20,000 Years of Civilization

The Incas

Machu Picchu

The Inca Empire (1200 – 1500 AD) was the most important civilization in South America. Settled in the high and middle zones of the Vilcanota River valley, the empire represented the culmination of an ancient process of cultural development that began over 5,000 years ago. It is considered to have been a state, as it reached high levels of political organization and had a regulated system for wealth distribution, as well as excellent architectural and agricultural development.

Also known as Tahuantinsuyo, its origin and capital was Cuzco. It flourished in the Andean region and its domain stretched all the way to present-day Colombia, Chile and Argentina, including the entire Bolivian and Ecuadorian territories.

The Inca population principally worshipped the Earth (Pachamama) and the Sun (Inti). They believed that their head of state, the Inca King, had divine origins and was the child of the Sun.

The Incas were the masters of their own geographical domain and implemented stone-based construction techniques in their large citadels, in harmony with the landscapes that surrounded them. Examples of this are Machu Picchu, Choquequirao and Sacsayhuamán, among others.