The Incas built the best planned cities in the ancient Americas. The Incas laid out their cities in a grid. Each city had a central plaza. That plaza was surrounded by public buildings and temples. A palace was built for visiting Sapa Incas. There was housing for priests and nobles. Houses were even built for the common people.
Most Incan cities did not have walls around them. Instead, the Incas built large stone fortresses near or beside their cities. In times of danger, people could run inside the fortress for protection. The rest of the time, the fortress housed some of the military.
The Incas build beautiful cities. They liked their buildings to match the surrounding landscape. They used well-cut stone. The Incas were master builders. Buildings were constructed to last, and to survive natural disasters like earthquakes.
Archaeologists have uncovered several impressive Inca cities from the ground and have cleared dense vegetation that has kept them hidden for many centuries.
Among these cities are Vilcabamba, Cota Coca, Corihuayrachina, Choquequirao, Vitcos and Machu Picchu.
These cities were either raided and demolished by the Spaniards or abandoned by their population for unknown reasons. Some of them were known, but they were forgotten. There also are cities that were never found by the Spaniards. One such city that we know is Machu Picchu. It had been abandoned by the Incas and has been found by historian-explorer, Hiram Bingham.
The 3rd category of "lost" cities is represented by those that are "talked about" in myths, stories, rumours and haven't been proven to exist. These are mythological cities, just like the ancient Babylon, Troy or the Island of Atlantis.
Below we are taking a look at all the most important cities to clear things out:
Machu Picchu, "The Secret Inca City": As we well know, it was never found by the conquistadores, who had raided and butchered in the valleys below, not far from it. They could not see what lay on top of the "Old Peak". TV documentaries will most often call it "The Lost Inca City" or "The Hidden City of Machu Picchu", the second expression being more rarely used.
Vilcabamba, "The Last Stronghold of the Incas": It is considered the last major stronghold of the Incas, located in the valley with the same name, where they had resisted for decades against repeated Spanish attacks. Vilcabamba was constructed in 1539 and it was demolished in 1572 by the Spaniards.
Vitcos, "The Last Capital of the Incas": The complex was constructed after Vilcabamba. Vitcos was the center of the Vilcabamba Incas, initially lead by Manco Cápac II, then by Túpac Amaru.
Choquequirao, "The Sacred Sister of Machu Picchu": Choquequirao was a place of refuge of Manco Cápac II before after the siege of Cuzco. This happened in 1535. Later, the city was abandoned due to Spanish attack.
Paititi, the Hidden Inca City with Tremendous Treasures: Mythical city, never found officially. Despite the fact that there were several dozens of claims, there is no scientific evidence any of those ruins found could be the famous Paititi.