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This is a preview of the full content of our Peru’s Best app.

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1200–1527: The Inca Era


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.

Please note: Dates in most history books were based off Spanish records and new carbon dating shows that many of them were wrong. For example, most books say Machu Picchu was built in the 1440s but carbon dating in 2021 showed that people were already living there in the 1420s.

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.

Read the full content in the app
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Cusco Inca Sights

Machu Picchu

Choquequirao Trek

Machu Picchu’s sister (3-5 days)


Best free Inca city site

Inti Punku

Near Ollantaytambo

Lamay & Huchuy 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


The gateway to Machu Picchu


Mysticism & archeology

Waqra Pukará

The Horned Fortress

Text © Heather Jasper

Images by Heather Jasper