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The Andes

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Organized states and advanced cultures occupied for longtime the mountain region of the Andes. The semiarid high-plains were the center of the large Inca Empire Tahuantinsuyo, which occupied part of the present Chile to Colombia. An impressive adaptation to this unique environment allowed the development of this civilization at very high altitudes as anywhere else. The Indians learned to freeze food, taking advantage of extreme temperatures at these high altitudes. They bred llamas and alpacas in the Altiplano and made materials with their wool.

Using irrigation systems and terraces, they developed varieties of potatoes at high altitudes. They cultivated corn and coca at higher levels and cotton on the lower lands. They were experts in mining, in working precious metals, and great builders.

A turning system for public labor duties was installed among Indians so they could build hundreds of kilometers of roads, making travel easier for troops and people.