The Inca civilization came to life in Peru, early 13th century. Starting from 1438, they began conquering lands surrounding the Inca heartland of Cuzco, creating the largest empire in pre-Columbian America. The coming of the Spanish conquistadors marked an end to the short-lived Inca Empire, as they plundered what they could. Visitors can still gain an appreciation of how advanced the Inca were from the amazing ancient Inca ruins found in the highlands of South America. And we think our technology is advanced.
10. Moray | Ancient Inca Ruins
Moray is an Incan agricultural laboratory, probably used to cultivate resistant and hearty varieties of plants high in the Andes. The site features several circular terraces, which is interesting since it could be used to study the effects of different climatic conditions on crops. The deepest crater is about 150 meters (492 feet) deep with a temperature difference of up to 15° C between the top and the bottom level.
9. Winay Wayna
The Inca site of Winay Wayna was built into a hillside overlooking the Urubamba River. Located on the Inca Trail, it may have served as a rest stop for weary travelers on their way to the famous Machu Picchu. Winay Wayna consist of upper and lower house complexes connected by a staircase and fountain structures. Beside the houses lies an area of agricultural terraces.
The Coricancha in Cuzco was originally named Inti Kancha – meaning ‘Temple of the Sun’; it was the most important temple in the Inca Empire. The walls and floors were once covered in sheets of solid gold, and the courtyard was filled with golden statues. Obviously, it was severely devastated by the conquistadors, who built a Christian church, Santo Domingo, on top of the ruins.
Located at 2,840 meters (9,318 feet) above sea level along the Inca trail, Llactapata means “High Town” in Quechua. It was probably used for crop production and storage, but was burned by Manco Inca Yupanqui, during his retreat to discourage Spanish pursuit.
6. Isla del Sol
Isla del Sol is a rocky, hilly island located in the southern part of Lake Titicaca. According to the Inca religion, it was the first land that appeared after the waters of a great flood began to recede and the Sun emerged from the island to illuminate the sky once again. It kind of reminds me of the Great Flood , but that’s beside the point.
Sacsayhuamán is an Inca walled complex high above the city of Cusco, laid out in the form of a puma. The belly of the puma was the main plaza, the river Tullumayo formed its spine, and the hill of Sacsayhuamán its head. Three parallel walls were built in different levels with lime stones of enormous sizes. It’s pretty impressive!
Inca tradition dictated building cities in the shape of birds and animals, and Pisac is partridge shaped. The Inca ruins included a military citadel, religious temples, and individual dwellings, and overlooks the Sacred Valley, between the Salkantay Mountains.
Seated on the border of Cuzco and Apurimac, Choquequirao is located 3085 meter (10,120 feet) above sea level. The Inca ruins contains a staircase configuration, made up of 180 terraces. One can only travel to Choquequirao by foot or horseback, which is why it’s much less visited than Machu Picchu.
Ollantaytambo, Peru – Incredible Incan Ruin TOUR
During the Inca Empire, Ollantaytambo was the royal estate of Emperor Pachacuti who conquered the region. At the time of the Spanish conquest of Peru it served as a stronghold for the Inca resistance; nowadays, this is an important tourist attraction.
1. Machu Picchu | Ancient Inca Ruins
The most beautiful and impressive ancient Inca ruins in the world, Machu Pichu was rediscovered in 1911 by Hawaiian historian Hiram after it lay hidden for centuries above the Urubamba Valley. It is invisible from below and completely self-contained, surrounded by agricultural terraces and watered by natural springs. You just can’t miss visiting this place!