The Inca Empire ruled over the Andean mountains and beyond of what are today the modern countries of Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina, including an area of nearly one million square kilometers (about 386,000 square miles) and extending a length of 4,000 kilometers (2500 miles) from north to south along the great South American continent.
Archaeological sites of the Incan empire range in size and complexity from villages to temples to lonely waystations to isolated ritual burial sites and enormous metropolises like Cuzco: but the best known and most visited of these sites are the ceremonial centers such as Machu Picchu and Ollantaytambo.
From the 12 Archaeological sites presented, 10 of them are located in Perú. And from those 10, 8 are in Cuzco. Which makes your trip to Cuzco even more amazing.
Ollantaytambo is an Incan royal estate and ceremonial center, built for Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui in the 15th century AD. It is remarkable for its pinkish color, and its storage facilities, granaries built into the side of the nearby mountain.
The Coricancha was the religious center of the Inca empire at Cuzco, the starting point of the shrine and pilgrimage route of the Inca ceque system. At the eye of Cuzco’s puma, the Coricancha was reported by the conquering Spanish to have been clad in gold plate. Today it is the foundation of the Church of Santo Domingo in Cuzco.
The quarry site of Rumiqolqa was used by the Inca as a source for the quartzite which makes up much of the archaeological sites of Machu Picchu and Sacsayman, as well as many of the communities in Cuzco.
The site of Choquequirao is yet another elite residence and ceremonial center of the Inca, probably built by the emperor Topa Inca Yupanqui, who ruled between 1471 and 1493. It has architectural styles to the conquered Chachapoya state, including some delightful inlaid art work.
Llullaillaco is the name of a mountain in the Andes of modern day Argentina. Up on its peak was found three niche tombs, remainders of child burials sacrificed during the Inca capacocha ceremony in the 15th century.
Sacsaywaman, pronounced something like “sexy woman” is an Incan ceremonial center, and the only known Incan site that can truly be called megalithic. Its largest stones are six to seven times as large as the largest at Stonehenge. And… Sacsaywaman is blue.
The modern day city of Cuzco, Peru is located in the Andes Mountains of Peru was founded, according to legend, by Manco Capac, the founder of the Inca civilization. Unlike many ancient capitals, Cuzco was primarily a governmental and religious capital, with few residential structures. Cuzco was the Inca capital city, from the mid 15th century up until it was conquered by the Spanish in 1532.
Machu Picchu is surely the best known Inca archaeological site, and perhaps one of most famous sites in the world. Machu Picchu was built in the 15th century by the Inca emperor Pachucuti, as an elite residence and ceremonial center.
Pachacamac is an enormous ceremonial center located on the coast of Peru near the modern town of Lima. Pachacamac was used for religious purposes for the major cultures in the Andean region, including Wari, Yschma and Inca period. During the Inca period, the site became a cult center for the pan-Andean cult.
Chan Chan was the capital of the Chimu culture, a group which fell, like so many others, to the Incan empire in the 14th century.
Oroncota or Huruncuta was a military outpost of the Inca empire in what is today Bolivia, conquered under the Inca king Tupa Inca Yupanqui, who ruled the Inca between 1471-1493.