The best books about discovery of the true Lost City of the Incas

Why am I passionate about this?

Vincent Lee is a professional architect and former Alpine climbing guide and instructor, US Marine Corps officer, Andean explorer, and author. Searching in the high Andes of Peru and the rain forests of the Upper Amazon for the remains of the long-lost final redoubt of the once-powerful Inca Empire not only appealed to his life-long interest in all of these disparate fields, but it called upon his many years of experience in each: wilderness trekking, mountain warfare, mapping and drawing the remains of the more than 500 ancient structures discovered.


I wrote...

Forgotten Vilcabamba: Final Stronghold of the Incas

By Vincent R. Lee,

Book cover of Forgotten Vilcabamba: Final Stronghold of the Incas

What is my book about?

A modern-day scientific adventure story set against a fascinating historical backdrop, Forgotten Vilcabamba is an important addition to the annals of archaeological exploration in the high Andes of Peru by an architect/explorer who set out to find and record the ruins of lost Vilcabamba, the once-powerful Inca Empire's mysterious redoubt in the jungles of the Upper Amazon.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of The Conquest of the Incas

Vincent R. Lee Why did I love this book?

The classic account of this fascinating, historic, and tragic event, unfortunately little known by western readers, is here masterfully told by the former Director of the Royal Geographical Society in London.  His amazing story of the once-great Inca Empire and its destruction by Francisco Pizzaro's ruthless Spanish Coquistadores captured my imagination in 1982 and sent me on a 40-year Odyssey of travel, discovery, and adventure still as vivid today as it was back then. It will do no less for any reader with a curious mind and a love of history.

By John Hemming,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Conquest of the Incas as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Conquest of the Incas, John Hemming's masterly and highly acclaimed account of one of the most exciting conquests known to history, has never been surpassed.

From the first small band of Spanish adventurers to enter the mighty Inca empire to the execution of the last Inca forty years later, it is the story of bloodshed, infamy, rebellion and extermination, told as convincingly as if it happened yesterday. It also tells the social impact of the conquest, on ordinary Peruvians forced to work for Spanish masters or in hellish silver and mercury mines, on change of religion and government, and…


Book cover of Lost City of the Incas

Vincent R. Lee Why did I love this book?

The story of the "discovery" of the now-famous Inca ruins of Machu Picchu by an obscure Yale professor in 1911. During his first exploring expedition in the jungles of Peru in 1909, the author learned of the final redoubt into which the Incas fled after the arrival of the Spaniards. Called "Vilcabamba," the city had since become lost in the rain forests of the eastern Andes and Bingham was determined to find it. He did but stumbled upon the much finer Machu Picchu, a world-class architectural wonder, in the process.

By Hiram Bingham,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Lost City of the Incas as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

First published in the 1950s, this is a classic account of the discovery in 1911 of the lost city of Machu Picchu.

In 1911 Hiram Bingham, a pre-historian with a love of exotic destinations, set out to Peru in search of the legendary city of Vilcabamba, capital city of the last Inca ruler, Manco Inca. With a combination of doggedness and good fortune he stumbled on the perfectly preserved ruins of Machu Picchu perched on a cloud-capped ledge 2000 feet above the torrent of the Urubamba River. The buildings were of white granite, exquisitely carved blocks each higher than a…


Book cover of Antisuyo: The Search for the Lost Cities of the Amazon

Vincent R. Lee Why did I love this book?

Following up on Hiram Bingham's 1911 visit to an overgrown ruin in the forest at a place called Espíritu Pampa (The Plain of Ghosts) and dismissed by Bingham as unimportant, Savoy set out in 1964-5 to prove him wrong. Bingham had identified Machu Picchu as the lost Inca capital, Vilcabamba, but Savoy was sure there was more to be found at the Plain of Ghosts than Bingham knew. He was right, and in several adventurous expeditions found a large Inca city there that he thought better met the Spanish accounts of Vilcabamba.

By Gene Savoy,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Antisuyo as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This inspiring and historic book: Antisuyo by Gene Savoy, is about the search for the lost cities of the Amazon. Antisuyo is the full account of the authors' daring expedition beyond one of the few remaining uncharted frontiers, and of his glorious discovery of the fabled cities of Viacabamba and Muyok Viejo--two of the most important archaeololgical sites found in recent years. He takes the reader through the forbidding mysteries of the wild territory in search for of clues to puzzles that have remained unsolved since the days of Pizarro: Aztahualpa: the legendary Manco Capac; the famed El Dorado, City…


Book cover of The Last Days of the Incas

Vincent R. Lee Why did I love this book?

For readers in search of a single title covering the entire story of Inca Vilcabamba, from its early conquest by the Incas, through its subjugation by the Spaniards and its rediscovery and exploration in modern times, this is the book of choice. MacQuarrie's style makes me wonder why the story hasn't yet been picked up by Hollywood for a television mini-series.

By Kim MacQuarrie,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Last Days of the Incas as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Last Days of the Incas is a popular epic history of the conquest of the powerful Inca Empire, the largest empire ever known in the New World, by 168 Spaniards, led by Francisco Pizarro, a one-eyed conquistador, and his four brothers. It describes the three-year conquest and the 37 year guerrilla war that followed as the Incas relocated from their capital, Cuzco, high in the Andes, to a new capital, Vilcabamba, deep in the Amazon jungle.

Because they brought with them two powerful weapons, horses and muskets, the Spaniards were able to conquer an Inca force that outnumbered them…


Book cover of Vilcabamba and the Archaeology of Inca Resistance

Vincent R. Lee Why did I love this book?

Published by the Costen Institute of Archaeology Press at UCLA, this is a report of the first and only truly scientific excavations done to date in Inca Vilcabamba. Told in a reader-friendly manner not calling for any technical background, Bauer confirms on and in the ground, much of the history recounted in the other books noted here as well as unearthing hundreds of 450-year-old artifacts left on site when Vilcabamba was abandoned, finally, to the jungle in 1572.

By Brian S. Bauer, Javier Fonseca Santa Cruz, Miriam Aráoz Silva

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Vilcabamba and the Archaeology of Inca Resistance as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The sites of Vitcos and Espiritu Pampa are two of the most important Inca cities within the remote Vilcabamba region of Peru. The province has gained notoriety among historians, archaeologists, and other students of the Inca, since it was from here that the last independent Incas waged a nearly forty-year-long war (AD 1536-1572) against Spanish control of the Andes.

Building on three years of excavation and two years of archival work, the authors discuss the events that took place in this area, speaking to the complex relationships that existed between the Europeans and Andeans during the decades that Vilcabamba was…


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Book cover of Captain James Heron First Into the Fray: Prequel to Harry Heron Into the Unknown of the Harry Heron Series

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Why am I passionate about this?

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Patrick's book list on the Battle of Jutland

What is my book about?

Captain Heron finds himself embroiled in a conflict that threatens to bring down the world order he is sworn to defend when a secretive Consortium seeks to undermine the World Treaty Organisation and the democracies it represents as he oversees the building and commissioning of a new starship.

When the Consortium employs an assassin from the Pantheon, it becomes personal.

Captain James Heron First Into the Fray: Prequel to Harry Heron Into the Unknown of the Harry Heron Series

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What is this book about?

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