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1200–1527: The Inca Era

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The Inca first became a dominant culture in the 1200s, after the Inca Manco Capac established himself and his family in what is today the city of Cusco. He is considered to have ruled 1150-1178.

The best way for any traveler to learn about the Inca is to visit the places that they lived and to try to see the world through their eyes. As you travel around Peru, especially during your time in Cusco, you’ll hear a lot about the Inca Pachacutec and the Inca Atahualpa, but there were many others. Most historians record 14 Incas before the Spanish invasion and 4 more “puppet” Incas during the colonial period.

First, I have to clarify that The Inca was the ruler, who was not really a king and not really an emperor. I use the term Inca because that was his title and the system of government in the Andes was just too different from other parts of the world to call him a king or an emperor.

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Cusco Inca Sights

Machu Picchu

Choquequirao Trek

Machu Picchu’s sister (3-5 days)

Inkilltambo

Best free Inca city site

Inti Punku

Near Ollantaytambo

Lamay & Huchu Q’osqo

Cuy and archeology

Museo Casa Concha

Machu Picchu artifacts

Museo del Inka

Inka artifacts & mummies

Museo Nacional AAH

Archeology, Anthropology & History

Museo Oro del Peru

Inca gold

Ollantaytambo

The gateway to Machu Picchu

Pisac

Mysticism & archeology

Waqra Pukara

The Horned Fortress

Text © Heather Jasper

Images by Carsten ten Brink, Heather Jasper, TravelingMan