Native Peoples of Latin America

Throughout the world, when new lands were conquered, often, old customs would be lost. However, in Latin America, a great deal of their indigenous tribes not only survived being conquered, they are still around today! Different regions of Latin America are home to different peoples and many tribes are part of ancient full-fledged kingdoms. Some of these kingdoms are among the most well-known in the world!


The Meso-American native peoples make Latin America famous. These peoples include the Aztecs and Mayan peoples. The Aztecs, who spoke the Nahuatl language, are most famous for their mathematical prowess and their calendars are exceptionally accurate! Meanwhile, the Mayans are known for creating a fully-written language and making amazing advancements in the fields or mathematics, astronomy, art, and architecture. Their calendar is well-known as well.


The people indigenous to the Caribbean include a few groups of people. These groups include the Taino people, who live in what is now known as Puerto Rico. The Taino were seafaring people whose largest towns contained around 3,000 people each which were considered immense in those times!

  • Taino Indians: Discusses the Taino Indians as well as Columbus’ encounters with them when he discovered the Americas. This page discusses things like their language as well.
  • History of Natives: Has information on the history of many different indigenous Caribbean peoples.

Northern South America

Northern South America is now home to the Columbian and Venezuelan people but previously, the region was home to many, many different tribes. These tribes include Tumaco, the Calima, and the Sinu in the Columbian region and the Baniwa, Huya, and Saladoid in the Venezuelan area and that’s not even all of them!


The Indigenous people of the Andes include many different ethnic groups and were among the first groups discovered by Christopher Columbus who called them “indios.” However, the most famous tribe in the Andes is the Incan tribe. Their language, Quechua, is still in use today.

  • Andes History: Delves deeply into the history of the Andes and its people from the 1400s to the 1600s. A similar page is here.
  • Indigenous Peoples of Peru: Provides information on the indigenous people from Peru.
  • Incan People: Describes the Incan people and their customs.
  • Quechua: Discusses the Quecha language, which is still spoken among many indigenous South American tribes today.

Amazon Basin

The Amazon basin is currently home to millions of people, most of them living in what is now Brazil. Among the most famous tribes is the Yanomamo tribe which still survives today.

  • People and Languages: Highlights some of the most well-known indigenous languages and tribes.
  • Amazon People: Discusses the indigenous Amazon people today and touches a bit on their history.
  • Amazon Indians: Has a lot of information on different Amazon Indian tribes.
  • Yanomamo People: Provides very detailed information about the Yanomamo people and their history and customs.

Southern Cone

The Southern Cone region of South America is home to present-day Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay.

  • Indigenous Peoples: Talks about some of the tribes indigenous to the Southern Cone region. Among these people are the Mapuche, Guarani, and the Toba. The Mapuche are famous for their music.
  • Mapuche Nation: Discusses the Mapuche people, their culture, and their language.

Many indigenous tribes in South America have survived to this day, and most of their cultures are still intact. Their languages are still spoken and their customs are still practiced and passed down to their children and it’s even easy to find people from these tribes living very close to modern cities. They live without most modern conveniences and annoying hassles like criminal background checks and embrace their roots.