The Inca Trail – Roads of the Inca (Capac Ñan)

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Road Organization  Inca Trail:

The Inca Paths or Inca Paths (Capac ñano Qhapaq Ñan)

The Incas stood out for their engineering works and especially for the road network. There were two main roads from north to south, one along the coast and another that crosses the highlands. They were crossed by cross roads and secondary roads that united all the villages and “pueblos”.La main road left from Tumbes, passed to Arequipa and Chile. The longest route was from Colombia, to Cuzco, to Ayavire where it branched into two branches that surrounded Lake Titicaca, and continued southeast to Tucumán, Argentina. From there began a branch that reached as far as Coquimbo, Chile, following from there to present Santiago. Another branch ended in the current Mendoza valley of Uspallata. To this place the Incas transferred populations of quantity of mitimas. It is certain that the construction of the current ditches is due to the Inca influence. These roads were paved with stone slab and measured between 4.5 and 6 meters, are a height of 1 and 2 meters. In the coastal area, the roads were straight and where it was impossible to make them.

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A territory as extensive as the Tahuantinsuyo, needed to unite, at all times, its various areas and this was well understood by the Inca rulers who arranged the construction of roads based on the roads already built by Andean cultures before the Incas, for example. Moche, the Huari, the Tiahuanaco and the Chimu, which covered large areas and therefore had to have efficient road networks

According to the historian Victor von Magen, while the Europeans traveled along paths full of mud and mud, the Peruvians were already walking on roads that had no resemblance elsewhere, there was nothing in Europe or Asia that could be compared.

Main roads

The main roads of the Incas were two: the roads of the Sierra and those of the Coast that went in parallel, these were the pillars of Inca communications and were linked in a transverse way to communicate to the Andean regions.

1.The road of the mountains

That starting from the cuzco, passed by huancavelica, ayacucho, huanuco, cajamarca and arrived to quito, prolonging until pasto colombia
This road was between 6 to 8 meters wide, was totally engaged and had been delineated of the most rectoposible. It is because of this that the slopes were saved were saved by graderias and the rivers were crossed by bridges. To supply all the officials of the state who were traveling

2.The coast road

It also departed from the Cuzco and descended to the coast at the height of Nazca, and from there it extended through the ancient territory of the cult Paracas, Chincha, Pachacamac, Rimac, to Tumbes also arriving at the city of Quito. He touched red sandals and when he reached the valleys he was surrounded by walls and trees that gave shade to the traveler. Acquies of fresh water. The costal roads were marked by sticks of huarango. In these Inca roads there was a lot of information for the traveler, for example, directions and distance, directions of posadas on the roads, etc.
These roads were preserved by the population adjacent to the Inca road network, the curaca or head of ayllu organized the maintenance work, after the conquest was left to the free will of the people or ayllus the road maintenance Inca

The bridges

Different types of bridges allowed to cross the rivers. In the sierra there were tree trunks when distances were not great and those who became famous for their ingenuity were those that the Spaniards called “de criznejas”. These bridges rested on two great stones abutments with strong and solid foundations and between each stirrup crossed four or six thick beams that lashed the hanging bridge. The maromas were woven from thin branches like wicker, braiding three by three thicker ones and increasing branches until reaching a diameter of about fifty centimeters. A 1534 reference discloses one of said bridges as follows

“There are very great and powerful rivers on which there are bridges made of thick ropes and between one and another there are thin and small ropes, and from these bridges there are two where the lords passed and two where the common people passed.” The chroniclers commented

There are several types of bridges in the tahuantinsuyo:

Hanging bridges: used when the river was wide, consisted of thick wires of agave or maguey, which extended from one side to another and were tied to thick rocks and as beds used logs tightly attached.

Stone Bridges: They were built when the river was narrow, and it was enough to place a gigantic stone from one shore to another in such a way as to permit


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