The Inca empire was located along western South America. At the height of its expansion in 1533, it reached from the modern-day countries of Colombia to Chile, encompassing a 2,500-mile region. The population of the empire at the time of European contact, around 1526, was approximately 20 million people.
The Inca Empire was ruled from the sacred city of Cusco, located in present-day Peru. The Inca was a title given to the monarch at the head of the empire; from its founding in 1438 to the Spanish conquest beginning in 1533, the empire had five Inca. The empire expanded by means of assimilation and conquest.