The Legend of El Dorado

When the Inca Emperor Atahualpa was captured, through deceit, by the Spanish conquistadors, the story goes that the Inca offered them a chamber full of gold and two of silver, in exchange of his freedom.

Caravans of Atahualpa's subjects bringing gold and silver objects to Cajamarca (where Atahualpa was held captive) from all the corners of the great empire, arrived during several months; delivery of the ransom was taking much longer than promised.

Then, a rumor started to circulate among the captors that the Inca General Rumiñahui was on his way to kill conquistador Francisco Pizarro and all the Spaniards, burn everything, and free Atahualpa.

The fear was such that, eight months after his capture, Atahualpa was tried and condemned to death. He was executed the 29th August 1533. It is known that Pizarro took most of the treasure brought by Atahualpa’s people, but there is no certainty on the whereabouts of the rest of the booty. Seemingly, Rumiñahui managed to hide it.

After Atahualpa’s death, Pizarro headed for Cuzco, capital of the Inca Empire, only to find a city sacked and burnt. He followed the culprit's trail, Rumiñahui, who, according to the chronicles, was on the cliffs of Píllaro, near the Llanganates mountains. The Inca general was cornered on the edge of a cliff and, determined not to fall into the Spaniards' clutches, he jumped off and died.

The Spaniards could not find out where the treasure was hidden. This gave way to the birth of the legend, and since then many expeditions have set out to look for it with no success. To this day, Rumiñahui’s treasure has not been found.