The Empire of the Children of the Sun

The Inca religion was very complex. They worshiped gods that represented forces of nature, their religion was a combination of animism and fetishism and some of their rituals included the sacrifice of animals and even humans. One of their most important gods was, Inti, the Sun God. The royal family believed they were directs descendants of Inti. The Incas considered themselves children of the Sun God and the sun had a great influence on their daily life, ceremonies and architecture.

Each citizen made their contribution to society and was given a special job, depending on their age, sex and class. It was the largest empire on earth at its time and when Spanish conquistador, Francisco Pizarro, landed there in 1532, he was amazed at the riches that he found. The Inca fought for many years against the Spanish, until finally in 1572 its last city was overtaken. They stole their gold, destroyed many remnants of their culture and prohibited their religion.

What is left?

Today, fragments of the Inca civilization can be found scattered throughout the highlands of the Andes mountains. About half of Peru's population are descendants of the Incas.

Why Machu Picchu is so special?

One of the most famous surviving remnants of the Inca is Machu Picchu. There are many differing theories as to its purpose. Some say it was a sacred city, others believe it was an administrative center. One things for sure, Machu Picchu is an Inca city that demonstrates the great ability of this ancient civilization. Built high in the mountains, in the middle of a tropical rainforest, in harmony with the surrounding nature, out of huge stone blocks are temples, palaces, paths and water channels.

It is a touristy area, and therefore expensive, and there are many other less traveled Incan ruins to visit, however, most visitors call it a must if you are in Peru and describe their experience as magical. You must make reservations and buy your ticket online before you arrive at the site. You won’t need professional hiking gear or even a guide. It is highly recommended to start the walk at dawn and for the best panoramic views, climb the Wayna Picchu and Machu Picchu mountains, or check out the magnificent views from Intipunku. After the hike, head back town to relax in the Aguas Calientes, hot springs, and have a nice traditional Peruvian meal.