Pachacuti – Founder of the Modern Incan Empire
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Pachacuti – Founder of the Modern Incan Empire

4 min read

Apr 27, 2018


By Gabe Scalise

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Last updated on March 26th, 2021 at 09:49 am

Everything You Need to Know About Pachacuti

Pachacuti is the Founder of the modern Incan Empire. Today, let’s explore who is Pachacuti, how did the Inca empire start, the history and where the Inca empire is, and see all the best Inca Ruins tours., the world’s leading Inca Ruins tour provider!

Who is Pachacuti?


Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui, Pachakutiq Inka Yupanki, or just Pachacuti is the founder of the modern Inca Empire. He was born in Cusco, Peru in 1438 and died in Cusco in 1471. Pachacuti reigned over the Inca Empire from 1438-1472 as the ninth Sapa Inca of the Kingdom of Cusco, which he later made into the Inca Empire. His parents were named Viracocha Inca & Mama Runtucaya and he is classified as part of the Hanan dynasty of Peru. Pachacuti was truly the first Inca ruler and one of the greatest Inca of all-time.

What does the word Pachacuti mean?

Pachacuti means “He who remakes the world”. How appropriate is that!

Where was the Inca Empire?

A map of the Inca Empire that Pachacuti ruled over.

The Inca Empire that Pachacuti rule was named Tawantinsuyu. The center of the empire was his home in Cusco. However, as you can see the empire stretched from Northern Ecuador and modern Quito, all through western Peru into the Peruvian Andes, into Bolivia surrounding Lake Titicaca, and expanded through Northern Chile and Argentina into the Atacama desert.

What is Pachacuti so famous?

Pachacuti is most famous for designing the modern Inca empire, including many of its most famous sites. The most famous of these sites include Machu Picchu, Saksaywaman, and Qurikancha. Building these sites was incredibly important because the rapid expansion and fortification of the Inca empire is a huge contributing factor to what makes the Inca Empire so great. Yes, Cusco is the heart of the Inca civilization.

However, if you look around you can find absolutely breathtaking ancient ruins sprawled through much of western South America. As a central figure in the rise of the Inca Kingdom, Pachacuti created legends, myths, and stories around his experiences, teaching, and life, and through these stories and writing, we are able to put together a timeline of his experiences.


He truly rose to power on his own, built an empire, government, Machu Picchu, and modernized Cusco and much of the rest of Peru all through his vision and direction. Again, most famously, he is credited with ordering the building of Machu Picchu high in the Andes mountains of Peru.

It is still unknown whether the ruins of Machu Picchu ruins were there because they were a sacred prayer ground for kings, a secret hiding place, or a fortress to fight from. Either way, Machu Picchu was founded in roughly 1450 and then abandoned following the death of its founder, Pachacuti.

Where can I see his work in Peru?

His work is evident across all the Inca ruins. Whether you are in Cusco, the Sacred Valley, trekking on an Inca Trail Tour, or exploring Machu Picchu. When in Cusco, visit the Museo Inka to learn all about the Inka empire and his legacy!

Contact a Peru Travel Expert

When planning your Machu Picchu tour, remember to tell your Travel Consultant that you want to learn and see things related to Pachucuti. They will design an extra special trip to check out all the best of his legacy and empire. They can even guide you in getting some background and doing some reading about him before your journey so you are ready to expand your horizon and knowledge on your trip to Peru.

Stay up to date with all the latest South American travel news by visiting our blog! Send us an email or give us a call today to start planning your dream trip to South America!<

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Last updated on March 26th, 2021 at 09:49 am

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