better have their stuff together really well. What bewilders me if the weather is so bad. How did the Inca’s handle it. Llama skin coats, boots, or what? Oh well, till next time. Caio !! Nick out.

  46. Hey folks,

    Please do not assume that I am attempting to denigrate any individual’s efforts, actions or plans. All I have wished for is to consider the whole topic with a critical examination which treasure and its searching requires. Very few expeditions ever come to a profitable conclusion.

    As regards to the ‘Inca Treasure’, there is some evidence that there was a hoard that was discovered and it made a native Ecuadorean extremely wealthy. This happened many centuries ago and it was rumoured that the discoverer had links to one of the Inca soldiers who was with Ruminhui at the sacking of Quito – prior to them fleeing and torching it before Benalcazar could claim it for the Spanish Crown.

    The problem for the Llanganates enthusiasts, is that it was not from anywhere near there but from elsewhere in Ecuador.

    Look people, make no mistake – there is STILL vast amounts of precious items buried/hidden/concealed in the earth. Question is how and where.

    The objects that have come to illuminate museums and galleries across the globe with their masterly craftmanship from bygone civilisations, have only done so through mostly nefarious and shady characters who can only be described as tomb robbers. I will leave it to others to judge the rights and wrongs of such practises.

    Those that still search for Inca gold would probably not know the difference between it and the dozens of other preceding civilsations that left their remnants in the shifting sands,mountains and jungles of South America.

    If you are truly serious about such pursuits, then look hard enough and surely you will find what you deserve………….

    GOOD LUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  47. There are definite distinctions between pre-incan and incan made items. I hasve specifically, for nearly forty years, educated myself on the incan civilisation and studied the pre-incan civilisations extensively as well. For the incans were not but made up of not their own ideas, but those of their predecessors. Pictures of Ruminahui’s treasure and a documentary would bring far more money, than any finder’s fee paid by Ecuador. Anyway, my personal opinion, and I can’t speak for anyone else, is that it all belongs to Ecuador, every single citizen having as much right to it as any other. Besides, since it’s so well hidden, let’s not worry about me ever finding it anyway. Right!
    Ecuador is a country I love, and there I have grown roots and found many good friends. The culture is rich, the trips into the Llanganaties great challenges and adventrure. I live the life I love, all of it gives me fullfillment and is a completely possitive experience, so one day when my life ends, I can look back at some of the best parts of my life, experienced in Ecuador and know that I did the things I most wanted to do, not thought about them or just dreamed about them, but did them. And make no mistake, walking a razorblade of rock with thousand foot dropoffs to each side, in thin air with the wind howling isn’t easy, nor carrying a large pack with another upon that and another pack in front filled with camera equipment and wearing raingrear that contains you while you step high and grab vegetation to pull yourself upwards, then drop down steeply off that hill for another and then another, all day long—this is hard, but these challenges leave me strong and with each trip everything gets easier and this I love.

  48. This one is for you Jim Barns,

    I am glad that you feel that you are in a position to fullfil your dreams and aspirations – be they trekking in the Llanganates National Park or photographing the amazing scenery. Just do not confuse it with real treasure hunting that others do for a living. Maybe that’s the point i’ve wished to make all along.

    Of all the expeditions made after this elusive treasure into the Llanagantes region, the vast majority have been an overwhelming failure due to the nature of those taking part and the groundwork in the preparation. It is the whole romance and adventure of the enigma,history and the mystery which is mainly responsible for bewitching those who have made the trips after the so-called Inca treasure.

    Look, I have no doubt about your sincerety and passion regarding all of this. If you really are as clued up about the Inca and Ruminahui as you claim, you will know that the ‘real’ Incas in the south (Peru), considered Atahualpa and his northerners as usurpers and frauds.

    Do remember this point, Huayna Capac’s armies of the south had only relatively recently conquered what is now Ecuador – prior to the Spanish invasion. Inca nobles and royals considered the north as a place of mixed races bearing no connection to the full-blooded Cuzco descendents, of which Atahualpa was a product and not a true claimant to the Sapa Inca throne. Therein Jim probably is the true resting place of this treasure that so many lust after and will give anything to behold.

    When an individual stops living the romance, only then will they have a true opportunity to finding the hoard that REALLY does exist!!!!!

    NB. If you are truly wanting to make your mark on this whole epic saga, look up the history of the stonemason Catuna who is probably one the only people to actually retrieve some gold from what was the northern gold ransom convoy from Quito making . This is one story that can be substantiated – go see the church in Quito. Then there’s…………..

  49. I enjoy reading what you have to say. Unfortunately, my opinion varies greatly. I do believe there is a vast treasure hidden in the North of what was once the Incan Empire. And of what many of those objects are and where they came from, there being at least three Sun Temples there, as rich as the one in Cuzco, not to mention numerous other areas of wealth that was also transfered into this treasure. I understand largely how it was hidden, and this done obviously successfully. This treasure lies untapped awaiting anyone who can find it. However, Quite soon, I will be done with this thing, one way or another. And after that, I still plan to live a part of my life in Ecuador.Thank you for you comments and time.

  50. Thank you Jim I also look forward to reading your comments, and even though our trains of thought and ideas may vary, it is good to debate our points of view.

    I agree with you whole heartedly that there was a substantial treasure convoy from the Northern Inca domain which was on its way to Cajarmarca as part of Atahualpa’s ransom, which then disappeared after his murder at the hand of the brutal Spaniards.

    You are probably right in that it incorporated the wealth of the ruling class and of the temples worshipped by the populace. It would truly be astounding in its quality, craftmanship, history and sheer volume of size if it ever came to light. At the time, most of the true Inca artifacts were melted down into gold and silver ingots by the rapacious conquistadors and subsequently very few survive, to the eternal shame of the Spanish and to the sorrow of the generations who will never get to see the glory of the sophistication of the Incan civilisation’s efforts in artifact form (unless, of course, someone strikes it lucky).

    The general public did not have any access to the gold or silver – as it was deemed to be the property of the Lord or Sapa Inca and therefore his property, this is borne out by the excavations or tomb robbing (to put it bluntly) carried out by the huaqeros. Most of the actual gold or silver pieces uncovered were small objects and even then they were usually reserved for the elite – priests, nobles and important warriors of the ruling classes.

    As there was no monetary value placed on gold or silver, there was no chance of it being spread evenly amongst all the people. It was concentrated in the temples and with the elite. The greed consumed conquistadors very craftily picked up on this and did a fine job of stealing the vast majority of it. However, the point which is agreed on, is that a sizeable minority of it was secreted away from the crazed and cruel Spanish in the hope that some of the glory would remain in the bowels of the earth until the next cycle of power when perhaps the Incas would return to their righful position of protectors of the land and people. By the way, the Spanish set up expeditions to thoroughly sift through the graves and monuments which they believed might harbour some treasures that they had previously overlooked.

    Of course such things are now considered highly illegal and carry serious consequences. A true treasure hunt with a factual basis is still sanctioned by the relevant government – but with conditions. Only by uncovering a true treasure hoard would a story be created that would astound people the world over. There are many private collectors around the world with truly amazing artifacts, but they will never let such things be viewed in public due to the strict laws in place amongst the international community. Doesn’t mean to say that some activities are still not carried out covertly, but like I said, it is illegal and very rarely do they come up with priceless artifacts. When they are caught, there are serious repercussions and rightly so.

    You sound like the sort of individual with the capacity to truly stay the course in a professional way and even make a success of your efforts.

    In a parallel universe, we could have even mounted a serious campaign together and pooled our knowledge and resources (most of which we cannot discuss in a public forum) and who knows, even have held those half a millenium old objects in our very hands and reflected on what we had achieved……..It really does happen.

    Good luck with it all and I look forward to hearing how it all went.

  51. Thomas,
    It will be some time before i can front another expedition as I have a very busy life, family, kids, and all. But it is planned to come and this last one would have been the last, but for extremely bad weather that made it all too dangerous. Our expedition took great risks and I realized if someone were killed, I’d be in trouble with the government and unable to complete my quest.
    Lots of the information you added shows that you have done quite some research. I want to add a little. There is a web site in Ecuador that can come up if you punch in gold, Ecuador…etc. I looked it over once. A very rich man in Ecuador pays off grave robbers for their goods, hundreds or thousands of pottery peices and hundreds of gold and silver peices. He has numerous photos on his web site and if you find it you’ll find it interesting. He owns a major company in Ecuador and is friends with all the ruling and political families. He says, “if I don’t offer to buy these things, then they’ll be sold out of country!” So all the illegal grave robbers sell to him–he’s well known.
    Another thing is that i don’t always believe history. Things happen for a reason. When Pizzaro first arrived in the new world at the coastal city of Thumbes, (sp) Rumenhaui was Ataualpas’s emmasary that met him. He gave the Spaniards gifts of gold, silver, and women. At this point he gained a monsterous distaste for the Spaniards. Later on his victory was to see that even if defeated, they wouldn’t get the gold or silver, and he had 300 virgins of the sun stoned to death so that they wouldn’t get them. Before Autalwalpa died, excuse my spelling, he sent his favorite brother to see Ruminhaui and see if he would free some of his wives and other brother’s, as Ruminhaui had run rampid and taken over, holding many of Autalwalpa’s relatives hostage.He got his favorite brother drunk in a stupor, killed him and the others and made him into a drum, his legs and arms dangling, while one played upon his back. At this point Autawalpa would have had him tortured and killed had he the power to do this in the far North where Ruminhaui had become a ruthless dictator. Ruminhaui knew the Spaniards might head north and to hold them up, he spread a rumor that all they had to do was wait him as he was gathering all the treasure up to take south to free his king. A lie, while he gathered it up and took it into the Llanganaties to hide it. People believe one thing about it, while I put together the facts and believe another. This rumor was so powerful that to this day it’s still believed by everyone who reads it that that is fact. Tell someone something that they want to hear, I believe Ruminhaui believed, and they will believe it because its what they want. Ruminhaui was out to buy all the time he could to hide the treasure, destroy the countryside before the Spaniards arrived, a scorth earth campaign, and prepare his troops for war, meanwhile hoping that whatever might happen to the Spaniards, would play the situation more greatly in his favor. Unfortunately, as you know, a lot happened that went against him. In his stoic death, he knew that at least in a few things he had won and one of those was the hiding of what they sought most!

  52. Hi Jim,

    Thanks for the information, have already seen the ‘collector’s’ details and even though he states that if they do not sell to him, the items will be sold abroad, what he doesn’t say is that he eventually sells them abroad to private collectors himself!!!!

    I was not too aware of some of the other points you make about Ruminahui and Atahualpa but obviously they make for interesting reading and are in conflict with some reports of what went on at the time.

    Some of the issues you raise are quite valid and would relate to the whole story of happened in those turbulent times. But of course with the passage of time it is very difficult to prove either way.

    I accept that Ruminahui attempted to set himself up as a lord in his own fiefdom, and succeeded for albeit a short period of time. If you can, check out the angle of ‘Cantuna’s’ involvement – the stonemason responsible for the San Francisco church in Quito.

    Would be interested to know what you make of Atahualpa’s body being taken from Cajamarca after the Spanish had murdered him and left for Cuzco.

  53. So U Boys want to find some Gold. Here is a path to just some part of the Trek to The Hidden Load. Before one of U said there was not Eartquakes in that area. Upon reading a book by Peter Lourie they had one in 1949. 9A Huge One) and continue to have them. As U read the excerp below it talks about Giant landslides. Many Ponds, Need Grass, Moss grown slippery cliffs. Everything that a Treasure Hunter don’t need. Personally I think someone would have to be a (Little Off) to try this. But each his own. I kinda like where they refer to Brunners Lake. As in Lourie’s book. Yep, we’s near the spot all right. Trouble is? If Ya find the Gold. How ya gonna get it out? Good Luck.

    The Llanganates Experience
    Alternate Route Description

    This part of the trek was not included in the printed book due to space limitations. If you have the book, then we hope you will enjoy this route as you would any of the other 29 treks. Note, however, that this is not a complete route description without the printed material in Trek 15. If you do not have the book, then you should not undertake this trek based only on the following description. This website does not have enough general information about safety, navigation, how to use trek descriptions, and many other important topics discussed in the printed book. Remember that this is a very difficult trek and see A Note About Safety.

    The following is a supplement to the route described in Trek 15 of the book. It includes the option of visiting Cerro Hermoso and exiting through El Triunfo, north of Baños. There are 21 kilometers (13 miles) of very difficult trekking between Yossicocha and El Triunfo, 3 to 5 additional days without climbing the mountain. This route is exceptionally scenic. When the fog lifts and reveals the silhouette of the rocky peaks of Cerro Hermoso, it is pure magic.

    Route: Follow the east (left) shore of Yossicocha past its small outflow. The ground begins to drop suddenly, and a very poor trail zigzags south down the steep slope, thick with brush. In 45 minutes it reaches a broad flat saddle, 150 meters (500 feet) below the pond. Continue south across the flats, then for 15 minutes climb a low ridge to reach another level bog with a muddy lake in the middle. Follow the east (left) edge of the bog. The remains of several rudimentary shelters and good camping spots, tucked in among the low hills, are found by skirting the bog clockwise to its south side, a 20 minute detour.

    To continue toward Cerro Hermoso, follow the east edge of the bog, then head southeast, dropping slightly to cross a boggy drainage reached in 20 minutes. On the far (southeast) side of the drainage is some bare rock, surrounded by vegetation. Climb southeast on the rock or along its side. Continuing in this direction and then east, in 15 minutes you will reach a large landslide. Cross it and continue east for another 15 minutes, to a small rocky stream, surrounded by dense vegetation; a somewhat difficult crossing because of slippery rocks. This stream is one of the many sources of the Río Topo. Cross the stream, then climb steeply southeast through flechas; they are thick at first, but gradually thin out as you get higher. After 2 hours of steady climbing, the terrain begins to level off and you can see a pond below to your right. A further 20 minutes brings you to the ridge crest, turn here to follow it east. It is at times razor-sharp and offers spectacular views of the surrounding expanses of convoluted topography. After 1 hour travelling east along the ridge line, you will begin to descend southeast and will reach, in 30 minutes, a small pond with sites suitable for camping. Continue descending southeast for another 30 minutes, to reach a second pond, which also offers camping possibilities.

    From the second pond, you begin a steeper descent southeast into a broad boggy valley, reached in 20 minutes. Cross the valley southeast in another 20 minutes, and in 30 minutes climb a low north-south ridge. (This is a perpendicular spur of the east-west ridge along which you were travelling before the two ponds mentioned above.) Follow this broad and undulating ridge south, across several small bogs. In 30 minutes, you will reach a wide boggy saddle with areas suitable for camping along the edges, and a spring. There are a few polylepis trees on the surrounding slopes, a pleasant sight after days in the bare páramo. Take water here as it is scarce on the ridge ahead.

    Climb steadily south, along the west flank of the ridge. On the way up, you will have views of two beautiful unnamed kidney-shaped lakes to the west, separated by a rocky hill. In 1 hour, you will reach the ridge top with magnificent views east to Cerro Hermoso-huge waterfalls cascading down its black-rock cliffs. Follow the ridge line south for 15 minutes, to a point where the ridge divides into two branches. There are more wonderful views of Cerro Hermoso here, and of Laguna El Cable at its base.

    Our route continues along the left branch of the ridge, dropping southeast. The descent is steep, with vertical drops to your left-a place for slow and careful going-but the views of Cerro Hermoso make it all worthwhile. In 45 minutes you reach a dip in the ridge line, from where you continue to descend steeply east for 15 minutes, to a prominent east-west saddle. This is an important (but unmarked) crossroads. One route comes up from the southwest, crosses the saddle, and descends to the northeast into the flecha-filled valley of the upper Río Topo. The route you came along drops from the northwest, then climbs to the east. Here you can choose to get closer to Cerro Hermoso and perhaps climb it-a worthwhile detour in good weather-or you can continue out toward El Triunfo.

    To approach Cerro Hermoso, climb east very steeply from the saddle. You will have great views of the upper Río Verde below, on your right. In 30 minutes you will reach a small flat area. Continuing further up and east for another 5 minutes, you reach a larger flat area, better for camping, with a small clear spring. Our route however, continues climbing gently to the north from the first flat area. It gradually turns east and in 10 minutes takes to a ridge line. Follow this ridge line east, steadily uphill, with outstanding views north to the immense valley of the upper Río Topo. In 30 minutes, you will reach a few small flat boggy spots suitable for camping, with very small springs for water.

    Here you leave the ridge line and descend gently east for 10 minutes, along the north flank of the ridge, before climbing again, still headed east along the north flank of the ridge. In a further 10 minutes you pass below an enormous outcrop of jet-black rock on your right, impressive evidence of tectonic uplifting in the Llanganates. Climb more steeply for 20 minutes, across a few small gullies, to reach a broad saddle northeast of the point marked 4215 meters (13,829 feet) on the IGM map. There are grand views from the saddle, up to Cerro Hermoso, towering 500 meters (1650 feet) above, and down to Laguna El Cable, nestled amid rock cliffs 300 meters (1000 feet) below. This lake is also known as Laguna Brunner, so named for a Swiss treasure hunter who spent many years in this area; the remains of his shelters are still found by the lake on its southwest shore. (The authors did not descend to the lake and cannot confirm whether the shelters can be reached from this saddle.) In good weather you can continue climbing from the saddle toward the summit; see Ecuador: A Climbing Guide by Yossi Brain.

    To continue toward El Triunfo from the east-west crossroads saddle mentioned earlier, descend south along any of a number of small trails. These converge at a little grove of polylepis trees, amid high flechas and boggy ground, reached in 20 minutes. Here a larger trail runs east-west; it was flagged with yellow tape in November 2001, but it is not well defined throughout its length. Although we refer to fragments of this trail in the following description, you should be aware that navigation is still very challenging along this entire route.

    To the east the trail crosses the boggy valley and appears to continue up toward Laguna El Cable. (The authors did not take this route.) To the west, it climbs out of the valley and turns southwest, where it meets other small trails coming down from the saddle. In order to continue, it is important to find the larger trail. Once on the trail, follow it southwest, up to the crest of a low ridge, it takes about 15 minutes. The views back to Cerro Hermoso and the waterfall formed by the outflow of Laguna El Cable, as well as the summits of Tungurahua and El Altar to the south, are very nice.

    There is a little flat bog at the top of the ridge, skirt it on the right and continue southwest undulating over low ridges and valleys; make sure to maintain this southwest course and do not drop too far into the valleys. In 30 minutes, you will reach a larger bog, once again skirt it on the right, at the base of some polylepis trees. From here the trail climbs southwest through thicker vegetation, there are sigses (sword grass) and other tall grasses, which make the going more difficult. In 30 minutes you will reach a flat area on the ridge top. Continue on the trail to cross the ridge and then descend southwest, dropping steadily along a broad valley. In 45 minutes you will cross a small stream on your left, from where the descent southwest continues into the valley of the upper Río Verde Grande. You cross the upper reaches of this important river 1 hour after the stream, at 3600 meters (11,800 feet) above sea level. At the crossing is a pretty camping spot, sadly strewn with trash. To the west you can see a nice waterfall-another tributary of the Río Verde Grande.

    After crossing the river, head southwest along the left edge of the boggy plain, then through flechas. In 10 minutes, you will reach the base of the waterfall mentioned above. Cross its two branches and climb steeply west through sword grass and some trees. In 45 minutes, the ground levels off and the trail veers southwest once again, through open grassy areas, below patches of forest. To the east are views of Cerro Hermoso; with a little imagination, it looks like a sleeping woman’s silhouette from this angle. In 40 minutes, you will reach a small patch of very pretty scrub forest, and after going through it, emerge at a boggy plain, above an unnamed pond. The views of Cerro Hermoso reflected in the pond are magnificent. Because of the wet ground and fragile vegetation, however, this area is not suitable for camping. If you leave the trail to take pictures, stay on paths already made by others, and take the opportunity to admire the delicate páramo flora.

    Continue skirting the bog on its right side. Then follow trail fragments to climb west, at times steeply, through dense but pretty scrub. At a second bog, stay again to the right. In 30 minutes, you will reach a pass at 3900 meters (12,800 feet). There are nice views west to the valley of the Río Muyo, back east to the valley of the Río Verde Grande, and a parting glimpse of the Cerro Hermoso massif beyond. Descend southwest from the pass for 15 minutes to a large flat area, where the trail turns west to climb the side of a low hill with camping possibilities and a small spring.

    From the spring, continue west, gently climbing several low hills and successively dropping to boggy plains, where the trail is easily lost. Be sure to maintain your course west and south; do not drop north into the drainage of a tributary of the Río Muyo. In 45 minutes you will reach a shallow pond amid more bog where there is another trashed camping area. (This pond, known by some locals as Laguna Negra, is not shown in the IGM maps.) Climbing west from the pond for 10 minutes, you reach another camping area on drier ground. From this site, climb southwest to the summit of the hill labeled 3746 meters (12,291 feet) on the IGM map, reached in 10 minutes. Here you at last bid farewell to the páramo, and begin to descend west through thick scrub, which gradually becomes taller forest. Despite the at times steep grade, the trail here is good. It drops along the ridge line clad in lovely cloud forest; the tall trees are thick with moss and epiphytes, the espadaña grass stands taller than you on the sides of the trail, and flocks of birds accompany you along your way.

    One hour down from point 3764, you reach a very small flat spot, where one tent can be pitched in an emergency, but there is no water. From here the trail descends more steeply, over increasingly rocky terrain, making the going more difficult. The forest also deteriorates to secondary growth, with vines and nettles along the trail. In another hour, you will emerge at a small stream; cross it to reach a spot suitable for camping. From here the trail follows the small watercourse downstream and crosses it again, just before it empties into the Río Muyo, 10 minutes ahead.

    You have at last reached the valley floor and might think that the most difficult parts of the trek are behind you, but this is not the case. The trail follows the east shore of the Río Muyo down river to the southwest. It crosses several less-then-stable landslides which require great caution; along them, the path may be lost. At times the trail descends to the rocky shore and, when the water level is low, the route continues in the river itself. From the confluence of the stream mentioned above with the Río Muyo, to Quebrada de los Ranchos, takes 4 hours of painstaking travel. Here at last the trail improves a little, there are fewer landslides and less walking in the river. You will reach the next large tributary, Quebrada Tres Cruces, in 2 hours. From Quebrada Tres Cruces the trail gradually widens to a muddy unpaved road. Follow it for 2 hours to the village of El Triunfo.

    There are no hotels in El Triunfo, but you can ask for permission to stay at the school house. A couple of small shops sell basic provisions.

    Getting back: One daily bus passes El Triunfo around dawn. Ask in town for the exact schedule, it varies with the day of the week. From El Triunfo to Baños is 22 kilometers (14 miles), 1 hour, and costs $0.75. There are also pickup trucks which do the trip in the afternoon; same price per person. At other times, you can hire a private pickup in El Triunfo to take you to Baños for about $10 (Klever Reyes is one driver).


  54. A Note About Safety

    Safety is an important concern in all outdoor activities. No guidebook can alert you to every hazard or anticipate the limitations of every reader. Therefore, the description of roads, trails, routes, and natural features in this book or this website are not representations that a particular place or excursion will be safe for your party. When you follow any of the routes described here, you assume responsibility for your own safety. Under normal conditions, such excursions require the usual attention to traffic, road and trail conditions, weather, terrain, the capabilities of your party, and other factors. Keeping informed on current conditions and exercising common sense are the keys to a safe, enjoyable outing.

    Political conditions may add to the risks of travel in Ecuador in ways that this book and website cannot predict. When you travel, you assume this risk, and should keep informed of political developments that may make safe travel difficult or impossible.

  55. Was trying to load some foto’s. It won’t allow. Googled Cerro Hermoso. Lots of unfo there. The one trek they took was really good wx the whole way. Not any rain. Said it was strange for the area. Must be global Warming ????

  56. Treasure of the Llanganatis
    The Treasure of the Llanganatis is compromised of a large amount of gold as well as other treasures that are supposedly hidden within the Llanganatis mountain range of Ecuador. They were said to have been hidden by the Inca general Rumiñahui.

    Francisco Pizarro was the founder of a small town called San Miguel de Piura in 1532. He then began the Inca Empire and captured the Inca Atahualpa at Cajamarca later that year. This was a region of deep Spanish descent and the Spaniards worshipped gold. Atahualpa knew this and vowed to fill an entire room with gold if he would be greed and although Pizarro made an agreement to this is more than likely than h never intended to go along with this deal. Before the promise could be filled, Pizarro had such a strong distrust for Atahualpa because of his strong influence over the other Inca warriors that he had him killed in 1533.

    Inca general Rumiñahui was in route with some 750 tons of gold to pay a ransom for the release of Atahualpa when he was told that he had been murdered. He quickly made his return to Ecuador but it is said that he had the treasure brought up to the Llanganatis mountain range and buried. The location of the treasure was never revealed even after Rumiñahui was captured and tortured by the Spanish.

    Many have searched for this treasure but none have yet found it. Many also believe that there is a curse on this treasure. Atahualpa was an uncrowned chief and Rumiñahui was his half brother. It is said that Rumiñahui was so mad that he hid the gold in the Cerros Llanganatis which is three peaks northeast of Baños. Ironically, this place is famous for being dark, desolate and wet for most of the year and it is plagued with cold rains and frigid mists consistently making the recovery of the Treasure of the Llanganatis extremely difficult.

  57. Here’s a good little trek. But I doubt if the Ranger is going to search for Treasures. But a way of getting the lay of the land.

    You are here: Home South America Extreme Adventure Llanganati
    South America Extreme Adventure Tours
    Llanganati for treasure seekers- 8 Days

    important informationDeparture Day: Upon Request
    Price for 8 days:USD 1,800 .-

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    On November 16th in 1532 Franciso Pizarro penetrated into the Inca-Empire and wanted the rich lands that were populated by the Incas. Pizarro threw Atahualpa into prison and Atahualpa promised him to fill his cell up with gold if he released him. He stretched out his arm and indicated a height of two meters. Pizarro took a piece of chalk and marked the height on the wall. In June the cell was already filled up with two-thirds of the gold. Gold was brought from all parts of the Inca-empire and some Indios even transported the gold on their backs. The Spanish people melted all valuable goods, in order to make handy ingots. It is estimated that the room eventually contained today’s monetary equivalent of over half a billion USD.

    In July 1533 Atahualpa was put through a sham trial and charged with crimes such as incest (it was Inca tradition to marry ones sister), polygamy, the worship of false gods and crimes against the king. He was executed by strangulation on August the 29th in 1533 and the Inca Empire effectively came to an end. The Spanish did not count on the indignation of the Inca people and actually expected the precious metals to continue pouring in. A wave of hate spread over the empire and people were saying: “Whisk the son of the sun!” – “no more gold for the murderers!” Instructions were given not to bring the treasures anymore to the prison and so gold-loaded caravans, which were on their way, were called back. Therfore immeasurable treasures disappeared into the Sierra and the darkness of the jungle. The Inca scoffed the Spanish people and were saying: “You got the grain and lost a wheat field.”

    A Spanish soldier, Juan de Valverde, who had served under Pizarro, remained in the area where he married a local Indian girl. He returned to Spain and on his deathbed he asked that the priest should acquit him of all sins and to pay for them with wealth. The father of his bride was a Kazike, an Indian chief, who had hidden 70,000 loads of gold, silver and noble stones after the infamous murder of Atahualpas. Each treasure seeker knows of Valverde and the legend that he created of Llanganati.

    For a more recent account, you can look to the famous English researcher and botanist Richard Spruce. He undertook an expedition in the Amazon area that began in 1849 and ended in 1864. He had heard many stories from the natives of the fantastic treasures that were hidden in the Llanganati Mountains. During a civil war Richard Spruce was held at a house in Baños, near Ambato. Here he passed the time by looking through the attic where he found a collection of work by a deceased Spanish explorer and botanist. The notes were badly destroyed by insects but he found maps of the Llanganati Mountains and accounts of several expeditions, which the Spanish researcher had undertaken in the Llanganati Mountains. He finally found documentation in a file in Latacunga containing statements from King Phillip II of Spain giving royal instruction to follow the stories of Juan de Valverde and explore the Llanganati mountain region in search of the Inca treasures. It had been written on the 14th of August 1827 and began as follows:

    A guiding letter left by Juan de Valverde in Spain where death overtook him speaks of his trips to the Llanganati Mountains which he would frequently visit and return with a large quantity of gold. Royal instruction requests the landlords of Latacunga and Ambato to look for these treasures and for the guiding letter to be kept in a file in the city of Latacunga.

    The guiding letter reads…
    On arrival in Pillaro, travel up beyond the Hacienda La Moya until you are on the summit of Mount Guapa, with your back towards Ambato. On a beautiful day you will detect the three mountains of the Llanganati visible to the east. These form a triangle and at the end of the slopes there is a lake that has been created by human hand. In this lake, the old people threw their gold in which was originally intended for Inca ransom. But after they had heard of the death of Atahualpa they threw the gold in there. From the same point on Mount Guapa you will see a forest where a village of Sangurimas (people of bloodshed) stands out and further on people called Flechas (people of arrows). These are the groups of people on whom you must depend. They are archery-wise and have knowledge of the land and know where things are likely to be situated.

    Head from Guapa in the direction of these people and after you have walked a fair bit you will pass some farms and get to a broad hillock. Cross here to the other side and you will come to a forest of Jocu (a high growing reed), growing on a slope to the left. Pass through this forest and you arrive at two small seas, known as the Anteojos’ (the spectacles). They have this name due to the nose shaped island in-between them. From this place you will once again be able to see the mountains of Llanganati, with the lake on the left. In the centre of the mountains there is a valley. Here you must leave the horses behind, as they can travel no further from this point. Continue in this direction to the shore of the dark lake, Yana Cocha. The land slopes away into a ravine where a waterfall runs down. Here you will discover a bridge built of tree stumps. If the bridge is no longer there then another will have to be built to pass the waterfall. Follow the path along until you reach a hut, or the remainder of it. Here is a good place for shelter for the evening.

    In the morning continue along the path and you will come to a deep ravine where there is a sturdy bridge to pass to the other side. On this side it is possible to gather more stock for the remainder of the journey. You will recognize this site as the ground is littered with broken glass and tableware left by previous visitors and the Indios, who stop here to have a break. Continue in the same direction and you will see a mountain, a unique one covered with Margasitas (pyrite or fools gold). Follow a small valley where there are reeds used for building Indio huts grown in abundance. This is the passage of the Incas and it is the only way through. The mountain should be on your left. Continue this way to a small level on which a Pajonal (alm) is situated and two hills ahead of you. Pass through these for a while and you will reach the waterfall that cascades from the first of the Llanganati slopes. The waterfall flows into a small muddy lagoon. In this mud is a lot of gold and you can gather it by just putting your hands in. This will bring out a pure gold rain. Pass over the waterfall and over many herb-covered rocks. There is now a walk to the third mountain, which is situated at the foot of the lake. This lake contains an unknown amount of treasures of the old Indios, who formed the lake with their own hands in this beautiful valley.’

    Richard Spruce compared the words of Valverdes with a detailed map amongst the notes in the house near Ambato. He found out that the journey was correct and that all of the sites were in existence and that the Moya Hacienda was still there. He also noted that there was now a cross dedicated to the memory of Padre Longo, the leader of the first expedition to the site under the instruction of King Phillip II. The journey had been aborted on his death. Spruce also stated that the entire distance of the trek could not amount to more than 140 to 160 kilometers and would not be too much of a difficult walk. On his return to England, Spruce submitted his report to The Royal Geographic Society Of London and it was published in 1908 just before his death. This led to a great amount of new searches of the Inca treasures of Atahualpa. A group of naval officers found a cave loaded with gold that was too much to carry even with a hundred men. This journey was not without problems as several men were lost to pneumonia and a group returning from England for a second attempt died under mysterious circumstances.

    This expedition is organized around your own desires and lasts for 8 days. It is truly your own adventure. We will gladly assist you in the planning of daily activities during the expedition, for reaching the target and the best possible sites for setting up camps. We will make sure that everything is organized before you come to Ecuador. The expeditions are led by an experienced ranger with 10 years experience of the Llanganati. The escort crew consists of experienced carriers and a route cook.

    Prices 2011:
    Starting from USD 1,800.- per person
    Extra day USD 250.- per person
    Minimum 4 people

    In the price included:
    All transfers (4WD), expedition according to program, accommodation in 2-Person expedition tents, carrier, tableware, cook, full food supply, national park fee, first aid kit, satellite telephone in case of emergency.

    Not included in the price:
    International flight, accommodation and meals in Quito, personal equipment, beverages, International flight airport tax (USD 43.- per person). Personal expenses, tips, travel insurance.


  58. Just finished the book, Sweat of the Sun, Tears of the Moon. Was disappointed with the ending. This guy Peter Lourie go’s on & on about how transformed he is about Treasure Hunting a & once he gets there on the Mt. He do’s no Searching around looking for Treasure. If your going to go, better to do some searching and admit not finding anything than not even search. Like we are supposed to believe the part about Blake & Chapman find the Cave. Then before entering the Cave they send back the Porters to Pillaro. Thats gotta be Hogwash. Who would do that? There’s also conflicting stories. Is it in a Cave, or thrown in a Lake? In the threads I posted above it mentions a Park Ranger. I’ve heard that the Ecuadorian Govt says you are not supposed to go into the park without a ranger. Some Gringo died there. But for a price they will take you right there. Seems to me if they are willing to do that for a buck, then they know something that we don’t. Says in the book you cross a spot where you just put your hand down in the sand along a stream and can pick up a handfull filled with coarse Gold.(Tell the Ranger that you want to camp there a day or two) Why not then take a couple classifyers and 2 buckets with you. Have the porters haul them in for you. Classify enough Gold to pay for the Trip. Leave the equipment there. Pick it up on the way back out? Of course keep the couple ounces of Gold in your pockets.Unless the Ranger, or Ecuador says you cannot do that. Which very well might be the case. But the spot is only half way there. Not too hard to reach, I believe. At least that way. If you don’t find the Big Treasure, you got your gig paid for.

  59. There is a loneliness in the Llanganaties that takes hold of you and often those suffer so much hardship to get in that once there the place overwhelmess them. So they take a few photos and then leave. I am one of the few who ever lived alone in the Llanganaties and during this time I searched extensively in often very dangerous places, scaling cliffs that were hundres of feet high, (After first learning extensive rock climging skills), and I went into the valley of the caverns, which I’m very surprised that no one has ever mentioned. Hanging from over 400 foot of rope, I returned two years later to raft out a hollow mountain. for the cavern is filled with seemingly bottomless water, that exits who knows where? This valley of the caverns is at about a thirteen thousand foot altitude. If you look down on it from a higher altitude, you will see an excellent , but clear, ancient face looking back at you. I had thought perhaps the treasure was there, but the Incas would probably lose most of it if they ever put it in there.
    The Valverde Directo is difficult to follow and no one has found gold along its path, at least not in the quantity described by Valverde. Many of his discriptions are vague. If the treasure were discovered one would make a fortune from the pictures and discovery, especially if they set up a film that could be later be expanded into a box-office hit. Book rights etc, would bring in more than enough money, and a finder’s fee might be included. Until it is found, this is all premonition. And in such a place so large with so many hiding spots where do you look? I won’t go there, but it’s easy to say where not to go; after years of searching. One of the most important things is to study the incas, their history, and way of life, especially religious beliefs, and also what is known about what happened during the time that the treasure was hidden: then figure out what you believe based on all of this. It’s also important to have all the search material of those who went before you, including much that was never published (only through luck can one get this), and things known by only a very few select thorough hunters. Then…you have a chance. You also have to know the right people to take you in and being in command, you tell them what to do and where to go…it may take many trips to get to this spot, and one must be patient to never give up…then you have a chance. Not to mention having a lot of money to back up all of your numerous expeditions. Also, having more goals than just finding the treasure leaves you never disappointed. Anbother thing is that you need excellent health and that you can endure much pain and trial. Only then will you thoroughly search out the Llanganaties.

  60. interesting topic Llanganates, I grew up with the history of the Incas and the hidden treasure, my grandfather, Professor Swiss German archaeologist, never left the treasure hunt, even when I remove sick and died on June 4, 1988, leaving as a legacy, the most important documents and their true stories and fantastic, with very precise and detailed descriptions of their trips generally lasted 6 months, the treasure found there and probably later, who should find, perhaps not the time yet, but what is certain is that in the gaps not, that is true, never be touched water, they saw the sun like a wonderful thing and the treasure was not an offering to the Sun, was paying a rescue

  61. Nick,
    If it was found and needs to be dug up then no estimation of its value could possibly be made. The quality, amount, and artistic value, if any, would be entirely unknown. And no one would wait to do the digging. For a chunk of gold I’d dig in any weather. Every comment made shows itself for what it is. Someone seeking attention, because other than that he’s got nothing.

  62. Jim, Yea, just as I thought. He probably Googled it. Said they found some in a basement in Spain. If the Big Daddy was found it would be all over the NEWS. Until then Happy Hunting !! The Load is still out there. Yea Baby !!

  63. If there is any treasure found, it will not be in the news or on a forum such as this one. The finders, if they are professional treasure hunters, will no doubt only concern themselves with ‘removing’ all that they have discovered – without being detected or noticed. Any valuable artefact from the pre-columbian period, is probably worth 10-15 times its gold / silver / mineral value, due to its artistic content. The chances are that it would be unlikely to be Incan, and more likely to be scyri / mochica / tolita / chimu in origin. The Incas had not been in the area long and relied on the artistic endeavours of the local tradesmen.

    People, there are still considerable amounts of undiscovered treasures in the area but you need to know your stuff, and never labour under the illusion that you are the ‘special one’ who can simply go somewhere and find it.

    It is a hard, stressful, expensive, disappointing, vicious, dangerous, time-consuming and unrewarding business for most that try to dabble in it. BUT. For some (less than 1-2%), they do get to hold, feel, see and eventually sell precious objects for enormous amounts of money. It is a suspicious and distrustful world to enter, which operates on the periphery and is not one for novices.

    There has been many amateurs who have read about treasure and believed that it is a simple way to make a fortune, only to end up out of pocket with nothing to show for their efforts. So many Europeans and North Americans (with the odd east Asian), have known about the stories circulating, and have suddenly decided to make a trip to get themselves famous. The half-baked adventurers have ended up dis-illusioned within days, unable to understand or comprehend the stamina needed for such arduous lifestyles. The only people getting rich quick, are those that outfit the visitors or guide them. I’m not spoiling anyone’s party, but trying to save you time and money by telling you what is involved.

    Keep The Faith.

  64. Hallo Albert
    Would you please tell us all where you got the information from, that the main cache have been found?
    And who found it?
    Or are you just joking?
    That is not nice.
    Perhaps even Valverde,if he existed made a joke.
    Best regards from germany
    First trip to the llanganates with 18 in 1983.

  65. Plan your search ahead of time. anybody interested in purchasing maps of the area?
    1) The 15 digital maps 1:50000 covered in the Atanasio Guzman map
    for $500
    2) The 12 paper maps 1:50000 covered in the Atanasio Guzman map for $100
    3) The 4 digital maps 1:50000 of the area covered in Valverde’s Derrotero. $100
    4) the 4 paper maps 1:50000 of the area covered in Valverde’s Derrotero $ 50
    Also available track logs of the area by request for any brand of GPS or any format required

  66. haha i was joking, do you think people can find it? maby in 100years.. if i know where it was i wouldnt sit here home in (Japan) I would be searching in a country in south america…but which? i dont know..:(

  67. One old Prospector in Chicken,Alaska told me this. Never believe anything you hear, or read. And only 1/3 of what you actually see. The rest is Hogwash.!!

  68. Hallo Albert
    I started the comments on this site, not mine, on 4 of June 2009 to have an international discussion board for serious treasure hunters.
    Your joke is far under limit.
    And I dislike the travel agencies who offer holidays in the llangantes only to make money, too.

  69. It is so enteresting to see how so many think they have it all figured out and their ideas are the right ones, when reality usually differs. But, at the same time I really enjoy seeing where such different views expose those thinking brains out their that believe they are so right! I am indeed that self-seeking adventurer that “alone” believed he might possibly be that special one! Indeed, I have thrown out money like it was leaves in the wind. But I have shown more for it than in anything else that I have done in my life. For, I am a man who can find satifaction, even where there is none…… Llanaganatis….Here I come!!!!!
    I have a question for all of you. What do you think I would do it I found it? Only a very few of you will actually “understand” this question. (This treasure belongs to all of Ecuador; every person equally.)

  70. Hello troopers.

    Still all thinking, wondering and contemplating???

    What was, what is and what could possibly be???

    Right, enough is enough.

    This one is for all you armchair sitting in front of your computer treasure hunters, who will never set foot on a mountain, touch an item made from pre-columbian gold or feel the true thrill of the adventurer.

    The ‘Treasure of the Llanganatis’ was actually part discovered by Catuna the native stone mason – for proof look at the San Francisco church in Quito. His records have been searched, logged and verified. It was said that this person’s father was a soldier in Ruminuhui’s army that fled Quito with the treasure prior to Benalcazar and the other conquistadores arriving there from Cajamarca where they had heinously murdered Atahualpa.

    This Catuna was a young boy at the time who was left horribly disfigured due to the fire that engulfed Quito after Ruminhui had left, and his father was killed in the ensuing fighting and chaos. A spaniard who settled in Quito after the conquest felt sorry for the young orphan and adopted him. The boy grew fond of the spaniard and brought him small amounts of the treasure from where it had been secreted. In order to stay on the right side of the authorities he also made generous donations to the Franciscan monks and to his church. They helped him knowing that it was to their mutual benefit to keep this ‘deal’ private.

    Like I said, look for the proof. The stonemason was following in his father’s footsteps and the father had been one of those that not only helped build and furnish the buildings of the incas, but was also given the job of stripping them of all the treasure that was going to form Atahualpa’s infamous ransom.

    The serious ones amongst us will no doubt be aware of this. Not of course the amateurs.

    There’s more.

    At the end of the 19th century there was a European gentleman-adventurer who is the only one to have actually discovered any real treasure in the area known as the Llanganatis. His is the only expedition to have come out of the mountains with something real to show for their efforts.

    BUT. Always keep this in mind – he did not rely on the Valverde Derrotero or the Guzman map. He took the only practical and serious approach a wise and knowledgable person would. That is why he succeeded whereas so many others have failed miserably. Want to know more???

    Of course you do.

    His name was Paul Thur de Koos. Look up your maps troopers – there is a lake named after him where he found his treasure. Again it has been proved that he lived, went to the mountains, and most importantly, brought out treasure that was auctioned in Europe to raise large amounts of money. The records are all there if you look hard enough. The internet is vast but not accurate and no substitute for real, true and on the spot research.

    That is the difference between ‘us’ and ‘them’.

    Of all the comments from all of the discussions, only TR comes across as a true treasure hunter with any substance and endurance.

    One point I would like to make is that, the actual ‘treasure’ is not 750 tons, or even remotely close to it. Don’t fall for everthing that you read. One person says it, and another repeats it like the truth without knowing the facts, until it is then accepted as the norm.

    Actually, I would like to make another point. Please do not believe the utter nonsense about it being the treasure for ‘all of Ecuador and its people’. Such rubbish is only espoused by those that have never come within a thousand miles of real treasure. It has been seen what ‘gold fever’ does to even the most rational, honest, dependable and forthright person going.

    The Llanganatis story will not go away because there is no way to disprove it. Even the smallest of threads will be grasped by those wanting to believe it or not to.

    Hope I have not come across as too imposing or demanding – just wish to give all you troopers some elements of the reality.

    Remember people, there is huge amounts buried and secreted, but it is simply not a case of turning up to the party to take the prom queen home. The real hard work is done in going through dusty archives for weeks and months, reading obscure reports and maps, checking satellite data and geographical infromation. Then and only then, will you come even remotely near any so-called treasure.

    In this day and age how many of us have the time, resources, inclination, concentration and fortification for such demanding ventures???

    Very very few of us. I can tell you that 99.9% fall by the wayside at the first obstacle or setback.

    TR, you and I have been in touch before, good luck and best wishes to you and your Deutschland friends in your campaign.

    Can I interest you in an equally enthralling venture not in the Llanganatis???

  71. Hey Nick,

    Fancy a bit of real treasure hunting???

    Wish to find something that others have sought and lusted after for nearly 200 years???

    Got 2 months per year, thousands of dollars, resourcefulness to country hop and the ability to question your own sanity at times, to spare???

    If yes, then you are able to take part in the venture.

    The truth of the matter, is even with all the above done, there is still no guarantee that you will have a single cent to show for all your hard work.

    This whole shady and nefarious business destroys and breaks 99% of the people who take part. The other 1% make megabucks.

    Of course, before even getting a whiff of any gold,silver or precious stones, there are innumerable obstacles to overcome. Some become insurmountable and result in years of hard work and research going down the toilet.

    The trove that I’m considering is based around central America and was orginally from South America. There is shed loads of work to do in order to get anywhere near it.

    Ever come across Latin American bureacracy???
    Anger, frustration, despair and indifference do not even begin to decribe it.

    Still interested fella???

    It is looking like a 5 – 8 year project. The added hurdles are obtaining accurate information, permission to dig the sites, dealing with cutthroats who would quite happily cut you into pieces for a single doubloon and, finally, if the tesoro is there, ensuring that there will not be a legal battle over its ownership.

  72. Interesting to note that, apart from Spruce, there are NO known sources for ANY of the Llanganate legends.

  73. @ Bertha,

    Your father wouldn’t happen to be Eugene K. Brunner by any chance? In the 1970’s my father Clinton Provost took part in 3 expeditions in the Llanganates to acquire this treasure. Each trip was more disastrous as I remember it and the third trip almost cost him his life as he caught hepatitis and spent six weeks in a missionary hospital recovering after being carried down a mountainside strapped to a pole, the whole time out of radio contact with base camp. I was 14 at the time, and remember wondering whether my Dad was alive or dead until we finally got word via letter that he had survived. He dived in the lake that many describe here and found nothing. Undaunted after 3 attempts, he kept pursuing funding for another expedition, and eventually used a psychic with a divining rod to help locate the treasure on a map of Ecuador. I don’t believe in that sort of stuff, but he used him on 3 separate occasions to find drowning victims in Lake Lanier and he was able to find them within a couple of hours after two weeks on unsuccessful searching by my Dad. According to J.C. Gazaway, the “Psychic” the mother lode was not in the Llanganates, but nearer Peru. He used a pencil as a divining rod, then described 5 tunnels into the mountain, with one on the left hand side particularly.
    My dad pretended to be a movie producer scouting out a location for a film, and hired two locals for a guided trip and asked them about caves on that side of the mountain. The guides told him no caves on that side of the mountain, and he asked them to humor him and followed J.C.’s direction and found a sealed off cave, and bones of an Indian dating back to the time of Pizarro. A partial skull with teeth, actually in front of a apparently sealed off cave. He rounded up financing and scheduled another expedition, with camera crews at the new location, but was diagnosed with melanoma and died 9 months later.
    Was Brunner, your Dad? I would like to talk more if he was. I met him once in 1979-1980
    , and a very likable guy.

  74. cuando hay contacto con la naturaleza ,los sentidos se activan , Eugene o Eugenio conocido como Gino, fue mi abuelo, el papá de mi mamá, todas las expediciones tenian su riesgo pero valian la pena, mi abuelo tenia muy buen olfato para estos temas , era bien conocido ,Dios siempre guio sus pasos y el se lo agradecia ,en realidad era una muy buena persona muy carismatica y completamente psíquica, lo llamaban el gringo loco, me pregunto si su padre durante las expediciones le hablo de los indios que eran altos alto rubios y con ojos bien claros ? veo que le hablaron de los túneles conectados el uno al otro, la selva ,el bosque, sobre todo la cueva de los Tayos, traen muchas historias, pero también verdades que se han traducido en muchas bueno conocer a personas como usted que tuvieron la oportunidad de compartir con los verdaderos exploradores

  75. Makes sense for the treasure to be nearer to Peru. According to the chronicles most of the Inca’s ransom came from Cuzco and Pachacamac, and had belonged to Huascar; the Inca in fact gave specific instructions that it was NOT to be brought from his own resources, which included the territory of modern-day Ecuador. The chronicles also tell of loads not being hidden, but simply dumped by the wayside when the indians heard of the Inca’s death. This would have taken place in present day Peru, NOT in Ecuador. Quito was under the control of Ruminahui and the chances of Ruminahui sending treasure to Cajamarca? Low to zero. The Ecuador treasure, is completely different – is NOT about a single load going to Cajamarca, it is about all the treasure of Quito and Cuenca, that did NOT go to Cajamarca, was hidden by old Rumipants, and remains hidden to this day. It is much, much bigger than just part of the Inca’s ransom. Is it in the Llanganatis? Who knows, but that is very close to where Ruminahui himself ended up. The Valverde character or his very kind father-in-law may have confused Ransom treasure with Quito treasure. The derrotero is not a guide to the Inca treasure anyway – it is a guide to a place that is good for panning for gold that JUST HAPPENS to be near a lake that legend said was used to hide treasure. Nothing in the guide indicates that Valverde or anyone else ever SAW any Inca treasure, they just heard about it, same as you have. There are undoubtedly huge amounts of hidden Inca treasure in Ecuador, and one day it will be discovered, but I am not sure Valverde will help.
    Saludos, Curi

  76. Not so sure of the Valverde theory. But one thing. Like the books say. The stream by the lake that is loaded with Gold pickers in the sand. I say take a highbanker there and start working the area. Might even come home with a 1/2 lb of Gold.

  77. Sorry fella, the Spanish got very little from Pachacamac and that is why Pizarro sent Benalcazar to visit the site. He reported that most of the treasure had been secreted away by the priests who had ben informed of his approach. You are right, much was simply left on the roads as order broke down and the machinery of governance was left to flounder.

    However, the natives soon realised what the vicious Spaniards were after with their greed filled hearts and minds, and therefore resolved to protect and hide what they wanted most – TREASURE!!!

    ‘Rumipants’ (I just like) had the run of Quito for nearly a year and a half, and no doubt he used the time wisely to store / hide the gold and silver in hard to reach places, as he most definately knew the game was up.

    The Llanganatis keeps getting mentioned with the ‘Ransom’ because of this Valverde Derrotero. It states ‘there is a lake where the ancients threw their treasures on hearing of the death of the Inca’. Old ‘Rumipants’ knew that the best way to strike back at the filthy thieving murdering Spanish would be to conceal what they desired most.

    You are right in that huge amounts is still where it was left all those years ago. But much has also been discovered and it will become more and more difficult to prove and find as time passes on.

    The truth of the matter is Valverde, the Llanganatis, the derrotero, the treasure is all immaterial up until something big happens. Chances are that in amongst the slivers of information, nuggets of truth, factual evidence and downright bull****, there is a strong possibility that such a sort of event did take place and a lucy recipient will one day strike it very very rich. Of course as has been discussed many times, it may have already been discovered and there is nothing left (check the curious case of the Marquess de Lhosa). By the way, Paul Thur de Koos DID discover something in one of the Llanagantis lakes.

    Happy Hunting Peeps.

  78. Is there any placer gold to pan up there? if I decide to backpack in there. I was thinking of working my way from the west over to the multos and down. I heard the natives go in there and just pan, sound like might be something to do for the experience. Or is the chalupas better? I heard there is native placer gold in small amounts in some of the creeks……………??

  79. D Thomas: wise words! Re Pachacamac, the Incas only needed a tiny proportion of its treasure to help fill the ransom room so you are right, most was probably hidden away. My point is that the Quito treasures were/are untouched.

    Jay – yes there is placer gold in the rivers and you can pan it in the Oriente. However I would forget following the rivers over the mountains; it cannot be done without almost superhuman effort. Where it goes wrong is that you cannot live off the land and you cannot carry enough food, and when the river you are following runs through a sheer-sided canyon you are stuck, and if it meets another river on your side you are stuck in the ‘V’ . I know someone who tried and it almost cost him his life. But hey, this is the Life of Adventure after all!

  80. Curicocha,

    Yep – The Quito treasures are probably still laying where they were left all those centuries ago. Portions of it have most definately been discovered. There is too much evidence to point to the contrary. Some historians and academics fail to acknowledge that the Spaniards very rapidly infected the natives with their disease of goldlust, and this in turn meant that they knew what a valuable resource it was. It could be said that they already prized the gold enough – why else make it into beautiful objects and bury it with the deceased and use it for adornment??
    But it soon came to their attention to use it for monetary purposes and for material gain.
    Forget the Ransom Room amount, it was a stupendous amount, but they (the Spanish conquistadores) made more, much more in Cuzco. They also robbed amazing amounts from huacas, tolas and shrines. That is why they never achieved the full benefits of conquest. Instead of focusing on economy, resources, trade and commerce, they paid all their attention to robbing treasures and trying to discover EL Dorado which always existed around the next corner.

    For close to five centuries the pillaging has been going on, yet significant amounts still remain!!!

    Imagine being the ONE who makes the discovery of THE treasure…..

  81. With my team I can go anywhere in the Llanganaties in comfort and hardly push myself beyond what I am capable of. One can easily become an expert in any environement. Besides, if there isn’t an enormous amount of challenge, I have no interest in it whatsoever, and if there isn’t a monsterous amount of pain, then I don’t even enjoy it. And when I’m licked and my life is on the line I simply back down in retreat, (having lived simply through luck many times), and then try the same thing over again, hoping for the blessing of the spirit of what is trying to take my life. Because of this I will be unbeatable in the end and that time is fast approaching–and only then will you one day read the story of all. Yes, it is amazing and “there” just as “Ataualapua’s Revenge” says it is. Only it is all of Ecuador’s peoples’. The “unbelievable wealth” made by the discoverers will not compare to it at all or what monsterous unending wealth in tourism it will bring Ecuador, as well as pride!

  82. Alright James,

    Was wondering what you were up to. Glad to see you have found what you were looking for in the Llanganatis. May you forever leave your mark on the place, as you truly love it so much.

    Right, lets talk hard-headed business. Have been meeting with some ‘enthusiasts’ who have done some real sharp deals and have secured Tolita gold objects that would blow Inca artefacts out of the water. The beauty of the craftmanship and attention to detail, are something to behold. No wonder some are willing to pay such a high price for them.

    Have also heard and been shown an obscure text from the early part of the last century about an expedition for the ‘Inca Treasure’. This particular crew followed the Napo and Curaray well down into the Oriente, and may have even been in Peru. It was based on information found about how a particular tribe were loyal to the Scyris (Atahualpha’s maternal family) and were entrusted with taking it (the valuable items that is) to such a spot that would not be discovered for all time. Obviously nothing was revealed regarding what was found or not. It was authenticated by some Jesuit records which were in the possession of a prestigous college of history which was translating old records from Spanish into English.

    One thing I will say is, that to really admire true treasure, it is not found in museums (which have some truly awful copied items without any authenticity), but for the large part are in the private hands of collectors who are even more possessive and secretive in the current climate of suspicion. It is said that upto 60-70% of the most impressive looted pieces are owned in such a way. Wealth beyond imagination….

    Out of reach and sight for so so many……….

  83. Never mind the Llanganatis Treasure, there has been a $20-25 billion treasure trove discovered in a old temple in south India. There was priceless pieces of gold, emeralds, diamonds and rubies. There was life sized statues of pure gold of various gods from the Hindu religion. The treasure was buried in old vaults from the 16th century and was mostly from the erstwhile royal family who had secretly placed it there. Can you imagine being the ‘One’ to discover that ?!?!

  84. to Jay
    you do 5 pans and your fingers are purple it is bloody cold water all main rivers are dredged there are at least 10 campsites from 2001 until 2 years ago it is a cemetery for dredges you get gold you not spend 4600 bucks to get the dredge out with helicopter and by the way i dredged there to there are flash floods up to 10 meters high we lost a lot of friends there .believe me

  85. Yea, I know about the cold water. You use Miners gloves. Wherever you Prospect you need to have good equipment. Flash Floods can be dangerous. Forget about Tena. Where else would someone set up a Highbanker to get some good Gold? There has to be lots of spots besides Tena. Any thoughts. I have this book, Trekking in Ecuador, by Robt. & Daisy Kunstaetter. Lots of good trails. Just need some insight as to where? Thanks ahead. Nick

  86. you can buy the book valverdes gold from amazon for £2.8 in uk (inc postage)or EUR3.2 anybody interested in this venture should certainly give it a read

  87. oh and jim barnes it doesnt belong to all of Ecuador’s peoples at all it belongs to Ataualapua and he is probably buried with it so lay off the grave robbing

  88. Atahualpas grave was dug up and eventually everything was rediscovered by the Spanish and desecrated. He lost the Llanganati treasure when he became a puppet to those who executed him. He did help save the Llanaganati Treasure by sending all Spaniards east or shouthward. Dead people have no use of anything on this earth anyway, as when I die all I leave will be of no use to me as all you have will be of no use to you. If I ever find the treasure, which is extremely unlikely, you’d most likely have little if nothing to do with it, or what the Ecuadorian people decide to do with it.To add credence to your opinions…have you made several trips into the Llanganties and faced the tests of such a place; over and over again? Also, if i did find it, I wouldn’t even remember any of this. I would simply turn it over to the Ecuadorian People and let them deal with it.
    John! If you are really concerned please find it yourself so that you can give it to Auahualpa. “Ha, ha!”

  89. I belive you can get a finder’s fee from the Ecuadorin Govt? A pretty substantial amount if I’m not mistaken. No reason to get huffy about anything. Especially about something that’s written on the Internet. A Ole Prospector told me never believe anything your hear, about a quarter of what you read. And a half of what you actually see. Hum !!

  90. i am leaving august 22nd to the llanagnatis iheard its the worst time of the year to go… mine was more of a spiritual pursuit but the treasure story got my attention. if in my walkabout i came across such a find. i would find it easy to give a desecrated people back there culture,happy in fact to do it. any useful tips or must have items for my trek?

  91. im leaving in 2 weeks time to llanagnatis. treasure prospect seems exciting. im going on a 14 day expedition with numerous people who all have there own reasons for going. mine was testing my abilities in the harshest of circumstances. if icame across the treasure i would have no issues givin a lost and humbled people back there culture. iwould like to be reimbused the 4k idropped on this venture

  92. Dear friends if you have any assistance, our Tour Operator Sachayacu Explorer located in Pillaro city(the door of entrance to Llanganates Park), can help you with Professional/native guides, porters and all information about animals, plants, Valverde`s Route, etc.
    King Regards
    Juan Medina
    Manager/Naturalist Guide
    Tlf 087403376

  93. Natalie,
    Take rubber boots that are comfortable and go above the knee. Water-proof warm gloves that don’t fit too smugly. The rain and wind will freeze your fingers. Definately good suntan lotion for high altitudes, so you don’t get severely burnt. Lots of warm socks and extra sets of shirts and a warm undergarment. At night the chill will keep you from sleeping, (I put on three pair of socks and four shirts and one undergarment along with two pair of pants, to sleep like a baby), if possible a mat for yourself, to keep out the cold of the earth beneath your tent. Plastic bags to put your clothes into as if it rains everything in your pack will be drenched. A stick or something to steady you as you will be stepping higly on steep wet and muddy hillsides, constantly, and dropping down a foot or more on many steps, sometimes three feet at a step downwards. Candy to suck on and keep moisture in your mouth and a good water bottle; plenty of lakes and streams to constantly refill it. Never had much trouble with mosquitos at higher altitudes, and there’s no snakes there to worry about. Eat well and enjoy the 12 hour nights for plenty of rest. Hopefully the guides will be good cooks and know all about setting up the camp with rushes and then grass thickly down, followed by a sheet of plastic, then the tent. Plastic cover for the campfire area too. ( I do know that in the past some bad people have taken financial advantage of those who wished to enter the Llanganaties.
    Fortunately, I have excellant guides which I overpay, giving them $30.00 a day. They are very happy with that; also being the most experienced the Llanagnaties has to offer; however, I don’t advertise for them nor care to disclose their names. Take lots of pictures and enjoy the endless everchanging beauty of the Llanganaties. After the trip your wind and lungs will be a lot healthier and better. Your legs will be the strongest of your life. Make sure your pack fits well and doesn’t flop around, because of the rough ups and downs of the entire trail. Have fun and a spiritual and rewarding experience; one you’ll always treasure!

  94. Dear friends, please before the trip if you go to Llanganates Park you need obtain the permison to enter there from the Enviroment Ministery, becarefull whit ilegal tour operators and guides, please check their licence.
    Juan Medina
    Naturalist Guide

  95. Natalie, Jim, and Juan gave you some sure good info. Thats nice of you both. I like to see that on the internet. Someone helping somebody, instead of holding back everything they can. May you Natalie, have a good, safe trip. Maybe you might even find some artifacts. Keep ya fingers crossed. Wish I was going. Have a good One!!

  96. Natalie
    Some more advice i foregot. I go in with just three carriers and the four of us sleep in a tent. It’s best if at night you sleep with others, because of the cold. Put your day clothes, soaked wet with sweat, especially if you dressed too warm or had to put on raingear, in a plastic bag separate from your dry ones, using it as a pillow. When camp is set after travel, change into dry clothes and put your wet ones on the bushes to dry, if the sun is out or a wind and its not raining. They will partially dry for the next day. In the morning for travel, take out your damp clothes, sweat soaked from the day before and put them on. You’ll only be chilled for a few minutes, when your body heat will warm them back up. Due to an ll day trip, you will need to wear your travel clothes over and over again for travel and keep your night time clothes dry. Food, tent, and over 100 pounds of special gear for treasure hunting makes it necessary that we not take a dresser full of clothing, especially since every pound carried into the Llanganaties is well earned. So, each morning grin and bear with putting on cold damp clothes that stink, but you’ll be so used to the smell you won’t notice. If y9ou overdress, youo’ll regret it when climbing the sttep hills and fighting for oxygen in the thin air; you’ll overheat and be miserable, even if it’s cold out and raining, escpecially with raingear over your clothes, trapping in all of your body heat. And from moment to moment the sun can break and at the high altitude it’s suddenly stifiling hot and off goes the raingear. so take raingear that is easy to take off and is two peice, since the marsh grass might be wet, yet the sun could be burning down on you. So you’ll then keep on your raingear pants and not wear the top or hat. Also, very important, guard your eyes and don’t follow the person in front of you if there’s whipping marsh grass or brush, and even if you whip it yourself into your own face, guard your eyes. Always be careful and alert for hidden dangers, holes in the ground, loose rocks…etc. Take lots of waterproof bags, for your camera etc. That’s about it. The injuries and sufferings I’ve gone through have been enormous. An eye injury that took a year to heal, a weight loss and strength loss that took two months to recover from, luckily I’ve never had any serious injuries like broken bones or major cuts, falling on a sharp stick that punctures you like a long knife…etc. Many explorers in the Llanganaties have died as a result of these exact injuries. I’m not wanting to scare you, stay alert, if something doesn’t seem right, wait; think it through. If something bothers you express yourself. Remember, “you paid the guides to take you in! YOU ARE THE BOSS! Use your authority to stay as comfortable and control any situation as you choose!
    P.S. My favorite is ordering them to wait and also to go more slowly. The expedition is never a race.

  97. Dear friends Thanks good information Jim, anyway its not enought go only with porters/carriers. At present time is necesary obtain the permisson(ecuadorian travel agency/naturalist Guide from Llanganates Park) from the Enviroment Ministery to go enter the Llanganates Park, They are the owners of the park and they have a policeman enviroment control in the border of the park.

  98. @Felipe Please email me at bduverneuil (at) I am interested by few of your maps if the quality is better than the ones I already have.
    @Jim This is great information. Thanks a lot. I’ll add a satellite phone and a GPS to this list.
    @Juan Where are you supposed to get such document? How much do they charge for?

  99. Hello
    You can go to the Environmet Ministery Office in Ambato city(20 minutes from Pìllaro) you need talk with their director and with the Llanganates Park responsible Lcd. Alfonso Heredia. You need explain to Alfonso about your plan/how many days you go to visit the park, an after you need pay only 2 dolars per person at the guardianship.

  100. Wow, thanks guys, especially Jim, I am going for 2 and a half weeks, so any advice on cutting corner’s especially the weight of my pack would be wholly appreciated. I have goretex boots, but they only run up about mid calf, i was hoping shoving my rain pants around the outskirt of the boot and using a rubber band to help secure proofing would suffice, it’s hard to find a custom boot to fit around my calves, and leaving in a week makes me anxious to purchase anything online anymore. My team leader has worked to prepare our passage, including the costs to enter the park areas. I’m a certified emergency medical technician, so i can handle the bumps and scrapes, a friend of mine told me it’s 80% mental and 20% physical, got a trekking pole, so hopefully i’ll avoid the more dangerous potholes, the sucking candy seems a great idea and i’ll definitely pick those up before i head off, all my clothes are quick dry, or waterproofed, and i’m going with MRE’s and a few pro packs with snacks, thanks for the sound advice guys, great forum to find before i headed off. This is my first expedition and hope that it’s all i’m hoping it’s cracked up to be, you think i should invest in some fishing boots or something, or the goretex boots good enough with the idea i had sketched out above?

  101. natalie the goretex boots would be better with goretex gaiters search them on ebay if you are not sure how to fit the military grade ones try looking on youtube. rubber fishing boots would make your feet sweat and cause blisters, Arctic sleeping bag socks might be nice to have tho

  102. @ Natalie
    Do not worry too much about the equipment, you just cannot carry it all. Just get some cheap rubber boots – they work just fine in the mud and if you get blisters easily just wear two pairs of socks (a thick one and a thin one underneath). Waterproof clothes are fine, but when hiking in altitudes around 4000m.a.s.l. you will sweat enough to get you wet anyway. Quick dry clothes are good – I just hope you have a sunny day to dry them, a bit difficult in August – so always make sure you got a dry set left for the night (wrap your sleeping bag in two or better three plastic bags!!!). As you said yourself: it’s 80% mental and 20% physical and even the best equipment is only as good as its user, something easily prooved to be true when watching the local porters in their ponchos. Just one advice: take it easy, take your time to look around and enjoy this fascinating adventure in a unique place, but take care… it is a mysterious place and many people keep dreaming about it for years, a lot of them coming back again and again 🙂 Good luck!

  103. @ Juan
    Since when does a visitor need a special permission to enter any national park in Ecuador including the Llanganatis ? There is no need to register with the Ministerio del Medio Ambiente, you just register at the park control (for your own security in case you get lost…) and pay the US$ 2 admission fee per person. If you go with an agency and want to make sure it is serious just check with the ministry of tourism where any official travel agency has to be registered (

  104. Hello there! To all treasure hunters involve in finding the Inca Treasure in Ecuador. your prospect treasure can be easily found if you know the zone or the area. all you need is a good, accurate dowsing gadgets which can scan 300 tom 500 meters horizontally and hundred or more beneath ,and which could segregate to detect or search a particular item such as gold or silver or other jewelries,.

    Let me tell you this to all of out there , the most toughest , hardest to find and get are the Yamashita treasures here in the Philippines which were buried below water table about 60 to 100 ft. bellow. although some are buried shallow but still hard to find because most of the Japanese treasures were under the designed of their Marine Engineers. So if you really want to try your skill better have a little bit of practice and dry run finding one Japanese treasure here . then you will be confident enough to find what you were looking for in Ecuador. it is and sure that those who hid the said treasure of the Incas were not engineers so very easy to locate.

    my advice is for all of you inclined to search for that treasure is to form one group and have a dry run here in the Philippines before venturing there in Ecuador. or if you wish I could assist you there provided you assist me and my team for all the expenses going there including our stay for few days only. why few Days because i assure all of you i can find the exact location where it was hidden or buried including the how deep underneath. rather than trying to explore something which you are not sure of , only a waste of time, money and risk, while if you ask my assistance you will not spent so much but assure you will the target. i challenge all of you posting in this forum to try me. no compromised agreement pertaining to share , any love gift will do after you were able to get the treasure. thanks

  105. Las operaciones turisticas hacia el Parque Nacional Llanganates promocionadas por esta pagina web no se encuentran autorizadas y son ilegales abstengace de contratar o hacer cualquier tipo de incurción hacia el Ärea Protegida, no se les permiotira el ingreso.

    Le recomedamos que se ponga en contacto con la administración del Parque Nacional Llanganates Ministerio del Ambiente Ecuador Telf: 032- 741662

  106. Frank,
    Your advice to Nalie was good.
    Ronnie, life’s not as clear cut and dry as you think your dousing can make it. I know a dousing expert who entered the Llanganatties and he never bothered there with his dousing except to find a few graves and a four inch gold idol that he sold for four thousand dollars in the early sixties. He never used dousing to find the treasure; I wish it could work for you, but it’s not at all that simple.

  107. Rio Chalupas
    thats all Ill say, rio Chalupas just a few miles further north
    old inca trails and easy top end access for the old porters………

  108. Nalie,
    If you have completed your trip or didn’t make it, please let us all know how you are and what has happened, if anything.

  109. How interesting to find this web page and this forum. In the late 90’s I read a book written by two Swedes, Kjell Edwall and Mats Carlén, who have made many trips into the Llanganatis in the 80’s and 90’s, have you heard about these guys? Tho book ended quite abrupt with that they found a cave but what happened after that?

  110. Maybe I should clearify that Mr Edwall and Mr Carlén had found many caves during all there expeditions but this cave was at the waterfall and they could see the resting madonna etc etc.

  111. Hi Peter,

    You are probably talking about “Expedition Llanganatis”
    The original book title is “På väg mot Inkaskatten”. The book was published in 1995 by Raben Prisma.
    I don’t know if this book has ever been translated in English.

  112. Hello Ben,

    But maybe someone know anything about these guys and their expeditions anyway, even if the book has not been translated to English. I mean since they have made 5 expeditions into the area they should be known as quite experienced in this field, or?

  113. Pronto saldrá en Ecuador una edición del desaparecido libros que escribió Luciano Andrade Marin, sobre la expedición que fue invitado por el aventurero Italiano Tullio Boschetti. Es un documento muy importante y único, el que ha servido de guía a todos los científicos y aventureros desde 1936. La Expedición Italo Ecuatoriana Boschetti-Andrade Marín se hizo en el año 1933-1934

  114. Peter,

    You are absolutely right, their experience is probably very valuable. If anyone here knows how to reach them….
    In regards to the Llanganatis, I think the most famous Swedish explorer is certainly Rolf Blomberg. You can read his adventures in his book ‘Buried Gold and Anacondas’ (a bit hard to find today). I am trying to get a copy of his documentary from a Swedish TV station. I’ll keep you posted.
    By the way, are you the ‘Millenium Falcon’ guy?

  115. Dear friends,

    I just launched a website dedicated to our research about the treasure of Atahualpa and the Llanganatis (and also Paititi and other connect topics). We are just starting so we are slowly publishing all the material we compiled and produced over the last couple of years. Your feedback is more than welcome, and if you like it or want to contribute, please feel free to join.

    Lost Inca Gold

    Thanks a lot!

  116. Millenium Falcon… Let us call it the disc anomaly guy, but yes I’m.

    I have actually found a copy of Blombergs book, a special edition with more pages so I hope there will be some interesting maps in it. I found it at an internet second hand-book shoop and they send It to day. I also have tracked Mr Carlén and have sent a message to himk, I hope he will answer since I really would like to know what happened after the book ended, cheers!

  117. i am surprised with modern tech to day some smart person hasnt found the Kings Gold ,, today modern mining techn a slow fling plain or choper armed with a spectrogram for minining hasnt found it no matter how deep the cave that much Gold will send off a signature it cant be hid Harold

  118. its not hard to day find its modern equipment chopper or slow plain and a mining spectrogram no matter wher buried that much Gold will send off a signature Harold i dredge for Gold and play the pan flute for my living

  119. Hi everybody,
    I have long been interested in this story and have been several times in Ecuador. But I left the whole thing for a decade due to other concerns.
    I was particularly interested in Blake story and his maps.
    Actually I have his maps coming from Brunner’s unpublished documents. After all those years, I tried today to find if someone had more infos about Blake, but surprisingly I couldn’t find anything new, Do someone know if some interesting new infos about Blake, Chapman and their relation with Spruce appeared recently ? Thanks a lot.

  120. Hi Charles,

    While I am moving away from the Blake/Chapman’s story, I can share my findings with you.
    bduverneuil (at) gmail (dot) com

    PS: For those who tried to contact me lately, no worry I will wrote back to you soon. I went through some serious health issues during my last trip to Peru and I am just getting back on track these weeks.

  121. Nick,

    No big secret, but there are a few reasons behind that:

    1. First of all, I usually share a lot of insights. I am a huge believer of crowd sourcing and opened collaborations.
    2. I am currently working on some new materials and I will publish my research on my website throughout the year. It’s a process, and I don’t want to spoil everything here until the facts have been checked, and checked again.
    3. That said, I don’t share 100% of my research with everyone, simply because I don’t know each person’s motivations and I want to avoid collaborating with huaqueros as much as possible.
    4. I have been abused a few times. It takes months or years to find clues, you share them and people run with them. I learned my lesson the hard way, believe me.
    5. Some of the information I have comes from sources who don’t want me to share them with anyone.
    6. Not a dreamer (I think they are easier ways to make money in today’s days), but a researcher and I want to make sure I only publish verified information, while I allow myself to privately discuss hypothesis with reliable sources and fellow researchers.

    No hard feeling, just want to clarify 🙂

  122. To all those that still believe that two fellas got lucky in the Llanganatis mountains in the 1870s, I must have heard about 25 different versions of the same story.

    Going to throw another one into the mix……..

    In the 1970s, a very very famous treasure hunter from the States went into the mountains with some papers that he had purchased. He was not the type to be easily fooled or duped – he had already found millions and millions in treasure (through salvaging treasure fleet ships) – like I said, he’s very famous but is no longer with us. Getting back to the story, he purchased the papers from someone who simply did not have the wherewithal to go looking for the treasure themselves or the finances to put together an expedition. To cut a long story short, this famous old TH said that the papers from a Dutch sailor – not English – had been won in a bet, and that it was the cacique who had passed a map of sorts to an individual named Valverde which had started the whole legend. The Chapman / Blake thing has elements of truth within it, but has become convoluted with hearsay, nonsense and downright lies. There is another strand to the story from the 1820s but to all those that insist that the game’s only gonna be played in the Llanganatis mountains, please continue.

    To those with an open mind, the ‘original’ Inca gold / Valverde / Derrotero actually began in the 16 century, when a local girl actually in Quito took a Spaniard to an unidentified location, without her family’s permission, to view a secret hoard of treasure which had been intended as part of Atahualpa’s ransom. There was about 50 – 100 large pitchers, discs and plates of gold and silver. No tons and tons and thousands of llama – loads as has become the popular view. The Spaniard begged the girl to let him taken even one piece but knew that doing so would incur the wrath of the local village who by now had got wind of their intention and trip into the hills. He still managed to secrete a small piece on his person and they made it back to Quito. There, the Indian girl knew what would happen next and her and her family simply disappeared. The Spanish torturers had this affect on people. The Spaniard took his story to the local magistrate and showed his evidence. There was a number of attempts to locate the site, but they always failed due to inconsistent directions, unreliable guides and as the Spaniard was blinded folded on entry to the final cave on the original trip, his precise judgment. The only clue was the small piece he brought out with him.

    I have deliberately left gaps in the whole story as I do not wish to compromise what I know of it. But it is safe to say there really is nothing left in the Llanganatis mountains other than frustration, despair and beautiful scenery.

    Ruminahui hid treasure and Atahualpa’s body alright, he just did not do so in the Llanganatis. Even though he was captured near there and had his birthplace nearby, it was near to Atahualpa’s last wish where he took the Inca’s body. Do not forget that when he was murdered by Pizarro’s thugs, there was plenty of nobles still in his camp taking orders from their lord and they knew where he wanted to go for his final resting place. This was made to happen when the Spanish moved on to Cuzco. Why do you think Benalcazar was rushed to Quito??

    I do not know the exact location of the burial site and treasure – but I do know it is not in the Llanganatis and/or at the bottom of lake. What was there was found by someone at the turn of the 20th century. The Spaniards nearly chanced upon it in the 16th century about 30 – 40 years after the invasion, but were diverted by the locals who promised much greater returns by despoiling local tolas in the area. They got gold and silver but never as much as they NEARLY got. The truth was spoken about another 30 – 40 years after this period when a local Indian was given his last rites and confessed to a local priest. The priest then took this information to the local authorities who looked over the ruins that had been dug up but did not discover the actual site of Atahualpa’s resting place. The Indian had said he’d been a christian for a long time but he’d been an Indian alot longer, and could not divulge this secret that would go with him. I only take this seriously and looked into because I have seen the evidence. Do NOT become fixated on those mountains of the Llanganati.

  123. Both are really good post. I’ve turned my attention to searching for them Lost Treasures in Penny Stocks. Gold Mining. A lot less hassle. Do my DD. And making good part time money at it. Kick myself for not doing iy back in 85 when I almost bought $1000 worth of Tel Mex. Would of made a Mil. Just ask Carlos Slim. Yea, Valverde. Or whoever can keep it. Just a Dream !! But a good one. 16th century at that. I’d like to see a movie made out of these stories. Be a good one. Caio !

  124. You’re right Nick.

    The chances of anyone discovering the actual site of Atahualpa’s burial and treasure intentionally, are very Slim (shall I ask Carlos?)

    Go over as many maps, documents and books as you wish, it probably ain’t gonna happen. The intervening half millenia has obscured just about everything and it is too much of a great ask to pinpoint the site.

    Of course this does not mean there is nothing to look for. It just isn’t going to happen in the Llanganatis mountains. That derrotero has puzzled, frustrated, despaired and angered so many people that it is untrue. Not a single piece of treasure to show for it all.

    Blake, Chapman, Brunner, Loch et al., they thought they would solve the puzzle – assuming there was a Blake and Chapman – but did not realise that puzzle may not have been all it was cracked up to be. It has been said that this Valverde – again assuming there was a person of this name – did not actually go into the mountains himself but had been given the directions by another and simply gave those on his deathbed.

    Like I’ve said in my previous post, all lost in the fog and myth of the centuries gone by. Even when Spruce came across a copy of it in the 1850s, the chances are this story / legend was already about 75 – 100 years old. There was no proof that Valverde had shown anyone his wealth and that another had verified his claims. All those that witnessed the 16th – 19th centuries in Ecuador and South America, stated that the region abounded in tales and myths of treasure and lost / buried Inca gold. Most were dismissed as fables dreamed up and expanded by those who had no other means of making themselves wealthy and dreamers who could not face the realities of the time.

    To think the way some go on about the subject, the native cultures did nothing but bury and hide their wealth. The vast majority of antiquities we see in collections were found / taken from burial sites and not simply stashed away. For every grave even with a small gold or silver statuette, there was another hundred with poor people buried with nothing more than a clay pot. How sad.

    No doubt some was hidden when the Spanish made their greedy intentions clear, but it is not everywhere and anywhere as some may presume. Even when the Incas conquered lands and people, they took the treasures from them as well!

    Even with all this in mind, expedition after expedition will make its way into the Llanganatis mountains again and again. Oh well.

  125. Nick,

    Forgot to mention that ‘Valverde’ may never have left Ecuador to make his derrotero, but in fact died in Quito and a LETTER was sent to Spain advising the king there of a possible treasure. Hence why a copy of the ‘derrotero’ has not turned in in the Seville archives.

  126. Was it not a large expedition going into the Llanganatis in October last year, if I remember right it was a woman who wrote about it, any news about that expedition?

  127. Nothing certain – as per usual……….

    I believe it was team from Bristol in the UK and they went into the mountains for a mooch around.

  128. Dear All,
    It’s time for me to speak up because I have been reading your comments with interest. My name is Jacki and I organised the expedition of 9 people into the Llanganates last year with Major Ken Hames as expedition leader. I have written a report but it is not public yet. We did not mooch about, we had a structured trek, if you can structure anything in that region.

    We were 9 people and a party of guides, porters, 2 horses and some local media who took advantage of our journey although I had asked for the number to be kept down. We learnt a lot of very interesting things: that many people who say they have been there have obviously not; that the only way to have a serious expedition and put any miles behind you can not be done without some sort of fuel drop or return to stock up, that the porters are not used to carrying a heavy load, that the mountains want you or spit you out, we were lucky and they wanted us and we enjoyed spectacularly good weather. We went with an interest in Valverde’s story but had experts with us who wanted to study different things like the fauna, wild life, a professional photographer, film maker (me) a survival guru (Ken) and a medic and other. This combination attracted great interest in the town of Pillaro and we were asked to attend a press conference before our trek which was a well attended event, full of flash bulbs going off and people anxious to see us!

    Were we mad embarking on such a journey I thought? Because it was obvious that THEY never had! The reason I mention this is because the subsequent publicity brought the metaphoric gold to us in the shape of a serious treasure hunter who has been making forays into the Llanaganates for nearly 30 years and I have on camera the unbelievable contents of his house. This well respected gentleman has found some very, very interesting other finds, in caves near the Cerro Hermosa and the vicinity.

    We are therefore contemplating a major RGS backed expedition in 2013 with this gentleman to pursue all these new leads and findings and will be interested to take any expert in their field, who can pay the price or find sponsorship to accompany us. We had a very strong and adaptable team last year who we were very lucky to have and this is the key, we took B-Well expedition food and a great deal of safety equipment, were all very fit and knew the story of the lost Inca Gold well. (I have now donated a copy of Guzman’s 1860 copy of Valverde’s map to the Military Geographical Institute in Quito.)

    My advice is do this trip properly; or don’t attempt it, it’s really tough. And by the way, the gold is there! we could feel it’s presence, but if it was ever found I think it would cause ownership disputes that would go on for hundreds of years!! Yours,
    Jacki (Bristol, UK)

  129. Dear All,
    It’s time for me to speak up because I have been reading your comments with interest. My name is Jacki and I organised the expedition of 9 people into the Llanganates last year with Major Ken Hames as expedition leader. I have written a report but it is not public yet. We did not mooch about, we had a structured trek, if you can structure anything in that region. We were 9 people and a party of guides, porters, 2 horses and some local media who took advantage of our journey although I had asked for the number to be kept down.

    We learnt a lot of very interesting things: that many people who say they have been there have obviously not; that the only way to have a serious expedition and put any miles behind you can not be done without some sort of fuel drop or return to stock up, that the porters are not used to carrying a heavy load, that the mountains want you or spit you out, we were lucky and they wanted us and we enjoyed spectacularly good weather.

    We went with an interest in Valverde’s story but had experts with us who wanted to study different things like the fauna, wild life, a professional photographer, film maker (me) a survival guru (Ken) and a medic and other. This combination attracted great interest in the town of Pillaro and we were asked to attend a press conference before our trek which was a well attended event, full of flash bulbs going off and people anxious to see us! Were we mad embarking on such a journey I thought? Because it was obvious that THEY never had! The reason I mention this is because the subsequent publicity brought the metaphoric gold to us in the shape of a serious treasure hunter who has been making forays into the park for nearly 30 years and I have on camera the unbelievable contents of his house.

    This well respected gentleman has found some very, very interesting other finds, in caves near the Cerro Hermosa and the vicinity. We are therefore contemplating a major RGS backed expedition in 2013 with this gentleman to pursue all these new leads and findings and will be interested to take any expert in their field, who can pay the price or find sponsorship to accompany us. We had a very strong and adaptable team last year who we were very lucky to have and this is the key, we took B-Well expedition food and a great deal of safety equipment, were all very fit and knew the story of the lost Inca Gold well. (I have now donated a copy of Guzman’s 1860 copy of Valverde’s map to the Military Geographical Institute in Quito.)

    My advice is do this trip properly; or don’t attempt it, it’s really tough. And by the way, the gold is there! we could feel it’s presence, but if it was ever found I think it would cause ownership disputes that would go on for hundreds of years!! Yours,
    Jacki (Bristol, UK)

  130. Wow!its time for you guys that thinks that youre gonna “find the treasure” to wake up. A group have found the treasure and will dig it up soon…. Worldwide news in a couple of months..

  131. jacki, Did you check out the Gold by the river in the black sands? That’s the Gold I would be after. But then again, it being in a park. Wonder what they would say?

  132. Nick it would be very difficult to do anything clandestine in the park. When we returned to Pillaro we were visited by a large group of officials who checked our baggage and I had to write a detailed report for them of what we did every day. J

  133. Jackie,

    Did not wish to denigrate your trip into the mountains – apologies for any offence taken.

    Just wished to point out some aspects regarding the whole Valverde / Inca Gold / Atahualpa’s Tomb / Derrotero with my previous posts. I have been following, researching and documenting this story for some time, and it is really fascinating as I really enjoy studying all things Inca.

    Was the object of your trip to simply investigate the mountains or to take an in – depth look into the guide of Valverde??

    I presume the next trip you are planning would not be linked with the RGS if it centred on ‘treasure hunting’.
    Did you come across any other expeditions taking place in the mountains?? I had heard that there was a small group of northern Europeans from an adventurers club who were there at about the same time. They WERE looking for gold and treasure – they obviously would not say if they found any – do not believe they did so.

  134. Hi,
    There were absolutely no other groups in the park at that time, or had been, or were expected. It would not be possible to visit it without local support and our man ‘the treasure hunter’ that I spoke about in my post had been going in for 30 years, with his own team and they knew exactly what they were doing. I am not going to disclose their exciting finds that we have filmed here. The RGS expedition would be looking at every aspect of the region including the truth behind the gold but Major Ken Hames and myself want to return anyway to film the trail, probably with the local man.
    We are giving a lecture on our trip at Bath Spa University on May 2nd if anyone is interested in coming it is open to all.

  135. Hi,
    There were absolutely no other groups in the park at that time, or had been, or were expected. It would not be possible to visit it without local support and our man ‘the treasure hunter’ that I spoke about in my post had been going in for 30 years, with his own team and they knew exactly what they were doing. I am not going to disclose their exciting finds that we have filmed here. The RGS expedition would be looking at every aspect of the region including the truth behind the gold but Major Ken Hames and myself want to return anyway to film the trail, probably with the gold seeker.
    We are giving a lecture on our trip at Bath Spa University on May 2nd if anyone is interested in coming it is open to all.

  136. Hi,
    There were absolutely no other groups in the park at that time, or had been, or were expected. It would not be possible to visit it without local support and our man ‘the treasure hunter’ that I spoke about in my post had been going in for 30 years, with his own team and they knew exactly what they were doing. I am not going to disclose their exciting finds that we have filmed here. The RGS expedition would be looking at every aspect of the region including the truth behind the gold.
    We are giving a lecture on our trip at Bath Spa University on May 2nd if anyone is interested in coming it is open to all.

  137. Hi Jacki,

    Many thanks for your return post.

    This group were from a club that have also been concentrating on the Llanganatis mountains for some time, and are very very coy about what they have and have not discovered. Do not know of them personally – have heard rumours on the grapevine. They may have entered the park from elsewhere and do have local contacts. They may have carried down the Napo or Curaray rivers in their trip(s).

    The local ‘treasure hunter’, is he sure that he has come across Inca sites, or are they predating?? Realise that he may not wish to share his knowledge and info. No problem.

    Good luck and best wishes for your forthcoming adventures.

  138. damm wrong jacki
    we just come ing back and we are living here but not posting but watching never thing you are allone

  139. Check me out in SIGCHOS…..

    Looks like I’m finally gonna be found…..

    There was me thinking I’d got you all fooled into thinking me and my treasure were in the Llanganate mountains…..

  140. Dear all,
    I from Ecuador my heritage is half Indian and the other half spaniard. There are so many stories about the Inca treasure . When I was kid I read book that tells that part of the curse is that there’s huge Anaconda protecting the Inca gold .

    I guess the anaconda is located around the jungle because this area llanganatis area is combination of mountains and jungle. Also if you try to use your gps it doesn’t work it’s a mystery . It would be fun to make an expedition to this area find gold. Sounds exciting but it’s dangerous. The descendants of the Incas still protect the gold and know where the gold is. Also here in Ecuador the Atahualpa mummy is hidden that’s why General Ruminahui was so powerful. To sum up , poor Incas the bad Spaniard conquerors established the catholic religion by killing the Incas .

    I feel bad for the Incas what a great civilization it was.

  141. Theres been interesting story about the last Incas tomb being found in Sigchos.

    Atahualpha has been found!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  142. There is a cave in Cerro Hermoso ,where someone from Koln – Germany is take it just litlle amount ,about 8 -9 kg of gold , artefacts .. take it out from Ecuador via Brazil and then Germany this it was happend in 2004 . I never been to Ecuador , but i heard interesting story about this guy. He s moving – hiden in New Zeeland with his family in 2005 , i saw myself a beautiful inca mask from pure gold , this is all i know about him.

  143. I got back two monthes ago from a nightmare trip into the Llanganaties. All of us were quite experienced and had good survival gear, however we were hit by one of the woarst storms in forty-five years. The winds destroyed our tent during the night. Every moment in the mountains was heavy rain and fierce winds. Our packs were extremely heavy as only four of us carriend all the equipment needed for a special expedition in the interior. When in the night the tent collapsed we were forced to exit the mountains in one day.

    I was exhausted to start with from my very heavy pack. The trail was soaked, the mud deep, and weather horrible the entire time on the way out and quite bad on the way in as well. We had to exit at sunrise and got out just after dusk. I just wanted to die, but somehow never gave up, discovering there’s more in a person’s body and mind than I ever thought possible. It was my sixth trip in and I discovered that when you think you know it all, you know nothing. Two of the Indians had made over 100 trips over a forty-five year period and it was the worst they’d seen. It must be the earth’s changing weather patterns. If not for my excellant running shape and strength from constant heavy lifting on my job, I’d not have made it out.

    I have a definite plan to carry out, but somehow those mountains know it and now three trips have been utter failures…all due to weather. Jacki, you were lucky to have good weather, because when it turns on you, it’s a completely different story. Another time I’ll fill in more details on my battle to survive, and the few mistakes I made that could and should have cost me my life.

    When I was much younger at the age of 28, during clear weather, I walked out in two days with about 110 pounds on my back. I was in great shape at 165 pounds, but in those two days dropped my weight down to 145 pounds, afterwards exhausted in doing anything for the next month. But still, this last trip was far worse.
    Good luck on your next trip,

  144. Hey guys. I have been living in Ecuador for 2 years and have made a couple small jaunts on some day trips into the Llanganatis. The area is as rugged, beautiful and dangerous as the legends declare and a huge treasure really could be stashed there. The locals more or less revere the park, and I totally agree. Until you have stepped foot into the legendary park, you simply wont believe it. Congrats to any who have, and good luck if you are planning on checking it out. I love Ecuador, have my residency and have no real intention of leaving.

  145. Jim -I love what you wrote and is it possible that I could quote some of it in the VO of the film I am cutting right now? I have just woken up to the interest that is world wide about the park and the treasure and i am getting a move on with the film, looking back over the footage I can see some shots that will be of great interest to those of you fascinated by the place. Ben – would you like my report on your excellent website? If anyone is thinking of going there you can talk to us first if you want. Our lecture is on may 2nd May in Bath and then hopefully will be repeated in London.
    Don’t listen to stories that people have found it – they haven’t, if you go there you will see what I mean. We have some very big clues and crosses on our maps to check out but to really look one needs a major, professionally led expedition with implementation for food and fuel drops. If any of you want to put their name down to join please let me know and tell me your expertise to add to the team. I am not a treasure hunter I am someone interested in finding truth behind stories and discovering more about this amazingly wild and inhospitable place. Jacki

  146. Jim, glad to hear you made it out alive. Yea, Mother Nature at Her Finest is nothing to mess with. She can chew you up and you’ll be Lucky if she spits you out ! If you are not really careful and prepared. (fm my working on the Alaskan Radar sites Projects) God Bless you and your team !! Gonna try again?

  147. Hey Jackie,
    I have some amazing fotos, such as one of what I call the valley of the caverns. You’d love it in your story. Also I need to write a more detailed story of the trip out, one crazy thing that I did in order to survive. I asked one of the porters to take my foto while I did it, despite my utter misery, but I guess even though he was but twenty feet away he couldn’t hear me over the howling wind, and besides they were upset with me for holding them back.
    I was following a 72 year old man (Under five foot of heigth and weighing hardly a hundred pounds), carrying as much weight as me, but no way on this earth could I ever keep up with him. I guess that living at a high altitude on a very steep mountain and having over a hundred trips into the Llanganaties has its advantages.

  148. Hi Jacki,

    I’ll be glad to publish your report on
    We can also publish an interview if you like. I hope you’ll film your lectures too.

    You can reach me anytime at bduverneuil (at) gmail (dot) com

    Many thanks!

  149. Jim, I would love to see the photos, we could possibly integrate them into the lecture on May 2nd. Is anyone out there able to make it on May 2nd for the Bath lecture? Can you e mail them to me Jim Thanks and Ben I’ll be in touch.

  150. Jim, I would love to see the photos, we could possibly integrate them into the lecture on May 2nd. Is anyone out there able to make it on May 2nd for the Bath lecture? Can you e mail them to me Jim jikihm@hotmail dot com. Thanks and Ben I’ll be in touch.

  151. Hey People

    Even though the story of Atahualpa is nearly over………..and his last resting place MAY have been discovered, the story of the treasure keeps twisting and turning.

    This whole topic of the ‘Llanganatis Treasure’ is a story / enigma / saga / mystery which simply refuses to go away. I have been researching it for some time now off my own back and I would like to tell you all a small portion of what I have discovered.

    A document I came across (it was about 100 years old circa 1915) spoke about an individual named Valverde. This document was written by someone who had ostensibly viewed the original papers in Quito connected to the whole story. It began with what is known by most – he was a poor Spaniard, not a conquistadore or soldier and had married a native girl with whom he went to live in the eastern portion of the Andes. Whilst there he had earned the trust of the community and was ‘led’ to a location which was used in times gone by as a storehouse for gold by the Inkas.

    It was NOT a portion of the infamous ransom of Atahualpa or anything stored by Ruminahui. Anyway, this Valverde character took an amount and went to live in Quito with his wife and became the toast of high society for a short period. What he would do is bank a certain amount with a creditor which was assayed to have the same amount of purity and show signs have having being recently smelted. This was done regularly and was brought to the attention of the authorities who decided to investigate the matter.

    Valverde knew he may be in trouble with the authorities and decided to go and live in Spain with his bride. Before doing so, he made a last trip to the location and took a trunk full of gold with which to start off with in Spain. After they had arrived in Spain they again became the toast of high society. Some years later when his end was near he left a portion of what was left of the gold and a letter to the King which was only to be opened on his death. It was this letter that gave the directions AND they contained a map by Valverde himself.

    He claimed the gold by right of discovery and signed it over to the King on condition that an amount be given to his descendants. That is when an expedition order was sent to Quito from Spain to discover the site. They did not discover it due to changes in the landscape and some slightly ambiguous directions. The widow was given a small pension in Spain by the King but did not live long and that particular trails goes cold there. What comes next is Mr Richard Spruce.

    Want to know why he was so certain of the treasure story and what ‘made him convinced there was a large amount of truth to it’?? To those of you that have read his account do you recall how he met a ‘gentleman in Quito’ who had copies of the originals?? Not only that but the documents which detailed the original investigation. So it is said that he made an attempt to locate the treasure and actually used guides that had been used in the original expedition who bore test holes in the mountains because even they could not identify some of the original sites that were used. His personal notes indicated this but are now missing for the period he was there.

    Spruce not only documented the story he made an attempt to find the bloody thing!!! He centred his search near… OK – it was Tungurahua – do not know why but that is what he did.

    All this talk of it being ‘Atahualpa’s Gold’ and ‘part of the ransom’ are simply just things that have been added along the way or lost in translation. Do not forget, ALL gold was deemed to be the property of the INKA.

    Just as Atahualpa’s grave or tomb may soon be brought to the attention of us all, there are plenty of us beavering away through reams and reams of papers looking for that vital small breakthrough which may give us the clue that will solve the whole mystery………..

  152. Hi

    Does anyone on this forum know Mr Stan Grist.

    I met him many years ago in Quito, Ecuador.

    We discussed the treasure and the people who went looking for it and what was found by some.

    Nothing much other than a few trinkets.

    Is he still there or has he moved.

    Have tried to get in touch with his email on his website but have had no reply.

    Whats he up to??

    Appreciate any help folks.

  153. hello guys,
    i am a citizen of India….and currently being 18 years old. i have been reading about the lost Inca treasure for the past few years and Jesus Christ! i was amazed to see the facts and maps i discovered in my search… i am really being interested in the expedition of finding this great treasure that mankind could discover…so we could contribute a great deal of resource to the world and get our names etched in history forever….. if any of you has any other knowledge about this please contact me for sure…

  154. Hi Two guys I know have been in Ecuador over the end of the year.They talked to a friend of mine and told him:
    Beside the entrance fee for the national park they want you to take a official guide for 100 $ each day to visit the llanganates.TR

    Juan Medina
    Rager of Llanganates National Park

    Juan Medina
    Ranger of Llanganates National Park

  157. Read the new book edition: “Expedición Italo ecuatoriana Boschetti-Andrade Marín= Viaje a las Misteriosas Montañas de los Llanganati 1933-1934”
    The book is sold at bookstores Librimundi in Ecuador.
    Maybe they realize once and for all that everything is a wonderful legend, like so many that has Latin America.
    I am the granddaughter of one of the expeditionary they were in the years 1933-1934, the first expedition was documented on Llanganati. The book is really amazing and have all the maps and photographs old and new. We are now trying to raise funds to make a documentary of that expedition. The third editions came out with funding from the Heritage Metropolitan Institute of Ecuador. Is a book that is considered Cultural Heritage of Ecuador. My mail:

  158. For those considering researching this topic there is a high quality Spruce Map and Valverde’s Directions on ebay for $20.

  159. I am the son-in-law of Eugene K. Brunner. My new book LUST FOR INCA GOLD answers many of the questions on this post correcting much of the misinformation that abounds. The book is a tell-all expose including all of Brunners documentation and my involvement with the Government of Ecuador in the attempted recovery during the 1980’s. Many never before published maps are published for the first time, including those of Blacke & Chapman! New evidence concerning the Brooks story and others, that has been dispersed since Andrade, is brought to the light of day!

    When you read this book, through Brunner’s discoveries you will understand why the man was adamant the treasure was, and still is, on Cerro Hermoso. Visit Lust For Inca Gold on FACEBOOK. ISBN-13: 978-1478146063

  160. Please can anyone help me with any material on Isabela Brookes and Colonel Edward Brookes for my book about early women explorers; I can’t even find a picture of Isabela. Thank you you all. Jacki

  161. In 1963-64 I sailed around the world on Barquentine Verona as a crew member and young doctor. For a good part of that year we had a crew member named Stellan Morner, a Swedish adventurer who shortly before had organized expeditions in Ecuador to search for the treasure. I would greatly appreciate hearing from anyone who knows or knew Stellan, as I lost contact with him years ago. Likely he is no longer alive, but for reasons I can explain later I would very much like to know about his searches in Ecuador. Much of the time he lived in the Canary Islands on the island of Las Palmas, Gran Canaria. Many thanks to anyone who can share information about Stellan Morner with me.
    Barnett L. Cline, M.D., Ph.D.
    Blanco, Texas USA

  162. Dear Jacki,
    If you haven’t you must read the book “The Mapmaker’s Wife”. By Robert Whitaker. About a beautiful Peruvian Noble woman, who lived in Ecuador and took an expedition down the Amazon river, begining in Ecuador, an only survivor of many that began the trip. It was done in 1735. An amazinhg story of a woman survivor under impossible odds to suceed and escape what was most certainly for most a sure death.
    You’ll enjoy…
    Jim Barns

  163. It’s very interesting to read about Llanganatis Treasure, but I think no one should be looking for it, specially foreign people, I am Ecuadorian and I think no one must steal our heritage from us.

  164. Dont come to my country looking for treasures if foud that belongs to the ecuadorian people and its museums ..europeans have stole enough from us…

  165. Something unfound and unavailable is no heritage and is worthless. Those Ecuadorians in Ecuador by far have the greatest chance of making a reality out of what at this point is nothing but speculation and legend, for being there it is much easier for them to search to their hearts content. If a forienger did find it, it’s so massive he couldn’t take it anyway, and the Ecuadorian people are intelligent enough to keep it, for it is theirs. But “harah” to anyone who can discover this great thing and thereby give it as a gift to the Ecuadorians, although neighboring countries would certainly expect and try to lay claim to much of it as it originated from many places. A finders fee to him or her that discovered it would be insignifigant; however given by Ecuador; this would simply express the authority of Ecuador who rightfully lays claim to one-hundred percent of what lies within her borders. Until discovered, however; it is nothing but an imagination to those who think of it as they can only imagine it, from the hersey of historians, be it truth or not.

  166. Jim Barns,

    It will be interesting to meet one day if you are in Quito and share views.
    I have been researching the topic for many years, and made 10 fast expeditions to the site. I share most of your views on the subject. My wish is to find the treasure for the Ecuadorian people, and preserve it, before any greedy treasure hunter does, and takes it away and smelts it, along with all the ancient knowledge there must be within. Gold yes, but maybe even a library of quipus. I am also very interested in ancient cultures and ancient knowledge, and so on. My next trip will be to Marcahuasi next month. And I am indeed planning another expedition to the Llanganatis when the weather gets better. About a month ago I made a small trip up Topo from el Azuay, and after 3 hours walking we decided to come back, as the light strikes and thunders seemed to be hitting very close to us. And looking up to the mountains covered with those thick rivers in the sky, could only imagine the nightmare it would be to be under that storm, with torrential rain, all socked up ( no Gore-Tex works there) , walking over slippery rocks with your mind set into “safe mode”, avoiding falling over a cliff, with a heavy backpack, mud on your fingernails causing pain, blisters on your feet, cuts on your hands and chicks from the rugged vegetation, mosquitoes that byte through your clothes, feeling very cold and tired. Definitely the place to hide from your enemies, as you would n’t need an army to protect you. Nature would to the job…

  167. It would be some justice for the Inca descendants if the treasure was real and was found. Ecuador could set up tourism and charge Europeans to visit and view their artistic Heritage in the same way that Egyptians have done for years.

  168. Hi all iv been dredging for 40+ years some hard rock at any rate i would like to share this thought todays modern mining spetrogram imaging and satilite imaging that much Gold today cant be hid 750tons no lake no cave that much Gold will send off a sighnature it cant be hid mining co. use theses modern skills to day happy hunting its my hope next year to dredge in ecuador with an ecuadorian Harold

  169. searching it for a while and Llanganates is realy hard terrain to locate something only hope to find something worthy is high tec devices I guess.And by the way I from turkey and recently someone else found a pirate treasure that hidden in a cave. Pirates in black sea capture a vassal that caries taxes from crimea i to ensure golds safety pirates hide it into a cave in Ordu Turkey but soon after they encounter with ottoman navy and theit boat sank.Some local folks found it that makes me belive in such things

  170. come on guys its been to quiet latly i read 1 intry abouve
    basicly this is what it said its hard to believe as ruthless as
    spanardswere torture/ would it be all incas remain loyal
    perhaps the Royalty BUT the rest hard to believe Harold but perhaps just a loyal few were involed HMMM

  171. What? Quiet! Lots have been said Ovr the years. You find out anything new? I say hit that 1st river. Filter the river bank. And forget about some so-called Myth Treasure. Makes for good reading tho. I’ve read 4 books about it already. Gonna get me another. Enjoy. And GLTA

  172. hI GOOD TO SEE U ON do u dredge i hope i got about 40 years under my bealt on that subject and some hard rock ur rite about the treasuure it does make fun reading were are u out off im in Indiana play music hear and mexico my dredge partner is inca in otoval were both waiting on a sale of property in otoval then were of to dredgein ecuador thatnk for getting on Harold

  173. Yea. I dredge, and Highbank up here in AK. The best spot is at one of the Radar Sites I work at in the Summer. Wish I could join you down here. Maybe Ina couple yrs when I retire. Till then take it easy. Drop a line sometime. Caio !

  174. Dear All,
    I need your help with research for my book. Does anyone have any information at all on Colonel Edward C Brooks or more importantly his wife Isabela, an Ecuadorian by birth, who died in the Llanganatis in 1912 looking for the gold. I can’t even find a photo of her. Would anyone in Quito be willing to do a search for me? Thank you.

  175. Speaking of inca stuff a month ago I was hiking a mountain in Quito and I became friend of a man who ancestros are Inca and he showed the inca water tunnels that were built by the Incas and a sacred water fall where the Incas used that place for spirual weddings but I am curios to enter those Inca water tunnels and see where it will lead anybody want to joined for the adventure

  176. i have read some comments to the like i would give it over to the goverment or to ecuador people this load could do my garden some good Harold

  177. Dear All

    I am planning to visit Equador in the near future.I plan to trek in the mountains to some sites in trail of the legendary treasure,,,,,I have a couple of questions.
    –Can I treasure hunt as a tourist?If No what are the rules and requirements of getting a permit and who gives it?(please post a link)
    -If a permit is needed can I apply and get it once I enter as a tourist with a tourist visa?

    thanks in advance!


  178. If the derrotero is a guide to the hiding place of tons and tons of worked gold, plates, pitchers, golden statues of animals and birds, pots of emeralds, etc, why was Valverde so excited about finding small flakes of gold at the bottom of a bog? So excited in fact that he completely forgets to tell us where the Inca loot is!

    Valverde’s guide is not telling us where the Inca treasure is, it is simply telling us about a good place to pan for gold or a ‘lost mine’.

    This was fairly well known in Ecuador in the 1730s – I have a map from that time that shows the Llanganates marked with the words ‘Lost Gold Mine’!

    Worth finding, sure, but it is not a king’s ransom in treasure.

  179. Dear Curicocha

    thanks.But how do you explain the quick riches of Valverde? According to the legend he became part of the high society of those days in short time.


  180. Probably panning for gold in his gold-rich bog. In those days gold had more buying power than today, a relatively small amount meant a good living. Nobody would pan for gold (it is very hard work)if a cave or lake full of tons of worked gold was there for the taking. Valverde, if he existed, was not part of ‘high society’ or there would be records of him. There are none. A lot of the archives of Seville are on-line and if you can read old Spanish you can study them. There is no record of Valverde, priest Longo, the derrotero, the cedula real or anything referring to this treasure. There IS a 16th century reference to a Quito priest being granted by Cedula Real one sixth of lost Inca treasure he claimed to have discovered, but sadly it doesn’t specify where this treasure was supposed to be. So, lost Inca treasure and priests and cedulas real ARE real enough, but Nothing has ever been found to back up any of the Valverde stuff.

  181. the spaniards were ruthles im hard presed if in fact the
    incas did hide there treasure they would torture the general
    population some would brake so did it get hid hhhhhhhhmmm

  182. There are far more treasures out there than you can imagine….and there are/is some book(s) out there that can start you off on a search without having to browse through google for a year.

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