Heritage 101: Unesco declares as World Heritage the Inca Trail

AFP/Doha reports in Pagina Siete:


Unesco declares as World Heritage the Inca Trail

2014-06-24 08.19.06 amThe distinction allows agencies to get funding conservation and restoration of trails and sanctuaries.The Camino del Inca, a masterly road communication network that spanned six countries in South America, was declared yesterday as a World Heritage Site by Unesco, a title recognizing a surprising wit prehispanic system.

The trails, which served to control the Inca empire (Tawantinsuyu), ranging from Argentina to Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia, and were joined by a network of roads that were the Qhapac Nan (Quechua Inca Trail).

“This extraordinary trail system extends one of the geographical areas of the world greatest contrasts” between the Andes, the rainforest, the Pacific coasts and deserts, said Unesco.

“The nomination means the recognition of one of the most important monuments of the Andean world, for the six countries” said Luis Lumbreras Flores, Project Archaeologist of  the Camino Inca, Peruvian Ministry of Culture.

The Qhapac Nan, the oldest network America’s roads, ran longitudinally throughout Tawantinsuyu along the Andes, from western Argentina to the south of modern Colombia.

The main route is about 6,000 kilometers from south to north. This mountain road parallel to the Pacific Ocean was joined by transverse sections that reached the jungles and Gran Chaco in Argentina and Bolivia.

The distinction will get funding from international organizations for the conservation and restoration of trails and shrines that were erected around the track, archaeologists say optimistic.

Peru holds most of the paths of the old routes discovered. The most famous stretch, and reaching millions of tourists from around the world, is from Cusco to Machu Picchu.

They are 43 miles between forests, ancient stone steps. The road leads to the Puerta del Sol which offers majestic views of the ruins of Machu Picchu.

In Ecuador and Bolivia

The statement is certainly a big attraction for tourism if used as Peru is doing, said Roque Sevilla, president of Metropolitan Touring, a tour operator in Ecuador.

The Inca Empire worked with a system of posts and messengers who traveled on foot. The messages were sent by a code of knots in a rope, which even today archaeologists try to decipher.

From Quito, a mail or a letter to Cusco, which was delegated to a courier or “chasqui” could take ten days, according to the researchers.

In Bolivia bare sections are in disrepair or many were destroyed, even by trucks used in mining. There are two paths: the path “Takesi” and the route of “El Choro”. The first extends 70 kilometers and the second about 90 kilometers, both north of La Paz. The Unesco statement “adds value to the route, gives effect and allow projects to develop,” said Lourdes Mukled, president of the Chamber of Tourism Operators La Paz.

Control and monitoring of the route.

Distance. The Inca Trail had one “pukara” every seven km (fort) and every 21 km a “tambo” (inn) for the Inca and his entourage to have rest, food and water.

Road. Trails served to the rapid movement of warriors.

Old. It is known that there are stretches over 2,000 years that were built by cultures such as the Huari.

Route. The Inca Pachacutec, who raised Machu Picchu, built a road network.


Published by Bolivian Thoughts

Senior managerial experience on sustainable development projects.

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