In 1887, two British sailors landed on the coast of Ecuador and set off across the Andes on a secret mission. Their task was to locate an immense hoard of Inca gold which had been lost for hundreds of years. A botanist who had recently returned from Ecuador had provided them with documents proving it still existed and gave them the route to find it. And find it they did - but both perished before they could make their way back to the cave a second time. In Valverde's Gold, Mark Honigsbaum attemps to unravel a riddle that has inspired treasure hunts for centuries, often with fatal results. In the time of the conquistadors, Inca generals amassed the greatest treasure hoard in history to buy the freedom of their king, Atahualpa, from Pizarro. But the ransom was never paid, because in a brutal act of betrayal the Spanish murdered Atahualpa in Peru. The Incas hid the ransom in the Llanganati Mountains of eastern Ecuador, and over time only the legends of wealth beyond measure and a king's curse endured. But when Honigsbaum stumbles across an ancient Spanish treasure guide in a Victorian botanist's notebook, he cannot help but be drawn into the mystery. Undeterred by the cursed history of the gold, he embarks on an epic journey into the last uncharted range in the Andes.