One of the earliest detailed and realistic descriptions of the New World. Acosta hypothesized that the indigenous peoples of Latin America had migrated from Asia. He also divided the native peoples into three barbarian categories, described Inca and Aztec customs and history, as well as other information such as winds and tides, lakes, rivers, plants, animals, and mineral resources in the New World. Lib. 3, chap. 9 contains his description of mountain sickness, “Acosta’s disease”, which he experienced during his crossing of the Peruvian Andes. This was the first description of altitude sickness. Digital facsimile of 1590 edition from Google Books at this link.
Translated into English as The naturall and morall historie of the East and West Indies Intreating of the remarkable things of heaven, of the elements, mettalls, plants and beasts which are proper to that country: together with the manners, ceremonies, lawes, governments, and warres of the Indians. Written in Spanish by the R.F. Ioseph Acosta, and translated into English by E.G. (London, 1604). Full text of the 1604 translation from Early English Books Online at this link.