The Quest for the Lost Inca Gold

23rd November 2018

They're off! Jacki-Hill Murphy and her team of explorers are journeying to Ecuador today. They will be following a 500 year old map around the Llanganates National Park on the quest to find the Lost Inca Gold. The area of the Llanganates that the team will be exploring is a largely uncharted area, without paths, full of long grasses, bogs and lots of treacherous terrain! 

Valverde's map

The team are following a dotted line on a 500 year old map with an X that marks the spot of King Atahualpa’s hidden gold ransom. The gold dissapeared many years ago but a local Spanish man, called Valverde, claimed he knew where the gold was and on his death bed he wrote a set of instructions disclosing it's secret location. 

Wildlife in Ecuador

Ecuador is a subtropical country in South America and is home to a wide variety of animals including:

  • Spectacled Bears
  • Monkeys (spider monkeys, howler monkeys, woolly monkeys, capuchin monkeys and squirrel monkeys)
  • Sloths
  • Anteaters
  • Armadillos
  • Capybaras
  • Agoutis
  • Tapirs
  • Jaguars
  • Andean Condors
  • Hummingbirds
  • Toucans

Conservation in Ecuador

The team are not expecting to find gold on their quest but they are very interested in the local communities and wildlife in Ecuador. Ecuador has one of the world’s highest deforestation rates, estimated at over 300,000 hectares per year. The Ecuadorian government is in the process of auctioning off eight million acres of largely virgin rainforest to oil companies.This has a dramatic effect on the wildlife that call the rainforests their home and the indigenous people who live there. Jacki and her team will be meeting with people from the indigenous Kichwa community to learn about their views. They believe nature is a living entity, to be respected and coexisted with and they are fighting the Government to protect the rainforests.

How can you get involved?

We will be posting updates from Jacki and her team of explorers on our Facebook page. The team will also be wearing a GPS tracker which you can follow.


Want to learn more? Join our education team, who have teamed up with Jacki, to offer you a FREE education programme. Whether you are a home educator, a school group, a brownie group or you just want to get involved with the exploration, our education team have put together themed, curriculum-linked resources with fun lesson plans, games and competitions to take part in

Once Jacki has returned and you have completed the education booklet, Jacki will be returning to Noah's Ark Zoo Farm for an 'Explorers Day'. We can't wait to see you!

If you would like to get involved please email or call 01275 852606.


Maze Drone 1

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