The Tayos caves of Ecuador are a legendary vast natural underground network of caves spanning many kilometres, very little of which has been officially explored. The truth behind the Tayos caves has remained out-of-reach, so last month Ancient Origins carried out an expedition to the caves to see just what lay within this enigmatic subterranean world. Written references to the Tayos caves go back as far as , but it has been known to the indigenous Shuar people for much longer. The caves sit within Shuar territory and is one of the reasons why it has rarely been explored — the Shuar decide who is allowed access to their sacred land.

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The Tayos caves of Ecuador are a legendary vast natural underground network of caves spanning many kilometres, very little of which has been officially explored. The truth behind the Tayos caves has remained out-of-reach, so last month Ancient Origins carried out an expedition to the caves to see just what lay within this enigmatic subterranean world. Written references to the Tayos caves go back as far as , but it has been known to the indigenous Shuar people for much longer. The caves sit within Shuar territory and is one of the reasons why it has rarely been explored — the Shuar decide who is allowed access to their sacred land.

In , the largest and most expensive exploration of Tayos cave was launched, led by Stan Hall, and involving over a hundred people, including British and Ecuadorian military personnel, expert cavers, as well as Neil Armstrong.

The Shuar people stated they had investigated the wrong cave, and the location of the treasures was secret. Inside Tayos cave. Some features, such as straight edges and geometric shapes, suggest human intervention Wikipedia.

Organizing an expedition to Tayos was difficult. Very little information is available about the caves, and the Ecuadorian government does not get involved, since the caves lie within Shuar territory. The Shuar people are members of the Jivaroan peoples, who are Amazon tribes living between the upper mountains of the Andes, and the tropical rainforests and savannas of the Amazonian lowlands, in Ecuador extending to Peru. At least 40, Shuar people remain in Ecuador.

Their advice could not have been further from the truth. Arriving in Macas, a small town close to the Tayos caves, we contacted government officials to obtain the necessary permits to enter Shuar territory. To our surprise we were told that none was required, apart from a verbal permission from the indigenous owner of the land.

This information was in opposition to the information provided by tourist offices. We were put in touch with an indigenous Shuar woman, who was running a local restaurant in town. She told us that her 7-year-old son, Miguel, would guide us one hour through the forest to one of the Shuar communities, where her father would help us with guidance in the Tayos caves.

With the help of our young guide, we drove 4km down a path through the forest, before following Miguel on foot through the jungle until we reached the small Shuar community next to the river Pastaza, where he introduced us to his grandfather, who would guide us through the caves. When we arrived, we were warmly welcomed by the indigenous people living in the camp, consisting of about 10 adults and 10 children.

He would provide us with all the information and guidance we needed for the next 4 days. We also had the opportunity to interview Luis about the Tayos caves, a video that will be released shortly. The friendliness of the Shuar people and the local community was in stark contrast to the dire warnings given to us by tourist companies.

The community provided us with freshly made local traditional food every day as well, as the famous Andean Chicha drink made from fermented maize. We spent the first day discussing with Luis, who explained to us how we would proceed in the days to follow — one cave at a time!

Saturday 19 th September: We started our day early with a local breakfast and then packed up our equipment and headed out to explore our first cave. The jungle is very thick, so finding the caves without a guide would have been a difficult task. Luis provided us with 3 guides — including him, to guide us through the caves. The first cave was hidden behind thick vegetation with a rather steep entrance.

Ancient-Origins team with our 3 guides, including Luis second from the right. In one section of the cave, only one of our team members managed to squeeze through the gap. After a few hours, in which we explored a few kilometers of cave tunnels, we returned back to the camp.

We had a nice warm dinner and then headed to our lodge for discussions into the night. Luis explained to us about the legends and myths behind the caves, including the story of Father Crespi and how gold and artifacts were indeed taken from the caves to be given to Father Crespi.

According to Luis, the gold found within the central cathedral in Cuenca, originally came from the Tayos caves. Right: Inside the cathedral Wikipedia. Sunday 20 th September: We headed off to explore another entrance into the caves, where we would have to rappel our way down a meter drop, through an entrance on the top of a hill. Most of the entrances to Tayos caves involve the need to abseil down a large drop and this is another reason it is rarely explored.

After reaching the bottom, we took some new paths that our guides had not explored before. The Shuar believed these footprints belonged to the spirits and that therefore they should not enter. They were, however, happy for us to enter, while they stayed behind. As it happened, the path was too narrow for all of us to proceed, so Gary went alone, crawling on his stomach through a gap until he reached a dead end.

Nothing could be found, but there was a strange sound from an animal that was nowhere to be seen. After hours of exploring more tunnels within the cave we returned back to the camp exhausted to conclude our third day. Monday 21 st September: This was our last day of exploring the caves and this time we headed to the river Pastaza, mentioned by Stan Hall in his book Tayos Gold as the real location of the metal library and the artifacts of Father Crespi.

According to the book, the entrance is from the river and you have to dive underwater to find it. We entered the cave system and began exploring.

But just 1km into the cave, the guides refused to go further due to the high level of water. Ioannis and Gary decided to move on and explore the rest of the cave. This took us another kilometre into the cave until we reached a section that was blocked from rocks sliding into the tunnel. We could not go any further. Exploring the cave on the 4 th day, Chris and Gary with two of the guides.

After exploring this last cave, we said our goodbyes to the Shuar community and headed back to Cuenca. Our impression was that much of our time spent at Tayos and with the Shuar community was a trust-building exercise. The Shuar have been exploited numerous times, so protecting their land and their history is of great importance.

Our expedition was just a tiny taste of a vast and almost never-ending network, and we only scratched the surface. Fortunately, we built strong relationships with the Shuar, who have invited us back for further explorations. Our next expedition will be held within the next two months, following which, we are looking to open up further trips to Ancient Origins readers.

At Ancient Origins we believe that one of Read More. A truly historic journey, it should have been given more attention because of the facinating history behind it all. It is a shame that you were unable to stay longer and delve further in to the cave systems. I would like to know if you are planning to go back and explore the caves again with your guides. The trust you have built up with the local Shuar community will help and over time they may open up to you further and show you places were others have not seen.

I do have a serious question though; if you find any artifacts, whether of gold or proof of alien higher technology, what are you going to do if the Shuar people say no to announcing any discovery?

Ancient Origins has been quoted by:. By bringing together top experts and authors, this archaeology website explores lost civilizations, examines sacred writings, tours ancient places, investigates ancient discoveries and questions mysterious happenings. Our open community is dedicated to digging into the origins of our species on planet earth, and question wherever the discoveries might take us.

We seek to retell the story of our beginnings. Skip to main content. Login or Register in order to comment. Bob Bunsen wrote on 21 August, - Permalink. What happened during the follow-up expedition that was supposed to take place within two months? Waiting to see the follow up expedition!

Tsurugi wrote on 2 November, - Permalink. Sounds like it was a lot of fun. I'd love to go on one of these expeditions. Gerry Thompson wrote on 7 October, - Permalink. Related Articles on Ancient-Origins. The Cueva de Los Tayos Expedition was an adventure no one will forget! Our expedition had two main goals — to find more cave entrances and to solve the mystery of the rock formations we called The Tayos Caves have After building trust with a local Shuar village, Ancient Origins returned once again to explore the Tayos caves in Ecuador.

While the search for hidden cave entrances continues, our recent expedition Top New Stories. An international team of researchers has investigated the earliest humans in Central America and how they adapted over time to new and changing environments, and how those changes have affected human life histories and societies.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is one of the most famous fairy tales in the world, first related in when the Grimm brothers published their collection of tales that had been gathered from old Human Origins.

Whilst there are a multitude of other examples in animals see: Gallagher, The human skull that challenges the Out of Africa theory. The origins of human beings according to ancient Sumerian texts. Ancient Technology. It has miraculous survived in working order to the present day, making it Ten amazing inventions from ancient times. Ancient Places.

Deep within the rainforests of Venezuela, a series of plateaus arise more than feet meters off the ground. From above, they look like islands in the sky. Halfway up a near-vertical ravine in the Andes, someone carved an inverted V-shaped entrance into the mountainside. Then they sliced the bedrock with great precision to create a shallow door that


"Mysteries of the Tayos Caves: The Lost Civilizations Where the Andes Meet the Amazon"

Cueva de los Tayos Spanish, "Cave of the Oilbirds " is a cave located on the eastern slopes of the Andes mountains in the Morona-Santiago province of Ecuador. According to the last GPS measurement in , its altitude is m above sea level. Located at an elevation of about m within thinly-bedded limestone and shale , the principal entrance to Cueva de Los Tayos is within a rainforest at the bottom of a dry valley. The largest of three entrances is a meter-deep shaft leading to 4. The cave has a vertical range of meters with its lowest point ending in a sump.


Cueva de los Tayos

In his book The Gold of the Gods Erich von Daniken claimed that he and a local guide Juan Moricz explored a cave system in Ecuador known as Cueva de los Tayos Cave of the Oilbirds which was supposed to be an underground tunnel system which ran for hundreds of miles. He wrote,. It could easily have come from the realms of Science Fiction if I had not seen and photographed the incredible truth in person. What I saw was not the product of dreams and imagination, it was real and tangible. We slid down a rope to the first platform feet below the surface.


Tag: juan moricz

I have now published my new book, Joining The Dots, which offers a fresh look at the Atlantis mystery. I have addressed the critical questions of when, where and who, using Plato's own words, tempered with some critical thinking and a modicum of common sense. Learn More. Harold T. Wilkins discussed these ancient tales at length over sixty years ago [ ].


Juan Moricz

Named for the tayos, the oil birds that reside within them, these caves have countless enigmas connected with them, from the discovery of inexplicable architectural details, to claims of curses and treasures, to dangerous encounters with the indigenous people, the Shuar, for whom the caves are sacred. He examines the legends and mysteries associated with this site and the explorers who have ventured within. He details the discovery of the Tayos Cave complex by Hungarian explorer Janos Juan Moricz in the s, including the claim of finding a metal library with books of gold. Exploring the oral tradition of the Shuar, he explains how this region was the possible origin of Incan culture and the legend of El Dorado. Alex Chionetti is an award-winning journalist, explorer, and filmmaker.

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