of the nobles, and is so great and beautiful that it would be worthy of Spain.
—Pedro Sancho de la Hoz, secretary to Francisco Pizarro, 1534
The Empire Builders
Between 1470 and 1532, three Inka rulers led ambitious military campaigns to expand Inka territory. The kingdom of Cusco became the empire Tawantinsuyu.
Expansion of the Inka Conquerors
From agricultural products and llama herds to gold and silver to the skills and labor of the people, the resources of outlying territories were a powerful lure for the Inka.
Pachacutic, 9th Shapa Inka
Pachacutic means "earth shaker." He transformed the Inka state and made Cusco the center of an extensive empire.Close
Huayna Capac, 11th Shapa Inka
The empire grew to its greatest size under Huayna Capac. He extended the empire as far as Pasto in Colombia. He also founded the city of Tomebamba in Ecuador and modeled it after Cusco. While trying to pacify rebellions among conquered peoples in the north, he died of smallpox.Close
Tupac Inka Yupanqui, 10th Shapa Inka
Tupac Inka Yupanqui, the son of Pachacutic, led the Inka army during his father's reign and conquered new territories. He extended the empire and the Qhapaq Ñan southward, into Chile and Argentina. After he became Shapa Inka, he expanded the empire north along the coasts of Peru and Ecuador.Close