Inca Empire: The Incas, known as Children of the Sun, called their enormous empire Tahuantinsuyu, meaning "Land of Four Regions" in Quechua. The Incan Empire grew to be the largest kingdom in pre-Columbian America, eventually extending across western South America. Undaunted by the often harsh Andean environment, the Incas used a variety of methods - from conquest to peaceful assimilation - to amass an enormous and diverse territory that included plains, coastal settlements, high mountain valleys, rain-drenched tropical forests and the driest of deserts.
The Inca civilization flourished from the highlands of ancient Peru in the early 13th century and located their administrative, political and military center in the Sacred City of Cuzco. A network of highways allowed Incan emperors to control their sprawling empire, with rest points about every mile and a half. Renowned for their remarkable art, architecture, agricultural methods, and their complex civilization the Incas constructed imposing buildings with spectacular adaptations of natural landscapes wherever they ruled. Sites such as the iconic Machu Picchu continue to enchant modern visitors today.