Unesco Declares the Inca Trail a World Heritage Site

After an impressive campaign by the 6 countries which it unites, the Incan Qhapaq Ñan (Quechua for Royal Road) has been added to Unesco's list of World Heritage sites. Peru, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, and Ecuador all cooperated to present what's commonly known as the Inca Trail as a candidate.

Connecting Cusco with all of its territories, the Qhapaq Ñan eased communication with the many peoples of the empire, and served as a means of integration as much political as administrative, socioeconomic, and cultural.

Although the segment known as the Classic 4-Day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is now the most famous hike in the world, this ancient road network actually spans more than three thousand miles in its stretch from Quito, Ecuador, to Tucuman, Argentina. It managed to link the snowy Andean peaks with otherworldly cloud forests, subtropical jungle, and some of the driest deserts in the world.

"This is a recognition of these six countries historical richness, joined historically by this system of roads, that was crossed a complex geography along the ridge of the Andes, with monumental pathways and thanks to the management of Incas construction techniques," enthused Ambassador Juan Federico Jimenez, Peru's representative to the Organization of American States.

Parts of the trail display clever engineering, as the Incas had to create channels to avoid flooding in the jungle and to tunnel through mountains in the Andes. The most scenic parts feature original Inca paving and steps. Along the trail, one also still finds the remains of temples, fortresses, agricultural terraces, astronomical observatories, inns and rest stops, and storage towers for produce. Some parts of the trail are interrupted by large cities, but much of it continues to this day.

This is the first time that six countries have presented a single proposal to the World Heritage Committee, which the participants spent years preparing.

Inca World Team
Publication date: 23 Jul 2014
Sources: <a href=" https://plus.google.com/u/0/107060027985626386869/about?tab=XX?rel=author">Carla Colon</a>

You may also be interested in this news