When we watched the “Ghosts of Machu Pichu” the explorers originally thought that Machu Pichu was the legendary city of Vilcabomba, however they ended up being proven wrong. This made me curious as to whether or not Vilcabomba was real, and what happened with it.In 1536 the Inca ruler Manco Inca, along with a large army, failed to defeat the Spanish invaders, causing the Inca to flee from the imperial capital at Cusco and to take refuge in the Vilcabamba wilderness. The Incas lived there for 36 years, until the Spanish invaders finally made it into the area and killed the very last Inca ruler, Tupac Amaru in 1572. This brought an end to the Inca Empire. However no one really knew exactly where the city was located. The first explorers in modern times to find the old forest site were Manuel Ugarte, Manuel López Torres, and Juan Cancio Saavedra, in 1892. In 1911, Hiram Bingham brought to public attention the ruins of the city at the forest site, which was then called Espíritu Pampa. It was located 130 kilometers, or 81 miles, west of Cuzco. Bingham, however, did not realize its significance and believed that Machu Picchu was the legendary “Vilcabamba”, lost city and last refuge of the Incas. In the 1960s, Antonio Santander Casselli and Gene Savoy finally’s work at the site finally associated the Espíritu Pampa site with the legendary Vilcabamba. So it is a real place, and has been found. However the legends of it are still entertaining.One legend that I found was that the city is the hiding place of rooms full of gold and silver. The story goes that llama trains were filled with the riches to be used as ransom when the Spanish captured Atahualpa, the emperor. However some didn’t make it before the emperor was killed, so the leaders of the llama trains hid away the gold. Supposedly Sanchez Orinjana happened on a cache of gold earrings, noseplugs and ingots, and bought himself a royal title. Sanchez’s story has made many people believe that there is still gold out there left to find, and treasure hunters have been looking ever since.There is another legend that the gold and silver had no monetary value to the Inca, only religious as it was associated with gods. Because of this, once the Spaniards started to conquer Cuzco, the Inca hid their gold, silver, and precious stones away in Vilcabomba to protect them from the Spanish. No matter what really happened, Vilcabomba will always remain a place of mystery and legend.