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After the Incan empire fell, the city was burned and the area swiftly became a remote, not very populated or connected part of Peru. The location of Vilcabamba was forgotten.
The ruins of the city were rediscovered by Hiram Bingham in 1909 in a remote forest site 130 km west of Cuzco, but he failed to realize its significance, because he believed that Machu Picchu, which he also rediscovered, was the fabled "Lost City of the Incas". It was not until explorations and discoveries in the 1960s, that many came to see this site at Espíritu Pampa as the real Vilcabamba of legend.
- MacQuarrie, Kim: The Last Days of the Incas. Simon & Schuster, 2007. ISBN 978-0743260497.