What was the geography of the Inca people's land like?


Quick Answer

The geography of the Inca empire was largely mountainous and occupied much of the west coast of South America. A large part of the Inca empire existed within a climate zone known as the tierra fria.

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Full Answer

At its peak the Inca empire occupied nearly 2,500 miles along South America's mountainous west coast, extending from present day Quito, Ecuador south to Santiago, Chile. The main geographic feature of this region is the Andes Mountains, an area rich in geographic diversity. The Andean region of South America runs a geographic range from desert to rain forest to glacier. From the mountains themselves, west to the coast, is a region of deserts. Oases make life possible in this arid region, but the Inca empire included one of Earth's most brutal deserts - the Atacama - parts of which have not experienced rainfall in recorded human history.

The lowlands of the Andes support tropical rain forests and savannas, while higher altitudes become cloud forests. Cloud forest are cool and humid, with a shroud of cloud cover that prevails nearly 300 days of the year. The climate here supports vegetation and wildlife found nowhere else on Earth.

An important feature of the Inca empire is Lake Titicaca, between the present day nations of Peru and Bolivia. Lake Titicaca lies within a climate zone known as the tierra fria. The unique geography and climate of the lake provide some of the best agricultural land in the region.

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