Ancient civilizations are often put on screen, but strangely there aren’t a lot of movies out there depicting the once-mighty Inca Empire. From animated movies to horror movies witnessing releases of ancient curses, we’ve decided to search the archives and find the best movies featuring Inca civilization. There’s something for everyone and our list is unranked, so let’s take a look at our list of movies about the Inca that you absolutely need to watch.
1. A Son of Man (2018)
What it’s about: Son of a man follows Pipe (the son) and Lois Felipe (the father) on their hunt for the lost Inca treasure of a long-gone emperor Atahualpa. Once in Ecuador Pipe will realize how dangerous his father’s mission has been and as he pieces together the clues about the long-running family drama, he will also be forced to run for his life as he is caught up in a game far more dangerous than he first realized.
Why you should watch it: A Son of Man has historical aspects to it, yes, but the viewers were mostly fascinated by the breathtaking shots of Ecuador. It’s a pretty interesting movie that aims to connect an exciting but dangerous treasure hunt with a hint of family drama.
2. Secret of the Incas (1954)
What it’s about: The movie follows Harry Steele, an American adventurer on his quest to recover a prized jeweled treasure whose theft has been connected to the downfall of the Inca civilization. Harry Steele is not the only one searching for it, as locals believe that if they return the treasure to its rightful place, their civilization will be restored once again.
Why you should watch it: This movie allegedly inspired Indiana Jones Movies, if you’re a fan of older action adventures, you might give this treasure hunt a try.
3. The Secret of the Incas’ Empire (1987)
What it’s about: Not to be confused with the aforementioned movie released in 1954, The Secret of the Incas’ Empire follows a completely different treasure hunt. This time our dynamic duo tries to uncover the volcano-hidden Inca ruins in search of a treasure beyond value.
Why you should watch it: The Secret of the Incas’ Empire is a sci-fi movie, if you’re wondering how they pulled that off, give this movie a try. You’ll meet an ancient Inca cyborg god and plenty of aliens to last you a lifetime.
4 Max Is Missing (1995)
What it’s about: A family sets off on a vacation in hopes to explore an ancient Inca city. Their son, Max, accompanies them but as he tries to make sense of his surroundings he stumbles upon what seems to be a valuable artifact of some sort. This artifact that he found, a mask, will usher in the adventure of their lifetime.
Why you should watch it: Max is Missing is an adventure movie geared toward families. It’s a solid mystery adventure and if you enjoy treasure delving through ancient ruins, it’s a perfect fit for you.
5. Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972)
What it’s about: Aguirre, the Wrath of God follows a group of conquistadores led by Don Lope de Aguirre in their search for legendary El-Dorado. The adventure will turn into a true nightmare and a fight for survival as both the locals and the land turn against them.
Why you should watch it: Aguirre delivers just the right amount of history, intrigue, and adventure. If you’re a fan o treasure hunts and survival adventures, give it a try. It is an older movie but it perfectly balances all elements needed for success.
6. The Emperor’s New Groove (2000)
What it’s about: The Emperor’s New Groove is a Disney animated movie that follows Inca emperor Kuzco as he tries to restore his throne after being turned into a llama by his administrator Yzma. Emperor Kuzco will be aided by the least likely of allies, a llama herder going by the name Pacha.
Why you should watch it: This highly-rated animated movie does not deliver much when it comes to historical accuracy. But if you’re a fan of comedies and superbly animated adventures give it a try you’re not going to be disappointed.
7. Hercules Against the Sons of the Sun (1964)
What it’s about: Hercules finds himself in a fight against Inca king Atahualpa who plans to sacrifice Princess Yamara to the highly worshiped god of the Inca, the Sun God. To defeat the king and save the princess from being sacrificed, Hercules will have to overcome a series of epic obstacles.
Why you should watch it: The movie has a fascinating setting and highly-detailed costumes. The story is filled with cliches but it’s entertaining enough if you’re looking for a solid action-adventure movie.
8. Vibes (1988)
What it’s about: The movie Vibes revolves around two psychics that are hired to use their “supernatural” abilities to locate an ancient and lost Inca city. The city is said to contain unheard-of treasure and it turns out it hides the source of the psychic energies as well.
Why you should watch it: The movie stars Cindy Lauper and Jeff Goldblum, so that’s a solid plus. Besides that, it has little to offer in the story department but the premise is interesting enough. It’s a solid action-comedy movie, and it fits the “lost Inca treasure” narrative like most of the movies on this list.
9. The Royal Hunt of the Sun (1969)
What it’s about: The movie is set in 1532 and it follows the attempts of Francisco Pizarro and his group of conquistadors as they claim the Inca Empire for Spain. The only thing that stands between them is Inca king Atahualpa.
Why you should watch it: The movie is based on historical events with a bit of adventure mixed with it. Like most movies in this list, it’s an older movie but still manages to deliver the appropriate levels of fascination and awe-inspiring visuals.
10. Pizarro: The Blood Of The Sun-God (2017)
What it’s about: Pizarro: The Blood Of The Sun-God is a documentary and it follows the exploits of Franciso de Pizzaro who managed to conquer the vastly superior Incan empire with only 180 men. The documentary follows the events that unfolded in 1532.
Why you should watch it: As you probably guessed, the events shown in Pizarro: The Blood Of The Sun-God are the events that inspired the aforementioned movie The Royal Hunt of the Sun. If you’re feeling up to some historical retellings, you should give this documentary a try.