SAVING, CHECKPOINTS & TECH SUPPORT: This game incorporates autosave checkpoints. If you only rely on one save slot, you may run into trouble if you get stuck, encounter a bug, or if your autosave becomes corrupted. To avoid problems, I highly recommend changing your save slot in the pause menu at least once per level. If you encounter a serious bug, I encourage you to visit the Official Shadow of the Tomb Raider Support Forum and or put in a support request with Square Enix. I am working on PC save files for download. Feel free to contact me with special requests.
AREA 4: KUWAQ YAKU
Weapons/Gear: River Hawk pistol (plus various others from the Merchant)
Camps: 6 (Kuwaq Yaku, Jungle Ruins, Docks, Hunting Grounds, Kuwaq Yaku Ruins, Petroleum Deposit*, Temple of Life*, Airfield Dirt Road*)
*The 6th camp is found in the Challenge Tomb, the 7th and 8th appear later after you finish the level so you can revisit certain areas. These are not counted in the total on the in-game map.
Outfits: 2 (Nine Strides' Boots, Condor Cowl of Urqu, plus various others from the Merchant)
Challenge Tombs: 1 Missions: 1 Challenges: 3 Treasure Chests: 2 Crypts: 2 Relics: 4 Documents: 18 Murals: 10 Survival Caches: 14 Monoliths: 3 Archivist Maps: 3 Explorer Backpacks: 2
Annotated Level Map: Kuwaq Yaku
NOTE: The totals above do not include the items found in the ECHOES OF THE PAST SIDE MISSION and FORGE OF DESTINY CHALLENGE TOMB, which are part of the first DLC pack, THE FORGE, covered in a separate section.
OBJECTIVE: Find Kuwaq Yaku
VILLAGE OUTSKIRTS: Lara and Jonah enter this area through a tunnel from the eastern end of the PERUVIAN JUNGLE level. Follow the path down to the village.
Lara and Jonah meet Abby, a local business owner who is friendly but clearly wary of outsiders. Once Jonah assures her they're not with Trinity, Abby opens up a bit. She sees Lara's photo from Cozumel and says she's seen a similar inscription in the nearby ruins. Lara goes off alone to investigate.
OBJECTIVE: Find the Ruins
You can eavesdrop on Abby and Jonah for a bit if you like and crack open a salvage crate in the corner nearby. Then move through the cantina toward the village. There are a few NPCs you can speak to, and when you pass the waitress, she tells you there's a market in the middle of town, and it is indicated on your map. If you like, you can go there now, or follow the Objective Beacon to continue with the main story (screenshot), but there are also a number of collectibles in and around the village.
At the bottom of the stairs leading out of Abby's place you'll find the Kuwaq Yaku Base Camp, where you can stop and change clothes or make upgrades if you like. Now that you have a pistol and rifle again, you can upgrade them as well as the Recurve Bow. There's a document (1/18), Company Town, from the Fortune and Glory Story, sitting on an oil drum nearby. (screenshot)
SIDE MISSION – INVASIVE SPECIES: If you talk to the man sitting on the box just west of the campsite (screenshot), he'll tell you about a shady character named Omar, and the Mission Giver for this level's Side Mission will be revealed on your map. Since Missions are optional, and this one is fairly extensive, it's covered on a separate page. Follow this link for the SIDE MISSION: INVASIVE SPECIES WALKTHROUGH, which includes a mural (1/10), a relic (1/4), the RIVER HAWK PISTOL, 250 gold pieces, and the Unwelcome Guests Achievement/Trophy.
NOTE: You don't have to do the mission first thing. I just list it here since you learn about it early on. Also, you can read the mural without doing the mission, but you won't be able to get the relic, since the tunnel into the side area is blocked off until you've talked to the various characters involved.
MAIN VILLAGE COLLECTIBLES: While you're here you can explore the village, talk to some of its residents, and steal their stuff. ;) I won't list every pot of grease or bundle of sticks, but here are the major items with screenshots. (The annotated level map may also be helpful.)
There's a document (2/18) Fuel for the Future (A Community in Need Story), sitting on a box near the fluorescent green house, second on the right as you enter the village via the rusty foot bridge. (screenshot) Another document (3/18) Family Tree (A Community in Need Story) can be found inside that same green house. (screenshot) If you exit through the back door, you'll see several shacks connected by walkways above the river. Follow the shore around to the northeast and jump from the dock onto the small balcony attached to the northernmost house—the one with blue-striped siding. (You can jump to either side of the balcony, as shown in these screenshots.) Inside is an archivist map (1/3). (screenshot) Examine it to reveal several documents, murals, and relics, as well as a nearby monolith, on your map.
There are also a few items nearby that were not marked: Return to the shore and talk to the lady sitting in the yellow plastic chair (screenshot), and she'll tell you the location of a Crypt, which will then be added to your map. Go into the wooden hut behind her to find a document (4/18) Trinity's Offer (A Community in Need Story). Now head past the pink house toward the MARKETPLACE in the north-central part of town. Climb the first flight of stairs in front of the big building and look to the left to spot another document (5/18). It is A Haunting from the Myth, Magic & Monsters Story. (screenshot) Just to the west, the Community Gardens building, with the blue and red porch railings, also contains a document (6/18), Water Quality Report from the Fortune and Glory Story. (screenshot) If you then head south from the Community Gardens house, with the blue and red porch railings, you'll see a stream with a small boat dock. Continue southward between the stream and the houses on the left and you'll come to the back of Omar's place. Pry open the metal door with the Porvenir logo and go inside to find a relic (2/4), a Burial Doll Replica (Fortune and Glory Story). (screenshots)
After getting this relic, exit the building and head forward then left. If you talk to the man sitting on the little dock under the pipeline, he will reveal another local secret: an Eagle, which you can investigate at your leisure. (It's covered below.) There are also a couple of kids playing on the bank nearby. They don't have any leads on the ruins Lara is looking for, but their conversation is definitely worth eavesdropping on. :D (screenshot)
FIRST CRYPT ENTRANCE – WAYTA, THE TYRANT: Just south of the dock and the kids playing is the entrance to one of the level's crypts. (screenshot) You can also reach it by following the stream that runs under the rusted footbridge near Abby's place. (screenshot) Look for several blue plastic barrels and you'll find the cave opening nearby. Before entering the crypt, dig up a survival cache (1/14) on the riverbank just south of the cave opening. (screenshot) The crypt itself is covered on a separate page. Follow this link for the FIRST CRYPT WALKTHROUGH, which includes an archivist map (2/3), mural (2/10), and a sarcophagus containing an outfit component, Vestige: Nine Strides' Boots, and 750 gold pieces.
IN AND AROUND THE RIVER: In addition to the market in the village, there's a smaller FISH MARKET on the dock just east of Abby's place and the Kuwaq Yaku Base Camp. If you speak to the old woman standing outside, she'll reveal the location of some gold on your map. (screenshot) We'll retrieve it shortly.
Dive off the dock behind the FISH MARKET. Turn around and swim down to find a relic (3/4), a Cone Mold from the Fortune and Glory Story, on the bottom near the corner of the pier. (screenshot) Swim to the southeastern shore of the river to find the Jungle Ruins Base Camp and an explorer backpack (1/2). (screenshot) Examining the pack reveals the location of a nearby survival cache (2/14) (screenshot), as well as a number of others. It also marks the second crypt entrance and a treasure chest on your map.
There are various crafting resources scattered around the river bottom, and a submerged mural (3/10), Inti (Quechua/Pantheon of Gods 2), just north of the base camp and cache. (screenshot)
When you pick any of the plants growing on the bottom, you'll initiate a Challenge: Bottom Feeder. The goal is to harvest 5 aquatic plants. This on is not tricky, since all of the plants can be found here in the river. I haven't marked them on the map since there are more plants than you need for the challenge.
On the east side of the river stands a Proficient Quechua monolith (1/3). (screenshot) You should be able to decipher it. If not, return later when you've improved this Ancient Dialect. The clue reads, "Take a deep breath and find me right under another's nose." When you highlight the monolith on your map, a circle indicates the area in which the treasure is hidden. (screenshot)
BUG NOTE: A number of players have reported a bug in which the survival caches connected to the monoliths don't appear where they're supposed to be. This has apparently been fixed in a recent patch. If you can't update your game for some reason, I recommend going after the treasure as soon as you receive the clue.
Head down the steps to the left of the monolith and swim into the inlet to the northeast. Just ahead on the right is a small ledge at water level. Climb out there to find a survival cache (3/14). (screenshots) This isn't the one from the monolith clue, or one of the caches revealed by the backpack, but you can still dig it up. Hop back in the water and swim to the north end of the inlet. Dive below the surface and swim forward through a narrow gap in the rocks. (screenshots/map) Continue forward and surface for air if necessary. The dive down again to find the monolith riches, a survival cache (4/14) buried right "under the nose" of a submerged statue. (screenshot) Gather some salvage and other resources on the bottom. Then walk out of the water on the northeast bank of the stream to find another survival cache (5/14) buried almost directly opposite the underwater tunnel you just came from. (screenshot)
There's a crypt entrance covered by a metal barrier off to the right, but you'll need the shotgun get through, so leave it for now. You can, however, pick up some supplies here and run a rope line from the post near the metal barrier to the beam on top of the rock formation to the north, and use it to climb up and mine some gold ore. (screenshot)
If you like, you can explore further in this area, but it is covered later in the walkthrough. Return through the underwater passageway to the river near the village.
The GOLD that the old woman near the FISH MARKET mentioned is also nearby. It's easy to find if you set a waypoint. To review: Open your map and highlight the gold icon. Then press the button indicated for Toggle Waypoint. The gold icon is then surrounded with a blue circle. (screenshot) Return to the game and activate Survival Instinct. A blue beacon and an icon for gold now point the way. Swim down and pry the gold ore out of the rocks. (screenshots)
The treasure chest indicated on your map when you examined the explorer backpack is in an underwater tunnel beneath the monolith, but you can't open the chest until you get the LOCK PICK. It is covered below under REVISITING THIS LEVEL.
Another survival cache (6/14), one of the ones that was revealed on your map when you found the backpack, is buried on the river bottom underneath the blue-and-tan shack built over the water just northwest of the monolith. Swim down and around the left side of the wire cage to find it. (screenshot)
At this point your inventory is probably getting full. So if you haven't already visited the MERCHANT in the large market building (screenshot), head there soon. He will buy just about anything you have, and he sells the following items:
FINDING THE RUINS: Much of the area still remains unexplored but this is a good time to move on with the story. Exit through the north door of the market building to emerge near the ruins. (If you get disoriented just check the map for the Current Objective marker.) Lara speaks with Jonah and Abby over the walkie-talkie to update them on her progress. Before entering the temple, loot the orange supply box on the left (screenshot). Examine another mural (4/10), Coniraya (Quechua/Pantheon of Gods 2) on the right, and talk to the man sitting nearby to hear his story and learn the location of one of the area's Challenge Tombs. (screenshot)
EAGLE HUNTING: If you like, you can also hunt the eagle that lives in this area. (screenshot) It is marked on your map and you'll probably notice its shadow on the ground as it circles above. Shoot it down for a nice XP award then collect eagle feathers to sell or use in crafting outfits. Like the condor near the Plane Fuselage Base Camp in the PERUVIAN JUNGLE level, this eagle respawns, so you can fast travel back here later and hunt it again.
When you enter the ruins, a cutscene begins: Lara begins to look around and soon Jonah arrives. She notices an interesting inscription where the painted wall has crumbled away: "Ix Chel and Chak Chel. The twins come together...." Being the respectful and well-trained archaeologist she is, Lara immediately starts whacking away with her axe to reveal the rest of the inscription, "...before following the path of the living." Jonah points out that the carving has been defaced, like the one they found in Mexico. Lara breaks through the wall and pushes on, while Jonah remains behind to hunt for further clues. She continues up a flight of stairs and through two ancient but still functional doors to emerge outside. In the distance she spots the temple they've been searching for, but Trinity is already on the scene, trying to blast their way in with explosives.
OBJECTIVE: Reach the Temple
RIVER NORTHWEST OF THE RUINS: It's possible to re-enter the temple, descend the stairs and find a mural, but we'll pass this way again later, so it's not necessary. (This is mural #10, below.) For now, dive into the pool and swim around to collect some useful items, including aquatic plants, salvage, some gold ore from a vein in the rocks, and a survival cache (7/14) buried on the bottom of the pool. (screenshot) For now, follow the river westward toward the bridge and pipeline. (screenshot)
As Lara approaches the bridge, a group of Trinity soldiers drives across and she overhears them saying that Dr. Dominguez has come to Peru.
Loot a resource canister below the surface on this side of the bridge, then swim under the bridge and onward, picking a few aquatic plants on the way. When you come to the wooden barrier, swim through the opening below the surface (screenshot) to trigger a cutscene.
Lara surfaces quietly near a boat dock where two men are complaining about the state of their state-of-the-art equipment. Lara stays quiet and waits for one of them to move off.
OBJECTIVE: Get Past the Trinity Forces
BOAT DOCK: Surface near the south end of the dock, where Lara ends up anyway after the cutscene. Double check to make sure the enemy working nearby is not being watched by the others (yellow in Survival Instinct) then press Melee to drag him into the water, kill him, and take his stuff. (screenshots)
Surface again to breathe but don't climb onto the dock yet unless you want a good fight. There are 4 more men nearby. You can watch them from the water if you stay low, either behind the inflatable boat or close to the wall on the right. When the man patrolling the walkway on the right heads away from you, swim under the inflatable boat and the first dock to surface in the corner where the second dock meets the perpendicular walkway. When that same man moves past Lara again, check to make sure he's unobserved, then press Melee to drag him under. Surface in the same corner again and watch the man on the middle dock. He goes from yellow to red depending on what the next man is doing. When he is isolated, swim to the left a bit and press Melee to pull him into the water and kill him. (screenshots)
Now swim back toward the end of the dock where you started. Wait for the nearer of the 2 remaining men to move away from you. Then climb out onto the dock. Track him as he moves along the farthest dock to the left. If possible, use your bow to kill him with a headshot. The last man will realize something's wrong, but it will take him a few moments to realize where the shot came from. If you're quick, you can headshot him before he spots you. You receive XP for each kill, and a larger award for completing the objective. (screenshots)
Before moving on, make sure you loot all the bodies, dig up the survival cache (8/14) buried beneath the middle dock (screenshot), and read the document (7/18), End Times, from the Trinity Story on the platform at the top of the stairs. (screenshot) Then continue along the upper walkway to the north.
Lara remains on alert until you approach the Docks Base Camp, just ahead on the left. After a quick check-in with Jonah and Abby by radio, rest at the camp if you like, then examine another document (8/18), Croft Report, from the Trinity Story, sitting on a storage box near the camp. (screenshot) Then continue north toward the objective.
OBJECTIVE: Infiltrate the Porvenir Camp
TRINITY ENCAMPMENT: Lara goes back into a defensive crouch, indicating more enemies ahead. The clearing with the truck is safe, though. Gather supplies and follow the on-screen tutorial to stand in the mud and press Interact to apply mud camouflage. (screenshot) Locate another document (9/18), Site Scrubbed (also Trinity Story), on a crate near the front of the truck. (screenshot) When you're ready to fight, move through the opening in the wall to the north. (screenshot)
You'll come up against 8 mercenaries in all, two or three just beyond the barrier, one or two more just ahead, and a group of 4 guarding the area you're trying to reach. Again, if you want to bring out the big guns and dive right in, by all means, go ahead. If you want a stealthier approach, there are some ideas on this page with screenshots, including info on using the Serpent's Fury skill, which you'll need for the Chain Gang achievement/trophy. When you've defeated all the enemies, make sure to loot the corpses and collect various resources lying around.
After the fight, Lara contacts Jonah with an update. Commander Rourke, Dominguez's right-hand man, is now here in Peru. He has secured a dig site somewhere down below, and she wants to check it out.
OBJECTIVE: Investigate the Oil Well
If you like, you can return to the previous base camp to make upgrades (or even fast travel back to previous areas) before moving on. When you're ready to go, pry open the metal door with the Porvenir logo. (screenshot) Jump across the gap to the climbing wall, then rappel down to the ground. (screenshot)
OBJECTIVE: Explore the Trinity Excavation
CAVERNS BENEATH THE OIL RIG: Follow the path down into the cave, picking up various resources along the way. There's also a document (10/18) Temple Survey (Trinity Story) on the left side of the room at the bottom of the path (screenshot) and an archivist map (3/3) sitting on one of the storage boxes on the right. (screenshot) Continue along the passageway as it narrows and hooks around to the north. When you emerge from the low tunnel into the room on fire, look for a mural (5/10), Temple of Life (Mam Dialect/Exodus Story), in an alcove on the left. Jump over the flames to reach it. (screenshot) Continue through the doorway to the northeast and down the stairs into the temple.
OBJECTIVE: Find a Way to Open the Gate
TEMPLE OF LIFE GATE PUZZLE: It's probably obvious, but you should avoid the flaming pools on either side of the platform and the pit full of coral snakes ahead. (screenshot) The puzzle itself consists of 2 pillars made of polished stones, stacked one on top of the other. Each stone in the pillar is inscribed with five Maya numbers. The wheels below each pillar allow you to rotate the column to the left or right. In the alcoves near each pillar is a circular panel with various inscriptions.
Lara says, "The numbers on the pillars look like the first half of dates, Ix Chel on the left, Chak Chel on the right."
You don't have to know the Maya numeral system to solve the puzzle, but it helps to have some idea of what you're trying to achieve. This diagram shows the basic conventions, dots fro numbers 1-4, one horizontal line for each 5, etc.
To get started, rotate each pillar so the lower symbol matches the symbol on the round panel in the alcove beside it. That is, rotate the left pillar once to the right so the "zero" symbol faces front. This matches the "zero" symbol in the alcove. Doing so extends a bridge to the alcove. (screenshots)
Cross the bridge and press the tile in the alcove to reveal a decorated panel with more numbers. It shows Ix Chel's glyph on the left, with five stacked tiles: 8, 0, 0, 0, and a blank tile below. Then Chak Chel's glyph on the right, with five stacked tiles: 9, 1, blank, 5, blank. (screenshots)
Return to the middle of the room and use the other wheel to rotate the right pillar once to the right so the symbol for "one" faces front, matching the "one" symbol in the alcove. This extends a bridge to the right alcove. Cross the bridge and press the tile in the alcove to reveal another panel with numbers. Again, we see Ix Chel on the left with the numbers 8, 0, 0, blank, blank; and Chak Chel on the right with the numbers 9, 1, 3, blank, blank. If we combine both sets of clues we almost have the whole picture. Left side (top to bottom): 8, 0, 0, 0, ?. Right side (top to bottom): 9, 1, 3, 5, ?. (screenshots)
As you return from the right alcove to the area with the wheels, the bridge crumbles, and you'll need to jump across the gap to get back safely. You'll see that a bridge has extended over the snake pit into the center alcove, and a third set of numbers has appeared on each pillar. If you enter the middle alcove and press the golden tile before rotating the pillars into the correct configuration, the floor collapses, and you'll need to run back to the start to avoid falling into the snake pit below. (screenshots)
To make progress, you'll need to rotate the left pillar so the third number reads zero, as shown on the panels. Then rotate the right pillar so the third number reads three, again matching the clue from the panel. Now, when you enter the center alcove and press the golden tile, the floor stays put, and the door rolls aside, revealing another door. (screenshots)
When you return to the central platform, you'll see that the pillars have risen once more, revealing a fourth set of numbers. Based on the clues in the side alcoves, you know what to do next. Rotate the left pillar so the fourth number in the stack matches the fourth number in the clue: zero. Rotate the right pillar so the fourth number in the stack matches the fourth number in the clue. It's missing from the clue in the right alcove, but is shown in the left alcove: five. Move into the middle alcove and press the golden tile to reveal yet another door. Then return to the central platform to find a fifth set of numbers showing on the pillars. (screenshots)
Lara contacts Jonah on the radio. He says the inscription he found is an incomplete date with a depiction of Chak Chel. Lara then remembers seeing the date on the left referenced in the inscription at Cozumel. Open the Artifacts menu and examine the photo she took in that area. It is Maya Date, from the Path of the Stars Story. If you zoom in and rotate the photo in the menu (using the controls indicated on-screen), Lara will discover the answer: "The last number on the left pillar is a zero." Rotate the left pillar so the last number reads zero, completing the sequence. Lara then asks Jonah for the last number of the date he's found. It's a line with two dots: seven. So rotate the right pillar until the fourth number reads seven. Now you can safely enter the center alcove and press the last golden tile to open the exit. (screenshots)
DAIS WITH MURAL: As you climb the steps, a cutscene ensues.
Lara tries to contact Jonah but gets Abby instead. Lara describes the mural she's seeing: "A journey...entering through a jaguar mouth...follows a serpent toward a silver eye. On the way there's a spider and an eagle that rises toward a temple." Abby says she knows where to find the "jaguar mouth." Jonah gets back on the radio and tells Lara he's found something she's going to like.
OBJECTIVE: Find Another Way Out of the Temple
During the movie, one of the photos Lara shot is added to your Artifacts collection. It is Path to the Hidden City, under the Path of the Stars Story. (This does not count toward the document or relic totals for Kuwak Yaku.)
Before leaving this area, examine the mural (6/10), God of Suicides (Mam/Pantheon of Gods 3) to the right of the dais. (screenshot) There's also a document (11/18), Balams (Mam/Legends of the Maya), on the left, below the exit. (screenshot) Finally, there's a Proficient Mam monolith (2/3) in the norther corner of the room, next to the exit. (screenshot) If you have enough skill in the Mam dialect, Lara will read the clue: "Two guardians have fangs. Two guardians have feet. One guardian has both to better protect me." If you open the map and select the monolith, you'll see that the area in which the secret is buried encompasses this room. (screenshot) The three large statues here depict an eagle (feet), a snake (fangs), and a jaguar (both). Sure enough, the monolith riches, survival cache (9/14), is buried in the corner behind the jaguar statue. (screenshot)
NOTE: If you can't read the monolith at this time, keep collecting documents and relics to improve your Ancient Dialects until you reach the Proficient level. There is no base camp here now, but once you reach the Hidden City, the Temple of Life Base Camp will appear on your map, and you will be able to return here using Fast Travel.
Exit through the hole in the wall near the monolith. Examine the tomb stele in the courtyard (screenshot) to unlock the Seeker Skill, Eagle's Talon, which allows Lara to string up enemies using rope arrows. Search the alcoves surrounding the stele to for some supplies and another document (12/18), Birthing the Serpent (Mam/Metamorphosis). (screenshot) Then exit to the southeast and dive into the pool.
OBJECTIVE: Escape the Flooded Ruins
FLOODED AREA WITH PIRANHAS: As you enter the water, an on-screen tutorial introduces underwater predators like piranhas. If you've been with us since Tomb Raider III, this will bring up fond memories. Or not. In this walkthrough, piranhas are marked as hazards rather than enemies, since there's no way to kill them. You can only avoid them. The tutorial text explains that you can hide in patches of sea grass to avoid being detected. This FLOODED RUINS AREA MAP shows the path outlined below. It may be enough to get you through, but if you need more, there are screenshots linked below.
Take a breath then swim down and into the tunnel to the southeast. If you activate Survival Instinct, a school of piranhas glows red, and the grass where you can hide glows white. Air pockets will also be highlighted. Swim along the bottom of the tunnel, into the first patch of grass, then the next, then on to the trapped air pocket beyond. Press Interact to pop up and take a breath. (screenshots)
From the first air pocket, head forward and a little to the left. Loot a supply cylinder on the bottom if you have the time/inclination. Then move into the next patch of grass, underneath the stone structure with the broken lattice, to avoid being detected. (Don't forget to hold either Mouse/Trigger button, or L3, to swim faster if necessary.) If the coast is clear, swim on to the next patch of grass, then the air pocket beyond. (screenshots)
After taking a breath, turn left (northeast) to find another resource cylinder sitting on the bottom near a pile of rocks and beyond it, a survival cache (10/14), buried on the bottom just before the next patch of grass. (screenshots)
NOTE: If you've checked the annotated level map, you'll notice there's also a treasure chest in this area. You can't open it until you get the LOCK PICK, so it's covered at the end of the below under REVISITING THIS AREA.
After digging up the cache, move into the grass, then if it's safe, on to the air pocket just ahead (north). After you take a breath, look for a deposit of jade in the rock wall just west of the trapped air. Pry it out with your axe. Then return to the air pocket to top up. Return southward to the previous air pocket. (screenshots)
Take a breath then prepare for the longest leg of the journey: Swim up the stairs to the left (east) and into the grass at the top. If necessary, wait for a school of piranhas to pass, then turn right (south) and continue downward, following another flight of stairs to the bottom and around to the right. Here you'll move out into the open again. If there are piranhas around, you may be able to avoid them by swimming into the grass at the foot of the next flight of stairs. If the way is clear, keep swimming up the stairs and through the doorway on the left. Continue straight ahead (south) past a big opening in the floor to another pocket of trapped air. (screenshots)
Now, if you don't care about minor pick-ups, you can skip this paragraph and proceed to the exit. But if you like, you can go back and investigate the opening in the floor in the previous room. Swim back the way you came (north), then down into the room below and through the doorway on the left into a small, dark room. You'll find some more jade embedded in the right wall. Pry it out and book it back to the last air pocket. (screenshots)
To reach the exit, swim up the stairs to the west of the air pocket. Continue up and around to the right until you reach a tall, vertical room with light streaming down from above. Swim up, up, and up some more until you reach the surface. (screenshots)
OBJECTIVE: Return to Kuwaq Yaku
POOL AMID THE RUINS: Loot the resource container on one of the ledges surrounding the pool. (screenshot) Then swim along the surface to the south. (screenshot) As you go, you get an XP award for completing this section. Where the water gets shallower, just before you scramble up the rock wall, there's a box of supplies on the left. (screenshot)
PATH THROUGH THE JUNGLE: Climb up and continue along the dirt path through the dense foliage. Lara hears enemies talking ahead and goes into a defensive crouch. Before going to investigate, follow the path to the left to find a document (13/18), Misdirection (Search for the Hidden City). (screenshot)
Return to the main path and continue to the left (west), up the fallen tree trunk that juts out over the next area. There are 2 mercenaries below. If you like, you can jump up into the tree ahead and try out your new skill, Eagle's Talon. Just wait for one of the men to approach and you'll get a brief tutorial. The Melee attack is context sensitive. As long as Lara is up a tree and you see the Melee prompt, just press the button and she'll shoot the guy with a rope arrow, use her own weight to drag him up into the tree, and search his body on the way. (The looting occurs even if you haven't unlocked the Boa's Coil skill.) Lara ends up in the bushes below. The second man may approach you, but if not, just wait for him to calm down and turn away. Then sneak up behind him and press Melee for a regular stealth kill. Loot his corpse and continue along the path. (screenshots)
The path curves along the cliff edge. Then you must climb up onto a low rock ledge to continue. A little farther along the path, Lara comes upon a truck that's been run into a tree. Move toward it to trigger a cutscene.
A soldier wearing a helmet with camouflage netting is clearly bugging out. As Lara watches from hiding, a grayish, humanoid creature leaps out of the bushes and attacks the man, then flees before Lara can get a good look at it.
Advance to the area where the man went down, and you'll find a document (14/18), Operation Update (Trinity) sitting on the grass near a fallen tree and "Danger" sign. (screenshot) Continue southward and squeeze through the narrow opening into the next area.
OBJECTIVE: Make Your Way through the Hangar
ENCLOSURE WITH CRASHED AIRPLANE: There are 8 Trinity mercenaries in the area ahead: Fortunately they're too busy freaking out about whatever is attacking their comrades to notice Lara right away. Move forward into the ferns to scope out the situation and plan your strategy. (screenshots)
There are quite a few bushes where you can hide; some climbable trees where you may be able to use that Eagle's Talon maneuver; a few rickety buildings, some with roofs to climb on; a patch of mud in the southwest corner, where you can apply camouflage; and a vine-covered wall inside the wooden building directly ahead as you enter the clearing. There are also various bottles and red jerrycans here and there. You can toss them as-is for distraction, or combine them with cloth to make Molotovs. The red cans also explode when you shoot them, but enemies need to be fairly close by to take damage.
It's possible to stealth through this whole section, but it takes a lot of patience. You may want to even the odds by killing off a few of the unarmored guys with stealth attacks. Then switch to heavier weapons to finish off the rest. I've included one possible strategy on this page with screenshots.
Note that you can't kill the men wearing helmets with a single headshot, and it will take more than one arrow to penetrate their body armor, so you'll need to use different tactics for them. Obviously guns will work, but they're also vulnerable to Eagle's Talon and other stealth attacks.
When the last man falls, a voice over the radio says, "We're here. Give us 60 seconds and we're in." Lara remains in defensive posture, but you're in the clear for now. Search any bodies that you may have missed and pick up a few supplies scattered around (cloth, fat, healing herbs, etc.). Then make your way to the southeast corner of the area. There's a wooden wall there that you can climb to get out of this enclosure. (screenshot) As you leave the area, you receive an XP award and a new goal.
OBJECTIVE: Return to Kuwaq Yaku
CORPSE-STREWN PATH THROUGH THE JUNGLE: As you follow the path to the northwest, Lara comes across a group of Trinity soldiers who've met a violent end.
Lara contacts Jonah and Abby on the walkie and describes the creature she saw earlier. Abby says it sounds like the legend of the Pishtaco and asks if Lara is kidding.
Loot the dead soldiers and examine the document (15/18), Scouring the Globe (Trinity) lying on the ground nearby. (screenshot) Then continue along the path, which ends abruptly above a pool. Dive in and swim across the pool.
NOTE: There is no base camp in this area, but later, when you reach the Hidden City, the Airfield Dirt Road Base Camp will be marked on your map, near document #15, and be accessible via Fast Travel.
HUNTING GROUNDS NORTHEAST OF THE VILLAGE: If you came to this walkthrough midway through Kuwaq Yaku, you may have explored this area earlier from the other side. If you've been with me since the beginning, this will be your first time here. Just beyond the pool on the left is a red oil barrel (1/5). Make sure there's a little distance between Lara and the barrel, and shoot with gun or bow it to initiate a Challenge: Crude Awakenings. The goal is to detonate 5 of these barrels. (screenshot)
NOTE: The location all of the challenge barrels are marked with red dots on the annotated level map.
Climb up out of this little depression and dig up a survival cache (11/14) buried just ahead on the right. (screenshot) Go up the steps to the left. Off to the left (east) is the HUNTING GROUNDS. We'll explore there soon. For now, continue up the steps to the right (south). Just ahead is a resource cylinder and another oil barrel (2/5) shoot it for the Challenge. (screenshot) Then continue to the Kuwak Yaku Ruins Base Camp, under the little shelter just ahead. You'll probably have some Skill Points to spend and a few upgrades to make by now. If you don't already have the Warrior skill Puma's Feint, I recommend taking it now, since it will come in handy soon. There's also a salvage crate under the shelter, and health herbs and hardwood nearby.
If you just want to continue with the story, head west, through the muddy area, to get back to Jonah and Abby at the ruins. (Pick up the walkthrough below.)
If you're going for 100% completion, return up the steps to the east, to a ledge overlooking the HUNTING GROUNDS. Just ahead there's a feathered totem (1/5) hanging from a tree. (screenshot) Shoot it down to initiate another Challenge: Nam Deus. To complete it, you'll need to find and destroy four more of these totems. If you have unlocked the Owl's Wisdom skill, they will glow when you activate Survival Instinct, making them much easier to spot. If not, the locations are marked with yellow dots on the annotated level map and described below.
Then drop down into the HUNTING GROUNDS. You can actually hunt peccary/javelina, birds, and rabbits here in order to collect hides, fat, feathers, and XP, but there are other rewards too. You can explore in any order you like, but we'll follow the north wall to the Challenge Tomb at the far end of the valley. Then, after exploring the tomb, we'll head back to the south, getting all the pickups we missed before. Then we'll return south to the village, completing the Crude Awakenings Challenge along the way.
A little way into the valley, on the north wall, is a mural (7/10), Pachamama (Quechua/Pantheon of Gods 2). (screenshot) In the middle of the area, on a raised platform, is a Fluent Quechua monolith (screenshot). If you've been following this walkthrough, you won't have enough Quechua under your belt to decipher it yet. Just beyond the monolith, on the north side, is a metal barrier that can only be taken down with a SHOTGUN. (screenshot) Again, you'll need to return later to get the document hidden inside. (Both the monolith and final document are covered in the section REVISITING THIS AREA, below.)
Just to the southeast of the metal barrier is another totem (2/5) you can shoot down for the Nam Deus Challenge. (screenshot) Go around to the northeast side of that same tree to find the next totem (3/5) hanging from a different branch. Shoot it down as well. (screenshot) There are some interesting ledges on the south wall of the valley, but we'll explore there later.
Continue toward the end of the HUNTING GROUNDS. As you cross the little stream, the game tells you there's a Challenge Tomb nearby, and you'll notice the familiar yellow-painted decorations. Look up to spot another totem (4/5). (screenshot) It's a bit difficult to spot in the dim light, especially without Survival Instinct, but there's a capybara carcass lying on the ground just below and to the right of the totem. Shoot it down and continue northeast toward the tomb entrance. As you move into the area with slightly better lighting, you'll spot the next totem (5/5) hanging above. (screenshot) If you've found the previous ones, shooting this one down will complete the challenge. If not, don't worry, there are more totems.
HOWLING CAVES CHALLENGE TOMB ENTRANCE: Move deeper into the creepy cave. A little way in you'll pass a sturdy wooden barrier with rope-wrapped beam in the middle. (screenshot) If you played the last two games, this will be familiar: you'll need a new piece of gear, the ROPE ASCENDER, to pull the door down. So you'll have to leave it for now. A little farther along the path, on the left, is an explorer backpack (2/2). (screenshot) Examine it to reveal a few survival caches and the treasure chest on your map. The chest and the rope-ascender barrier are covered below.) There's another totem (6/5) is hanging above the backpack, which you can shoot down if you haven't already completed the Nam Deus Challenge.
Follow this link for the HOWLING CAVES CHALLENGE TOMB WALKTHROUGH, which includes the Petroleum Deposit Base Camp, a mural (8/10), 2 documents (16/18 and 17/18), and a survival cache (12/14). Examining the tomb stele unlocks the Scavenger Skill Huracan's Mantle, which reduces damage from fire and explosions.
HUNTING GROUNDS (again): After completing the challenge tomb, you (probably) return through the cave at the northeast end of the valley. There are still a few more collectibles in this area. Head southwest, back the way you came. When you come to the fallen tree connecting two rock formations on the left (south), search the ground underneath it to find another survival cache (13/14). (screenshot)
Climb onto the little plateau where the upper end of the tree fell. Stand near the rope-wrapped post and shoot a rope arrow into the rope-wrapped beam above the wooden platform to the south. (There's also another totem (7/5) hanging in the gap to the right of the wooden platform, in case you missed one of the others for the Nam Deus Challenge.) Climb the rope line to reach the platform and find some supplies. (screenshots)
Now stand under the rope-wrapped beam and shoot another rope arrow into the rope coil above the next wooden platform to the south. The new rope line will replace the previous one. Slide down to find a relic (4/4), Promotional Toy. If you've found all the other items in the set, this should complete the Fortune and Glory Story. (screenshot) Use the hanging vine to swing over to the next platform on the other side of the path. (screenshot) Pick up some feathers and cloth. Then turn around and face the platform where you found the relic. On the ground below it is another oil barrel (3/5) you can destroy for the Crude Awakenings Challenge. (screenshot) Move to the other end of the wooden ledge and jump across the path onto the end of the fallen tree. (screenshot) Walk down the tree trunk and continue down the path into the area below. If you didn't explore here earlier, there will be a supply box on the right. (screenshot)
STREAMBED EAST OF THE VILLAGE: Follow the stream to the southeast. If you didn't dig up survival cache (4/14) earlier, you may spot it flashing on the left bank. Dig it up. (screenshot)
NOTE: This is the same area where you found the monolith riches buried "under the nose" of the submerged statue earlier. (See above.) So you may have already found some of the items here.
The metal barrier ahead on the left conceals a CRYPT ENTRANCE, but you can't get through without a SHOTGUN. You'll need to return later. Check the section on REVISITING THIS LEVEL, below, for details. If you didn't get them earlier, pick up some supplies here and run a rope line from the post near the metal barrier to the beam on top of the rock formation to the north, and use it to climb up and mine some gold ore. (screenshot)
Drop down and follow the stream back to the northwest, gathering a few resources on the way. Where the path splits ignore the path to the right, where you came down from the HUNTING GROUNDS, and continue to the left a short distance. Then turn around to find a mural (9/10), Urcuchillay (Quechua/Pantheon of Gods 2). (screenshots)
After examining the mural, continue to the northwest and blow up the last 2 oil barrels (4/5 and 5/5) to complete the Crude Awakenings Challenge. Then make a brief stop at the Hunting Grounds Base Camp, just to the left of where the first barrel was. If you "discover" it, you'll be able to Fast Travel to it later if necessary. (screenshots)
RETURNING TO THE RUINS: Continue up the path to where the last barrel was. The road to the right (north) leads back to the HUNTING GROUNDS. Head left to return to the village. On the way, crack open the salvage crate sitting on the ground behind a pickup truck. You re-enter the village near the MARKET. It'll be a little while before you return here, so visit the shopkeeper inside to sell extra resources and buy whatever you need. Then continue out the back of the MARKET to the RUINS you visited earlier.
OBJECTIVE: Meet Jonah in the Ruins
The eagle should have respawned, and you can shoot it down for XP and rare eagle feathers before entering the TEMPLE if you like. (screenshot)
Inside, Lara calls out for Jonah. He answers from below. But before going through the opening on the left, head up the stairs to find the last mural (10/10), Temple of Death (Mam Dialect/Exodus Story), if you didn't see it the first time you visited this area. (screenshots) Return downstairs and go through the opening near the lantern to meet the others.
Jonah and Abby show Lara the "Mouth of the Jaguar," a doorway painted to resemble a huge cat's open mouth. Lara tells them about the mural she saw in the Temple of Life, describing a series of trials, then steps inside. Before the others can follow, a cluster of spears spring from the wall, blocking the opening. Abby says she may know another way around, so Lara suggests they meet up on the other side, and once again goes on alone.
OBJECTIVE: Complete the Trial of the Jaguar
After the cutscene, you receive an XP award and a new goal. Move forward and down the stairs, then dive into the pool below.
FLOODED PASSAGEWAYS: I'm not exactly sure what this has to do with jaguars. Maybe it's supposed to represent a journey through a jaguar's digestive system. In any case, the trial ahead involves navigating through a flooded cave system. The tunnel entrance, on the northeast side of the flooded shaft, is nondescript, but it soon shrinks to a narrow crevice. (screenshot) Continue holding Forward and Lara will struggle through. Even if you keep moving constantly, she'll nearly run out of air by the end. Fortunately there's a pocket of trapped air in the ceiling just ahead. (screenshot)
From there you can continue northeast through either a lower/left or upper/right passageway. Both lead to the same flooded cavern, so it doesn't matter which way you go. There are a few aquatic plants you can collect and resource containers to loot, but no major collectibles.
As you enter this area, watch out for moray eels. If you have Survival Instinct enabled, the eels glow red (screenshot), and you can avoid them and occasionally hide in the sea grass on the cavern floor like you did with the piranhas. If Lara does encounter an eel, it's not an instant kill. Rather, the eel will twine itself around Lara, triggering a Quick Time Event in which you'll need to mash Interact to fend off the eel. (screenshot) It's easy to run out of air and drown if you spend too long struggling, so avoid the eels if you can.
Once you reach the second air pocket, you can turn around and go back for any collectibles you missed, returning to breathe between pick-ups. When you're ready to move on, continue northeast, through the narrow vertical opening (screenshot) to a pool where you can surface.
OBJECTIVE: Complete the Trial of the Spider
Before climbing out of the water, gather some aquatic plants and loot a resource canister on the bottom of the pool. Then swim to the far right (northwest) corner and hack some gold ore out of the wall. (screenshot)
CAVERN WITH SPIDER MOSAIC: Climb onto the wooden walkway and face the wall with the spider mosaic. Again, this isn't much of a trial, considering there are no actual live spiders. But I guess we shouldn't give the developers any encouragement. I'm still having Tomb Raider: Underworld nightmares 10 years on. Jump from the walkway toward the left side of the mosaic wall and scramble up to grab a handhold. Jump to the handhold above. Then climb/jump along to the right until you reach the right edge of the mosaic wall. Lean out then jump and latch onto the climbable wall. Climb upward and to the right until you can pull up onto the ledge above. (screenshot)
Enter the tunnel ahead and pick some mushrooms. Tunnels lead off to the left and right. The left one has treasure, so go that way. (screenshot) Move up the wooden ramp and jump to grab a handhold on the wall ahead. Climb into the room above. (screenshot) Pick up lumps of jade ore on both sides of the table. (screenshot) Then continue through the tunnel to the northwest. There are more mushrooms about halfway along and a resource container just outside the tunnel on the left.
Move to the end of the wooden walkway overlooking the pool and spider mosaic. Jump out and grapple the craggy stalactite protruding from the ceiling. (screenshot) Rappel down until Lara is level or a little below the ledge above the mosaic. Then swing back and forth to build momentum and jump on the forward swing to grab the ledge. Pull up and continue through the tunnel to the next level.
NOTE: If you're having trouble with this grapple sequence, you can download my PC save file. Instructions are included.
REVISITING THIS LEVEL LATER IN THE GAME: Even if you've covered all bases during your first visit, there will still be a few areas and items you can't reach. You may want to wait until you have all of the necessary proficiency and gear and then make one trip back to clear the level. You'll need the LOCK PICK, ROPE ASCENDER, SHOTGUN, and Fluent Quechua.
If you are missing some items that were covered above, note that two new base camps appear once you've beaten this level: the Temple of Life, in the area where you solved the Maya numeral puzzle the swam through the piranha-infested cavern, and the Airfield Dirt Road, just south of the crashed plane where you fought the Trinity guys. So you can fast travel into any area with major collectibles. I will add a Quick Collectibles Guide once the main walkthrough is finished.
THIRD MONOLITH: When you become Fluent in the Quechua Dialect, fast travel back to the Kuwaq Yaku Ruins or Hunting Grounds Base Camp and return to read the monolith (3/3) on the stone platform in the HUNTING GROUNDS northeast of the village. (screenshot) The clue says, "I lie silent where arrows once flew, guarding a door which will no longer open." If you go to the map screen and highlight the monolith, you'll see that the area where the treasure is buried is just to the east. Hop down off the monolith platform, head to the east, and climb onto the rock with the rope-wrapped post. (screenshot) Cross over it and walk along the fallen tree to the next ledge, where you'll find the hidden survival cache (14/14) near a door riddled with arrows. (screenshot)
After obtaining the SHOTGUN, you'll be able obtain the last document and access the SECOND CRYPT. The document is also in the HUNTING GROUNDS northeast of the village. About halfway along the north wall of the valley is a metal barrier that can only be destroyed with the shotgun. If you've just dug up the monolith riches (above), this barrier is directly across the the valley to the northwest. (screenshot) Behind it is a little cave with some gold ore, cloth, and the document (18/18), Fever Dreams (Search for the Hidden City). (screenshot)
If you have also acquired the ROPE ASCENDER, you may want to do this immediately after the monolith and final document. Return to the entrance to the HOWLING CAVES CHALLENGE TOMB, at the northeast end of the HUNTING GROUNDS. There's a wooden barrier that can only be pulled down using the ascender. Shoot a rope arrow at the barrier, and Lara will automatically pull out the rope ascender. Hold Interact to yank the door out of its frame. (screenshot) Inside is a vein of gold ore.
The SECOND CRYPT also requires the SHOTGUN. It is located at the south end of the stream near the Hunting Grounds Base Camp. (screenshot) There's not much to it. Just use the gun to destroy the metal barrier. (screenshot) Go inside and open the sarcophagus to find an outfit component, Vestige: Condor Cowl of Urqu, which increases the duration of focus herb effects, plus 750 gold pieces.
TREASURE CHESTS: After obtaining the LOCK PICK, you can open both treasure chests. The first is near the village. Fast travel back to the Kuwaq Yaku or Jungle Ruins Base Camp. Swim across to monolith #1 on the east side of the river. (You don't need the monolith, but it will help orient you.) Face the stairs on the northwest side of the monolith. Then swim down to find an underwater opening with a wooden barrier. Pry it off with your axe and swim into the cave. Swim close to the treasure chest (1/2) and hold Interact to open it with the LOCK PICK. Inside is an Artifact, Copal, from the Story A Community in Need. Apparently it smells wonderful, though I'm not sure how Lara can tell underwater. This item does not count as a relic toward the total for this level, but you can examine it later in the Artifacts menu. You also receive a few random rare resources. (screenshots)
To reach the second treasure chest, fast travel to the Temple of Life Base Camp, one of the two camps that appear on the Kuwaq Yaku map later in the game. The camp itself is in the northernmost part of the level, on the stone circle where Lara read the mural about the jaguar mouth, silver eye, etc. Go through the opening to the north of the campsite, past the stele, and through the doorway on the right. Dive into the pool and swim down through the opening on the southeast side, just like you did the first time. The treasure chest (2/2) is in the ruined building on the southwest side of the flooded cavern. The chest contains an Artifact, an Inti Statuette, (Quechua/The Resistance). This does not count as one of the 4 official relics, but you can examine it later in the Artifacts menu. You also receive a few random rare resources. There is a map of the route and other details on this page with screenshots. It also describes how to reach the exit once you've opened the chest.
When you surface in the pool south of the cavern, you'll retrace the same route you took when you first passed through this area, minus all the enemies. If it's been a while, refer to the main walkthrough, above, for details. After following the path south through the jungle, you'll go through the clearing with the crashed airplane, then climb the wooden wall in the southeast corner of that area to reach the Airfield Dirt Road Base Camp. You can then continue on foot or fast travel out to wherever you left off.
THE FORGE DLC: One of the game add-ons is set here in Kuwaq Yaku. It includes a Side Mission and a Challenge Tomb. You don't need special gear to complete it, but it is only available after you reach the HIDDEN CITY level and are able to fast travel back to Kuwaq Yaku. Since this is optional content, it's covered in a separate section.
†UPDATE HISTORY: 9/29/18 - First draft of walkthrough posted online.
10/1/18 - Added bug note about 100% completion on Xbox One, and note about saving 6,100 gold pieces to buy the lock pick and rope ascender in the Hidden City.
10/10/18 - Added notes about 100% completion and monolith bugs being fixed in the most recent patch.
10/22/18 - Added info on the Serpent's Fury skill and Chain Gang achievement/trophy. Also added the correct name for document 9, thanks to Henry.
11/16/18 - Added another totem for the Nam Deus Challenge. You still only need to destroy 5 totems to complete the challenge, but I had missed one of the 7 my first time through the area. Also added a note about the achievement/trophy related to the side mission.
11/24/18 - Added links to The Forge DLC walkthrough.
12/8/18 - Added gold awarded for completing the mission.
1/6/19 - Updated the section on The Forge DLC.
1/19/19 - Made a few minor tweaks and added Spider Trial save file since people seem to have trouble here.
6/2/19 - Made a few minor tweaks while working on the Quick Collectibles Guides. This included renumbering some of the survival caches and changing the order of a few screenshots.
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