2. The Secret City of Paititi
- Treasure: Lost City and Gold of Paititi
- Lost: 1572
- Estimated Value: $10,000,000,000
- Contents: Incan gold & artifacts, gold bars, jewellery, etc.
- Location: Brazil
Most people have heard the story of El Dorado, a city full of gold lost somewhere in the rainforests of South America. In fact, El Dorado is actually a legend about a Muisca Chieftain (the Golden One) who would cover himself with gold dust before certain religious ceremonies. The real City of Gold is Paititi. In brief, the Spanish had been at war with the Incas of Peru for nearly forty years and the Incas had retreated to Vilcabamba Valley where they held off the invaders until 1572. When the Spanish conquered the Incas they found the city largely deserted. It appeared as if the Incas had fled to a new location in the rainforests of southern Brazil taking their vast treasure of gold with them. The new city was never found nor was the gold and eventually the story was relegated to the status of a myth.
However, in 2009 satellite photos of deforested areas of the Boco do Acre region of Brazil have revealed that there were once vast settlements. These can be clearly seen on Google Earth and have forced historians and archaeologists to review their thinking. It now seems possible once again that Paititi really did exist and hidden within it is a potential hoard of lost Inca gold.