People started settling in ancient Peru thousands of years ago. It was difficult to farm there. The coastline offered fish and other foods found in the water, but the coastline itself was mostly desert. The high Andes mountains were snow covered. There were earthquakes and tidal waves. Where there was soil, the soil was poor. Yet, people found ways to survive. They had to be clever, and they were.
An early people, the Chavin tribe, settled in about 3,000 years ago. They built huge temples and tombs and carved faced of their gods on walls of rock. They were followed many other tribes.
It was not until 1200 CE that the Incas arrived in the area. By 1438, about 50 years before Columbus arrived in the Americas, the Inca Empire controlled most of western South America. Their empire only lasted about 100 years.