The Guardian

Peru’s last Inca city reveals its secrets: ‘It’s genuinely a marvel’

Espíritu Pampa, forgotten for centuries, was cleared, and the latest findings, a planned site museum and fieldwork are bringing attention to the last stronghold of the Incas
The city of Espíritu Pampa, also known as Old Vilcabamba, photographed in 2018. Photograph: Laurie Blair

Jorge Cobos follows the remnants of an Inca road down the eastern slopes of Peru’s Andes, through cloud forest and over swaying plank bridges, edging along narrow paths beside sheer drops.

Finally, after a four-day trek, he clears a patch of undergrowth with his machete, revealing a moss-covered wall. Thick roots are entwined around fallen lintels. Elsewhere, the stonework is still daubed with orange plaster.

“Imagine – there are lots of buildings left to discover in the forest,” he said. “And beyond, in the mountains: who knows?”

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