Brought to you by Pilot Productions - producers of addictive travel, history and food shows that explore unforgettable destinations around the planet.

Presenter : Brianna Barnes

Around the World Part 3: Conquistadors, Incas and Inquisition

Brianna Barnes travels through Peru exploring the Land of the Incas, one of the greatest pre-Hispanic civilizations of Latin America.

Brianna begins this epic journey in the small northern mountain city of Cajamarca where the Spanish conquistador, Francisco Pizarro, first encountered the Incan civilization.

In the central square  of this small Andean city, we hear the bloody story of how Pizarro tricked the Inca Emperor, Atahualpa. After being captured, Atahualpa offered rooms full of gold and silver as ransom. Pizarro took the ransom and killed Atahualpa anyway.

In Cuzco, and the nearby Sacred Valley, we further explore the Inca heartlands and their extraordinary culture. When Pizarro arrived in 1532, the Incas controlled more than a third of South America’s population.

Incas at OllantaytamboThe Inca were known for their solid and unique building techniques and Brianna explores the ruins in Cuzco and at the former Incan fortresses of Ollantaytambo.

She hears about Incan rituals which involved the sun worship and animal sacrifice at winter solstice festivals such as Inti Raymi. Incan heritage in the Andes remains strong and Brianna watches as young men still endure physical tests to prove their stamina and courage.

The most famous Inca site is the stunning but isolated mountain-top city of Machu Picchu discovered only 100 years ago, and Brianna journeys there by train to learn more about life in the city before it was abandoned.

From Cuzco, after being subject to a purifying ritual by the local shaman, Brianna travels to the Colca Canyon, one of the world’s deepest canyons where she stays in a local homestay and goes on a spectacular bike trek.

Macchu Picchu

Her final destination is the beautiful ‘’white city’’ of Arequipa, one of Peru’s biggest cities, which because of its southern location, is less visited by tourists.  Arequipa is surrounded by a spectacular range of volcanoes.

The Inca buried their dead on top and near the summits of these volcanoes and Brianna goes to the local museum where she views examples of ‘’mummy bundles’’ discovered high up on the slopes.

It was not unusual for several people to be buried and mummified together and to date; nearly two thousand examples of this extraordinary practice have been uncovered by archaeologists.

Brianna ends her Peruvian adventure, and this episode of Globe Trekker Around the World, with a two day trek to the summit of Nevado Pichu Pichu, one of the magnificent volcanoes so sacred to the Inca which retains a special spiritual significance for Peruvians to this day!

Route 66 with Justine Shapiro

More information:

Article: Peru: Conquistadors, Incas, Inquisition


With Thanks To:


Lan Peru

Pachamama Home, Colca Canyon

Casa Cartagena

Casa Andina

Sumaq Hotel, Machu Picchu

Hotel Libertador, Arequipa
Hotel Libertador Arequipa, offers a distinguished and warm service, to tourists traveling the Arequipa-Cuzco circuit, as well as to business travelers.  Its facilities and location make it an ideal starting point for exploring the “white city”, as well as the Colca Canyon, one of the deepest canyons in the world.

Aranwa Hotel, Cusco

Hotel Inkanto, Arequipa

Killawasi Lodge, Colca Canyon

I.E. Alejandro Velsaco Astete School

Museo Archaeologico, Lima

Museo Sanctuario Andinos, Arequipa (Juanita)

Carlos Zarate Adventures

The municipality of Ollantaytambo

Epuerto Peru Travel & Tours

Places Mentioned - Peru

Share the series

Destination Guides



View Destination Guide


South America

View Destination Guide

South America

View Destination Guide



The Aztecs

The Aztecs of Mesoamerica grew to become a powerful, distinct civilization in the region, sprouting what is now modern-day Mexico and ousting predecessors

Read Article

Study Guide: The Maya

Often considered to be the most sophisticated of the pre-Colombian American cultures, the Maya were well-known for innovative developments in written...

Read Article