Lake of Blood: The dark history of Laguna Yahuarcocha, Ecuador

Lake of Blood: The dark history of Laguna Yahuarcocha, Ecuador

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Laguna Yahuarcocha, meaning blood lake in the Kichwa language, is a sacred lake of Ecuador. Looking across the still water in the picturesque region of Ibarra, it is hard to imagine that it was once the scene of a bloody massacre, a consequence of indigenous resistance against Inca domination.

Laguna Yahuarcocha, also spelt Yawarkucha, is located about 3 kilometers (1.86 miles) from the northern city of Ibarra. Sitting at a height of 2190 meters (7185ft) above sea level, it is one of the region’s main attractions today. It is estimated to be around 12,000 years old, and is a vestige of the post-glacier age. Historically, it is important because studies by some researchers claim this area holds wide, unexplored archaeological evidence.

The name Yahuarcocha (‘Yahuar’ – blood, ‘Cocha’ – lake) has its origins in Kichwa, which is part of the Quechuan language spoken primarily in the Andes region of South America.

Yahuarcocha Lake from the San Miguel Mirador, Ibarra, Ecuador ( Wikimedia Commons )

This so named ‘blood lake’ was the scene of an ancient battle between the Incas, with Huayna-Capac (11th leader of the Incas and last undisputed emperor to rule) as their leader against a united front of indigenous peoples known as the Caranqui-Cayambe-Pasto confederation. Prior to the Inca conquest in the late fifteenth century, the Kingdom of Quito (modern day Ecuador) was made up of several linguistic groups including Pasto, Otavalo-Caranqui and Cayambe

Huayna Capac, drawn by Felipe Guaman Poma de Ayala . The title, in Poma de Ayala's nonstandard spelling, reads: El onceno inga Guainacapac, "The Eleventh Inca, Huayna Capac". ( Wikimedia Commons )

Inca fortresses, built around the time of the battle, have recently been discovered near an extinct volcano called Pambamarca. Its discovery provided archaeologists with evidence of the war fought by the Inca shortly before the Spanish conquistadors arrived. Twenty fortresses have been identified as having been built by the Inca and two forts were built by the Cayambe. Evidence suggests that there was a pre-Columbian frontier, or borderline, which experts think existed between the Inca fortresses and the fortresses of the indigenous Cayambe people.

The discovery provided archaeological evidence to support the legend of Lake Yahuarcocha, which Spanish chroniclers told when they penetrated into South America during the 16th and 17th centuries. According to these stories, Inca ruler Huayna Capac sought to conquer the Cayambe using a "very powerful army.” He was hoping for a quick victory but ended up getting entangled in a long struggle.

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The west gate of the Inca fortress of Quitoloma. Archaeologists are working on excavating and conserving it. Credit: Chad Gifford / Pambamarca Archaeological Project

The Battle of Yahuarcocha

The bloody Battle of Yahuarcocha took place over in 1487. The Cayambe had realized that their forces were not sufficient to face the Inca on an open battlefield, and according to the Spanish missionary Bernabe Cobo (in his 17th century book History of the Inca Empire ), they withdrew to make strongholds in a very large fortress. Huayna Capac ordered his men to lay siege on the fortress and to bombard it continuously. The Cayambe put up a fierce resistance and forced the Inca to retreat due to high number of fatalities. Huayna Capac gathered a huge army to definitively subdue definitely the ‘rebels’. The Inca eventually succeeded in driving the Cayambe out of their strongholds and onto the shores of the lake.

A massacre at Lake Yahuarcocha

When Huayna-Capac finally conquered the tribes, historical documents record that he massacred all of the Caranqui males who were 12 years or older and had their bodies dumped into Yahuarcocha, which turned red with blood. Cobo writes that "the Inca ordered his men to cut the enemies' throats without pity as they caught them and to throw the bodies into the lake .”

Current archaeological studies in the area have found ceramic fragments and parts of bones belonging to teenagers and adults. These bones show overwhelming impacts that suggest body to body fights, however, the total number of deaths here remains largely undetermined. Estimates range anywhere between 20,000 to 50,000 indigenous people having been murdered by the Incas.

Unearthing evidence of the great battle

The newly discovered Inca fortresses (near Pambamarca) contained stone platforms called ushnus, and are located on ridges about 3,000 meters (10,000) feet above the ground. The soldiers who lived in them were prepared for battle with well over 100 structures having been found at the site of Quitoloma. The structures were filled with Inca weaponry and quite a few sling stones were retrieved from the houses, suggesting they had been lying in wait for the enemy to attack, or were about to storm down the hill.

The two Cayambe forts, by comparison, are made out of a tough volcanic material called cangahua. They are sizable fortresses with people likely having lived inside and outside their walls. One of the forts has evidence for a battle with two types of ammunition (sling stones and bola stones). Both fortifications housed pottery designed in indigenous Ecuadorian style rather than Inca styles, and Cayambe pottery continued to be used in the region, suggesting that their culture carried on, at least in some ways. It could be that the people decided after many years of resistance and warfare to lay down their arms or become allies with the Inca.

The fortress site of Quitoloma, one of 20 fortresses built by the Inca on the ridges of Pambamarca. Credit: Chad Gifford / Pambamarca Archaeological Project

In the decades following the war, large numbers of Spanish would make their home in Ecuador and neighboring Peru. Smallpox would ravage the population and the Inca soon found themselves fighting an enemy equipped with superior firepower. Against these odds, they fell back, with their last stronghold at Vilcabamba, Ecuador, falling in 1572. The conquest was nothing short of a disaster for the Inca and the indigenous people already living there. When the Spanish took over, they built estates called haciendas and the descendants of the Cayambe were forced into labor. They reportedly worked under severe conditions and in windowless room – a humiliating end for a people who, just decades earlier, had fought a war to win their freedom.

Featured image: A red lake. Representational image only.

By Bryan Hill


Jarus, Owen. "Ancient War Revealed in Discovery of Incan Fortresses." LiveScience. Accessed July 11, 2015.

Masn, Susan. "A Local View at Laguna De Yahuarcocha." AFAR Media.

"Ibarra History - Bloody Battles and Famous Ice Cream." ProEcuador.

"Laguna Yahuarcocha: The Lake of Blood." ProEcuador.

Ruiz, Gabriela. "Yaguarcocha Lagoon. An Amazing Place in Ecuador." Yahuarcocha Lagoon. November 25, 2014.

Laguna Yaguarcocha - The Lake of Blood - stock photo

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Echeverría-Almeida, José, and John Stephen Athens. “Investigación Subacuática En Las Lagunas de Yahuarcocha, San Pablo, Mojanda, Provincia de Imbabura, Ecuador.” Revista de Arqueología Americana, no. 34 (2016).

Echeverría-Almeida and Athens underwater survey of the Laguna Yahuarcocha (Lake of Blood) builds on earlier subaquatic research performed in the lake in the early 2000s. Besides concluding that the lake is on the verge of an ecological collapse because of waste-water runoff and sedimentation, the authors were able to date the presence of domesticated corn (zea mays) to around 6,400 to 6,200 BP, helping determine the start of prehistoric agriculture. The authors were able to date a series of volcanic eruptions, including the Quilotoa explosion around 676 BP (137), and discovered Carangui pottery fragments dating from the sixteenth century, which provide context for ethnohistorians trying to better understand pre-Incan history.

The authors also discovered a series of adults and adolescent skeletons that may have been dumped in the lake during the infamous massacre at the lake at the end of the Incan wars (134). This adds to evidence from a 1948 excavation in which human remains and “montones de cráneos” were found when part of the lake was drained for a road project, according to a separate report published in 2007 by Echeverría-Almeida (“Arqueología de Una Batalla La Laguna de Yahuarcocha,” Arqueología Ecuatoriana, June 12, 2007).


Strikingly tall skeletons uncovered in the Ecuador and Peru Amazon region are undergoing examination in Germany, according to a research team headed by British anthropologist Russell Dement. Will these remains prove that a race of tall people existed hundreds of years ago deep in the Amazonian rainforest? According to a Cuenca news site, since 2013 the team has found half a dozen human skeletons dating to the early 1400s and the mid-1500s which measure between seven and eight feet (213 to 243 centimeters) in height. Dement said, “We are very early in our research and I am only able to provide a general overview of what we have found. I don’t want to make claims based on speculation since our work is ongoing. Because of the size of the skeletons, this has both anthropological and medical implications,” reports Cuenca Highlife. Skeletal Remains in Ecuador and Peru In late 2013 Dement received word that a skeleton had been uncovered by a Shuar local, approximately 70 miles (112 kilometers) from Cuenca, in Loja Province, Ecuador. Dement traveled to the site and recovered a rib cage and skull of a female which had been exposed by flooding. The bones were thought to date to 600 years ago. The rest of the skeleton was located and, once assembled, reportedly measured seven feet, four inches (223.5 centimeters) in height. This prompted the formation of a research team including four researchers from Freie Universität in Germany, and the assistance of Shuar locals. Funding was provided by the university for excavation and investigation. Recognizing it is a controversial area of research, Dement noted “Even though I had been working with Freie for many years, I was concerned that they might not give a grant for someone looking for giants. To outsiders, especially scientists, I understand this sounds a little hair-brained. […] “Because of the sensational nature of this, we have to be extremely diligent in our research since it will be met with a great deal of skepticism,” he said.

Illustration from “Mundus subterraneus” – suggesting that fossil bones were from giants (Wikimedia Commons). Within six months of excavations and mapping at two different sites: the one outside of Cuenca, and another settlement dating to about 1550, approximately 20 miles (32 kilometers) away on the Ecuadorian-Peruvian border, the team had found five more tall skeletons, as well as artifacts. It is believed by Dement and colleagues that the tribe at the second site had been at the settlement for at least 150 years. The three complete skeletons and two partial skeletons had no disfiguration and suggested they were relatively healthy. Dement said, “The skeletons show no signs of diseases such as the hormonal growth problems that are common in most cases of gigantism. In all the skeletons, the joints seemed healthy and lung cavity appeared large. One of the skeletons that we have dated was of a female who was about 60 when she died, much older than typical cases of gigantism,” reports Cuenca Highlife. The burials were elaborate. Bodies were wrapped in leaves and buried in thick clay. This sealed the skeletons and protected against water intrusion, leaving the remains in fairly good condition. Giant Human Skeleton unearthed in Varna, Bulgaria Lovelock Cave: A Tale of Giants or A Giant Tale of Fiction? The Life and Legend of the Aldworth Giants Legends Come to Life It is reported that Dement had previously studied Amazon indigenous communities for more than two decades and had heard the legends of “very tall, pale-skinned people who used to live nearby,” he said. Community elders described them to Dement as a race of large, peaceful Amazonians who were welcomed by the indigenous Shuar and Achuar people, however, the locals also believed these people belonged to the ‘spirit world’ and were purely mythical.

A Shuar man in traditional garb. (CC BY-SA 3.0) Real-Life Giants Since the announcement of this discovery several reports have vastly exaggerated the dimensions of the finds, with seven feet being reported as seven meters (making them 23 feet tall). The bones have also been erroneously connected with hoax photos, as well as a reconstruction of an “Ecuador giant”, which was in fact a fake skeleton for a now-closed theme park in Switzerland. The Relic of Bir Hooker Proof of a Race of Giants? – Part 1 The Establishment Has Already Acknowledged A Lost Race of Giants – Part 1 Lake of Blood: The dark history of Laguna Yahuarcocha, Ecuador These false reports should not detract from the actual discovery of seven-to-eight-feet skeletal remains in the Ecuadorian and Peruvian rainforest, which are being scientifically studied. Such skeletons, while seeming to fit the ancient legends of a mythical race, are not unheard of or unproven in scientific literature. Other such cases of extremely tall humans (or “giants”) can easily be referenced, such as Robert Wadlow, known as the “Alton Giant”, cited as the tallest person in recorded history. Wadlow was born in Alton, Illinois, USA in 1918, and at his death was eight feet, eleven inches (2.72 meters) tall.

Robert Pershing Wadlow, tallest person in recorded history, was of a giant height due to hyperplasia of his pituitary gland. (Creative Commons Fair Use) Another of the many cases of modern gigantism include that of Charles Byrne (1761-1783), known as “The Irish Giant,” whose skeleton is now on display at the Royal College of Surgeons of England in London. Measurements of his skeleton measured him at approximately seven feet, seven inches (2.31 meters) tall.

The skeleton of Charles Byrne, “The Irish Giant” in London, 2007. (StoneColdCrazy / CC BY SA)

Attended Carrera de Zorro event

We enjoyed watching the Zorro horse races, and the scenery overlooking the lake. It was a big event, and lots of fun. There appeared to be paddle boats for rent, and we had lunch at a restaurant overlooking the lake.

Located in Ibarra, it is one of the most beautiful lagoons I have ever known, the landscape is wonderful, the mountains, the lagoon, the birds, a beautiful hotel on the shore of the lagoon. There are different attractions or recreational activities that can be done here. There is a go Karting track where adults and children have races on a small circuit, traditional children's games and mechanics, racetrack where several people use the tracks for professional races or to practice for the next races, to sail in boats in the form of swans or dragons , Are large boats where they take a tour around the lagoon with good music, sport fishing and delicious food with food from the region.

Even though, this place is about 2 - 2.3 hours drive from Quito. but it's all worth the effort!
I did paragliding here, and it was amazing!! Top view of is always best!

Awesome. We went in paragliding, views are to die for. We love it. And definitely looking forward to do it again

We went to Yahuarcocha based on my wife's recommendation and memories from when she live around here. The Laguna has a fascinating history but you wouldn't know it by what is, or rather, isn't there. There is nothing on the history of the place - NOTHING. I won't relate the history but Yahuarcocha was know as the Lagoon of Blood. Look it up. Get a little cultured. The story is worth the read. Anyway there is a place you can pay to use the restroom and another place where you can rent some really cheesy cartoon characters to pedal around the lagoon but nothing in the way of history. Sad. The site is beautiful and the lagoon no longer red and worth the drive there to see it all but could and should have been so much more.

Legends Come to Life

It is reported that Dement had previously studied Amazon indigenous communities for more than two decades and had heard the legends of “very tall, pale-skinned people who used to live nearby,” he said. Community elders described them to Dement as a race of large, peaceful Amazonians who were welcomed by the indigenous Shuar and Achuar people, however, the locals also believed these people belonged to the ‘spirit world’ and were purely mythical.


Throughout the Inca Empire's history, each Sapa Inca worked to expand the territory of the empire. When Pachacuti, the 9th Sapa Inca ruled, he expanded the Empire to northern Peru. [8] At this point, Pachacuti sent his son Tupac Inca Yupanqui to invade and conquer the territory of present-day Ecuador. [9] News of the expansion of the Inca reached the different tribes and nations of Ecuador. As a defense against the Inca, the Andean chiefdoms formed alliances with each other.

Around 1460, Tupac Inca Yupanqui, with an army of 200,000 warriors that were sent by his father, easily gained control of the Palta nation in southern Ecuador and northern Peru in a matter of months. [9] However, the Inca army met fierce resistance from the defending Cañari, which left the Incas so impressed that after they were defeated the Cañari were recruited into the Inca army. In northern Ecuador the Inca army met fiercer resistance from an alliance between the Quitus and the Cañari. After defeating them in the battle of Atuntaqui, Tupac Yupanqui sent settlers to what is now the city of Quito and left as governor Chalco Mayta, belonging to the Inca nobility. [10] [ page needed ]

Around 1520, the tribes of Quitos, Caras and Puruhá rebelled against the Inca Huayna Cápac. He personally led his army, and defeated the rebels in the battle of Laguna de Yahuarcocha where there was such a massacre that the lake turned to blood. The alliance of the northern tribes collapsed and finally ended when Huayna Cápac married Paccha Duchicela, queen of the Quitos, making them recognize him as monarch, this marriage was the basis of the alliance that guaranteed the Inca power in the area. [11]

After Huayna Capac died in 1525, Atahualpa was appointed governor of Quito by his brother Huáscar. [12] Atahualpa defeated Huáscar's armies, sent because the Inca thought his brother could overthrow him, and in the process conquered and ruled the Inca Empire as Sapa Inca. His rule lasted only a few months before he was captured by the army of Francisco Pizarro, who sided with the Cuzco supporters of the executed Inca Huáscar. The Spanish conquerors executed Atahualpa in July 1533. [ citation needed ]

Huáscar saw Atahualpa as the greatest threat to his power, but did not dethrone him to respect the wishes of his late father. [13] A tense five-year peace ensued, Huáscar took advantage of that time to get the support of the Cañari, a powerful ethnic group that dominated extensive territories of the north of the empire and maintained grudges against Atahualpa, who had fought them during his father's campaigns. By 1529, the relationship between both brothers was quite deteriorated. According to the chronicler Pedro Pizarro, Huáscar sent an army to the North that ambushed Atahualpa in Tumebamba and defeated him. Atahualpa was captured and imprisoned in a “tambo” (roadside shelters built for the Chasqui) but succeeded in escaping. During his time in captivity, he was cut and lost an ear. From then on, he wore a headpiece that fastened under his chin to hide the injury. But, the chronicler Miguel Cabello de Balboa said that this story of capture was improbable because if Atahualpa had been captured by Huáscar's forces, they would have executed him immediately. [14]

Atahualpa returned to Quito and amassed a great army. He attacked the Cañari of Tumebamba, defeating its defenses and leveling the city and the surrounding lands. He arrived in Tumbes, from which he planned an assault by rafts on the island Puná. During the naval operation, Atahualpa sustained a leg injury and returned to land. Taking advantage of his retreat, the "punaneños" (inhabitants of Puña) attacked Tumbes. They destroyed the city, leaving it in the ruined state recorded by the Spaniards in early 1532. [ citation needed ]

From Cuzco the Huascarites attacked the armies of general Atoc and defeated Atahualpa in the battle of Chillopampa. The Atahualapite generals responded quickly they gathered together their scattered troops, counter-attacked, and forcefully defeated Atoc in Mulliambato. They captured Atoc, and later tortured and killed him. [ citation needed ]

The Atahualapite forces continued to be victorious, as a result of the strategic abilities of Quisquis and Calcuchimac. Atahualpa began a slow advance on Cuzco. While based in Marcahuamachuco, he sent an emissary to consult the oracle of the Huaca (a god) Catequil, who prophesied that Atahualpa's advance would end poorly. Furious at the prophecy, Atahualpa went to the sanctuary, killed the priest, and ordered the temple to be destroyed. [15] During this period, he first learned that Pizarro and his expedition had arrived in the empire. [16]

Atahualpa's leading generals were Quizquiz, Chalcuchimac, and Rumiñawi. In April 1532, Quizquiz and his companions led the armies of Atahualpa to victory in the battles of Mullihambato, Chimborazo and Quipaipán. The Battle of Quipaipán was the final one between the warring brothers. Quizquiz and Chalcuchimac defeated Huáscar's army, captured him, killed his family, and seized the capital, Cuzco. Atahualpa had remained behind in the Andean city of Cajamarca, [17] where he encountered the Spanish, led by Pizarro. [18]

In January 1531, a Spanish expedition led by Francisco Pizarro, on a mission to conquer the Inca Empire, landed on Puná Island. Pizarro brought with him 169 men and 69 horses. [19] [ page needed ] The Spaniards headed south and occupied Tumbes, where they heard about the civil war that Huáscar and Atahualpa were waging against each other. [20] About a year and a half later, in September 1532, after reinforcements arrived from Spain, Pizarro founded the city of San Miguel de Piura, and then marched towards the heart of the Inca Empire, with a force of 106 foot-soldiers and 62 horsemen. [21] Atahualpa, in Cajamarca with his army of 80,000 troops, heard that this party of strangers was advancing into the empire, and sent an Inca noble to investigate. [22] The noble stayed for two days in the Spanish camp, making an assessment of the Spaniards' weapons and horses. Atahualpa decided that the 168 Spaniards were not a threat to him and his 80,000 troops, so he sent word inviting them to visit Cajamarca and meet him, expecting to capture them. [23] Pizarro and his men thus advanced unopposed through some very difficult terrain. They arrived at Cajamarca on 15 November 1532. [24]

Atahualpa and his army had camped on a hill just outside Cajamarca. He was staying in a building close to the Konoj hot springs, while his soldiers were in tents set up around him. [25] When Pizarro arrived in Cajamarca, the town was mostly empty except for a few hundred acllas. The Spaniards were billeted in certain long buildings on the main plaza, and Pizarro sent an embassy to the Inca, led by Hernando de Soto. The group consisted of 15 horsemen and an interpreter shortly thereafter de Soto sent 20 more horsemen as reinforcements in case of an Inca attack. These were led by Francisco Pizarro's brother, Hernando Pizarro. [26]

The Spaniards invited Atahualpa to visit Cajamarca to meet Pizarro, which he resolved to do the following day. [27] Meanwhile, Pizarro was preparing an ambush to trap the Inca: while the Spanish cavalry and infantry were occupying three long buildings around the plaza, some musketeers and four pieces of artillery were located in a stone structure in the middle of the square. [28] The plan was to persuade Atahualpa to submit to the authority of the Spaniards and, if this failed, there were two options: a surprise attack, if success seemed possible, or to keep up a friendly stance if the Inca forces appeared too powerful. [29]

The following day, Atahualpa left his camp at midday, preceded by a large number of men in ceremonial attire as the procession advanced slowly, Pizarro sent his brother Hernando to invite the Inca to enter Cajamarca before nightfall. [30] Atahualpa entered the town late in the afternoon in a litter carried by eighty lords with him were four other lords in litters and hammocks and 5,000–6,000 men carrying small battle axes, slings, and pouches of stones underneath their clothes. [31] "He was very drunk from what he had imbibed in the [thermal] baths before leaving as well as what he had taken during the many stops on the road. In each of them he had drunk well. And even there on his litter he requested drink." [32] The Inca found no Spaniards in the plaza, as they were all inside the buildings. The only man to emerge was the Dominican friar Vincente de Valverde with an interpreter. [33]

Although there are different accounts as to what Valverde said, most agree that he invited the Inca to come inside to talk and dine with Pizarro. Atahualpa instead demanded the return of every thing the Spaniards had taken since they landed. [34] According to eyewitness accounts, Valverde spoke about the Catholic religion but did not deliver the requerimiento, a speech requiring the listener to submit to the authority of the Spanish Crown and accept the Christian faith. [35] At Atahualpa's request, Valverde gave him his breviary but, after a brief examination, the Inca threw it to the ground Valverde hurried back toward Pizarro, calling on the Spaniards to attack. [36] At that moment, Pizarro gave the signal the Spanish infantry and cavalry came out of their hiding places and charged the unsuspecting Inca retinue, killing a great number while the rest fled in panic. [37] Pizarro led the charge on Atahualpa, but captured him only after killing all those carrying him and turning over his litter. [38] Not a single Spanish soldier was killed.

On 17 November the Spaniards sacked the Inca army camp, in which they found great treasures of gold, silver, and emeralds. Noticing their lust for precious metals, Atahualpa offered to fill a large room about 6.7 m (22 ft) long and 5.2 m (17 ft) wide up to a height of 2.4 m (8 ft) once with gold and twice with silver within two months. [39] It is commonly believed that Atahualpa offered this ransom to regain his freedom, but Hemming says that he did so to save his life. None of the early chroniclers mention any commitment by the Spaniards to free Atahualpa once the metals were delivered. [40]

After several months in fear of an imminent attack from general Rumiñawi, the outnumbered Spanish considered Atahualpa to be too much of a liability and decided to execute him. Pizarro staged a mock trial and found Atahualpa guilty of revolting against the Spanish, practicing idolatry, and murdering Huáscar, his brother. Atahualpa was sentenced to death by burning at the stake. He was horrified, since the Inca believed that the soul would not be able to go on to the afterlife if the body were burned. Friar Vincente de Valverde, who had earlier offered his breviary to Atahualpa, intervened, telling Atahualpa that, if he agreed to convert to Catholicism, the friar could convince Pizarro to commute the sentence. [41] [ page needed ] Atahualpa agreed to be baptized into the Catholic faith. He was given the name Francisco Atahualpa in honor of Francisco Pizarro.

On the morning of his death, Atahualpa was interrogated by his Spanish captors about his birthplace. Atahualpa declared that his birthplace was in what the Incas called the Kingdom of Quito, in a place called Caranqui (today located 2 km southeast of Ibarra, Ecuador). Most chroniclers suggest that Atahualpa was born in what the Incas used to call the Kingdom of Quito, though other stories suggest various other birthplaces. [42] [ page needed ]

In accordance with his request, he was executed by strangling with a garrote on 26 July 1533. [a] His clothes and some of his skin were burned, and his remains were given a Christian burial. [43] Atahualpa was succeeded by his brother Túpac Huallpa, and later by another brother, Manco Inca. [44]

After the death of Pizarro, Inés Yupanqui, the favorite sister of Atahualpa, who had been given to Pizarro in marriage by her brother, married a Spanish cavalier named Ampuero and left for Spain. They took her daughter by Pizarro with them, and she was later legitimized by imperial decree. Francisca Pizarro Yupanqui married her uncle Hernando Pizarro in Spain, on 10 October 1537—they had a son, Francisco Pizarro y Pizarro. The Pizarro line survived Hernando's death, although it is extinct in the male line. Among Inés direct descendants, with Inca royal blood flowing in their veins, at least three governed Latin American nations during the 19th and early 20th centuries, Dominican President José Desiderio Valverde and Bolivian Presidents Pedro José Domingo de Guerra and Jose Gutierrez Guerra. Pizarro's third son, by a relative of Atahualpa renamed Angelina, who was never legitimized, died shortly after reaching Spain. [45] Another relative, Catalina Capa-Yupanqui, who died in 1580, married a Portuguese nobleman named António Ramos, son of António Colaço. Their daughter was Francisca de Lima who married Álvaro de Abreu de Lima, who was also a Portuguese nobleman. [ citation needed ]

In Quito, Ecuadorian Capital city, the most important soccer stadium is named Estadio Atahualpa after Atahualpa.

On the facade of the Royal Palace of Madrid there is a statue of the Inca emperor Atahualpa, along with another of the Aztec emperor Moctezuma II, among the statues of the kings of the ancient kingdoms that formed Spain.

Inkarri Edit

A myth concerning Atahualpa's death and future resurrection became widespread among indigenous groups, with versions of the tale being documented as far as among the Huilliche people of southern Chile. [46] A rare version recorded by Tom Dillehay among the Mapuche of Araucanía tells of Atahualpa killing Pedro de Valdivia. [46]

The burial site of Atahualpa is unknown, but historian Tamara Estupiñán argues it lies somewhere in modern-day Ecuador. [47] She argues he was buried in Ecuador for safekeeping. The location is named Malqui-Machay, which in Quechua translates to "mummy", [48] and stone walls and trapezoidal underground water canals were found in this location. More serious archaeological excavation needs to be done to confirm Estupiñán's beliefs.

Atahualpa Inca's conflict with Pizarro was dramatized by Peter Shaffer in his play The Royal Hunt of the Sun, which originally was staged by the National Theatre in 1964 at the Chichester Festival then in London at the Old Vic. The role of Atahualpa was played by Robert Stephens and by David Carradine (who received a Tony Award nomination) in the 1965 Broadway production. [49] Christopher Plummer portrayed Atahualpa in the 1969 movie version of the play. [50]



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La Laguna de Yahuarcocha (lago de sangre en quichua), es un lago sagrado en Ecuador. Al mirar a través de las quietas aguas de la pintoresca región de Ibarra, es difícil imaginar que alguna vez hubiera sido el escenario de una sangrienta masacre como consecuencia de la resistencia indígena al dominio inca.

La Laguna de Yahuarcocha -también se puede decir Yawarkucha- está localizada a unos 3 kilómetros (1.86 millas) al norte de Ibarra y se encuentra ubicada a una altura de 2.190 metros (7.185 pies) sobre el nivel del mar. Ésta es una de las principales atracciones de la región. Se estima que tiene aproximadamente 12.000 años de edad y es un vestigio de la era postglaciar. Yahuarcocha es históricamente importante porque hay estudios realizados por investigadores que afirman que es un área que contiene evidencia arqueológica muy amplia e inexplorada.

El nombre Yahuarcocha ("Yahuar" significa sangre y "cocha" significa lago) es de origen quichua, parte de la lengua quechua que se habla principalmente en la región de los Andes en Sudamérica.

El llamado "lago de sangre" fue el lugar de una antigua batalla entre los incas de Huayna-Capac (11 décimo primer líder de los incas y último emperador indiscutible en gobernar) a la cabeza, contra un frente unido de indígenas conocidos como la confederación Caranqui-Cayambe-Pasto. Antes de la conquista inca a finales del siglo XV, el reino de Quito (al día de hoy es Ecuador) estaba compuesto por varios grupos lingüísticos entre los que se encontraba Pasto, Otavalo-Caranqui y Cayambe.

El portón oeste de la fortaleza inca de Quitoloma. Arqueólogos trabajan en su excavación y preservación. Crédito Chad Gifford Proyecto Arqueológico Pambamarca

Las fortalezas incas construidas en la época de la batalla han sido descubiertas no hace mucho tiempo cerca de un volcán extinto llamado Pambamarca. El descubrimiento les aportó evidencia a los arqueólogos sobre la guerra de los incas poco tiempo antes de la conquista española. Se ha identificado que veinte fortalezas fueron construidas por los incas y dos por los Cayambe. La evidencia sugiere que hubo una frontera precolombina o línea fronteriza, la cual, dicen los expertos, existió entre las fortalezas incas y las fortalezas de los indígenas Cayambe.

El descubrimiento aportó evidencia arqueológica que apoya la leyenda del Lago de Yahuarcocha, contada por los españoles cuando ingresaron a Sudamérica durante los siglos XVI y XVII. Según esas historias, Huayna Capac, quiso conquistar a los Cayambe con un "ejército muy poderoso." Él esperaba una rápida victoria, pero terminó enredado en una larga lucha.

La Batalla de Yahuarcocha

La sangrienta Batalla de Yahuarcocha ocurrió en el año 1487. Los Cayambe se habían percatado de que sus fuerzas no eran suficientes para enfrentar a los incas en una batalla a campo abierto, y según el misionero español, Bernabé Cobo (en su libro del siglo XVII llamado Historia del Imperio Inca), ellos se retiraron para hacer una gran fortaleza. Huayna Capac ordenó a sus hombres que asediaran la fortaleza y la atacaran continuamente. Los Cayambe opusieron gran resistencia y obligaron a los incas a retroceder debido a la gran cantidad de muertes. Huayna Capac reunió a un gran ejército y sometió definitivamente a los "rebeldes". Finalmente, los incas tuvieron éxito en sacar a los Cayambe de sus fortalezas a la orilla del lago.

Una masacre en el Lago de Yahuarcocha

Cuando Huayna-Capac finalmente conquistó las tribus, documentos históricos registran que él masacró a todos los hombres caranqui de 12 años en adelante y botó sus cuerpos a Yahuarcocha, cuyo color se volvió rojo por causa de la sangre. Cobo escribe que "los incas ordenaron a sus hombres que les cortaran la garganta a los enemigos sin lástima alguna, ya que los habían cazado para luego lanzar sus cuerpos al lago."

Estudios arqueológicos actuales en el área han encontrado fragmentos de cerámica y partes de huesos de adolescentes y adultos. Estos huesos revelan impactos contundentes que sugieren peleas cuerpo a cuerpo, sin embargo, el número total de muertes sigue sin poder determinarse. Se estima que entre 20.000 y 50.000 indígenas fueron asesinados por los incas.

Desenterrando la evidencia de la gran batalla

Las fortalezas incas recientemente descubiertas (cerca de Pambamarca) contenían plataformas de piedra llamadas ushnus, y están localizadas en cerros a unos 3.000 metros (10.000 pies) sobre el suelo. Con más de 100 estructuras encontradas en el lugar de Quitoloma, los soldados que habitaban en ellas estaban preparados para la batalla. Las estructuras estaban llenas de armamento inca y unas pocas hondas recuperadas de las casas, sugiriendo que habían estado esperando el ataque del enemigo o iban a hacer una ofensiva desde arriba de la colina.

En comparación, las dos fortalezas Cayambe estaban hechas de un material volcánico llamado cangahua. Son fortalezas grandes que probablemente tenían personas adentro y afuera de los muros. Una de las fortalezas contiene evidencia de una batalla con dos tipos de munición (hondas y boleadoras). Las dos fortalezas albergaban alfarería diseñada al estilo indígena ecuatoriano y no inca, y la alfarería Cayambe siguió siendo utilizada en la región, lo que sugiere que la cultura continuó, por lo menos en algunas formas. Quizá después de muchos años de guerra y resistencia decidieron rendirse y aliarse a los incas.

En las décadas posteriores a la guerra, los españoles conquistaron Ecuador y Perú. La viruela azotó a la población y los incas pronto se encontraron peleando contra un enemigo equipado con armamento superior. Contra estas probabilidades, ellos se retiraron, con su última fortaleza en Vilcabamba, Ecuador, cayendo en el año 1572. La conquista fue un desastre para los incas y los indígenas que vivían allí. Cuando los españoles tomaron el control, crearon latifundios llamados haciendas y los descendientes de los Cayambe fueron obligados a trabajar. Se cree que trabajaron bajo condiciones muy adversas y su vivienda era muy precaria, un fin humillante para personas que justo algunas décadas antes habían peleado con valentía por su libertad.

Jarus, Owen. "Ancient War Revealed in Discovery of Incan Fortresses." LiveScience. Accedido en Julio 11, 2015.

Masn, Susan. "A Local View at Laguna De Yahuarcocha." AFAR Media.

"Ibarra History - Bloody Battles and Famous Ice Cream." ProEcuador.

"Laguna Yahuarcocha: The Lake of Blood." ProEcuador.

Ruiz, Gabriela. "Yaguarcocha Lagoon. An Amazing Place in Ecuador." Yahuarcocha Lagoon. Noviembre 25, 2014

Revisión y Diseño: elcofresito

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Lagoons and lakes of Ecuador

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The lakes and lagoons are one of the best places to enjoy nature, observe flora and fauna, go trekking. Quilotoa the enchanted lagoon, discover the province of the lakes Read more

  • Their lagos y lagunas they are part of the most spectacular, perfect and beautiful settings where you can enjoy Andean nature.
  • Find the model you want in Ecuador there are more than 70 lagoons distributed in different provinces of the country, in several of these activities such as: swimming, deportive fishing, kayak. is one of 15 most beautiful lagoons of volcanic origin in the world according to Twistedsifter
  • Other icons are: Mojanda lagoon, lake san Pablo, Yellow lagoon in the crater of the El Altar volcano, Cuicocha lagoon, Limpiopungo lagoon, lake complex of El Cajas, Colta lagoon y Yambo lagoon.
  • Lake It is a natural reservoir of water in a depression in the ground, which collects rainwater, underground or from one or more rivers, and also flows to other bodies of water. While lagoon It also refers to a natural reservoir of water, generally fresh, less extensive and deep than a lake and lacks an outlet.
  • Most of the routes that lead to the lagoons have local guides, s y viewpoints. In addition, garments woven with wool are offered, crafts made with páramo straw, jewelry with native seeds and typical food area.

Watch the video: Blood Red Lakes and Other Geothermal Psychological ThrillersWashed-up Rom-Coms


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