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Encyclopedia > Inca road system
Major highways of the Inca Empire
Major highways of the Inca Empire

Among the many roads and trails constructed in pre-Columbian South America, the Inca road system (El Camino Inca) of Peru was the most extensive. Traversing the Andes mountains and reaching heights of over 5,000 m (16,500 feet) above sea level, the trails connected the regions of the Inca empire from the northern provincial capital in Quito, Ecuador past the modern city of Santiago, Chile in the south. The Inca road system covered approximately 22,500 km (14,000 mi) and provided access to over three million km² of territory. Download high resolution version (400x740, 151 KB) Map of primary Inca trails File links The following pages link to this file: Inca road system Categories: Public domain images ... Download high resolution version (400x740, 151 KB) Map of primary Inca trails File links The following pages link to this file: Inca road system Categories: Public domain images ... South America South America is a continent crossed by the equator, with most of its area in the Southern Hemisphere. ... See also architecture with non-sequential dynamic execution scheduling (ANDES). ... For the a general view of Inca civilisation, people and culture, see Incas. ... For other uses, see Quito (disambiguation). ... Location of Santiago commune in Greater Santiago Coordinates: , Region Province Foundation February 12, 1541 Government  - Mayor Raúl Alcaíno Lihn Area 1  - City 22. ...

Because the Incas did not make use of the wheel for transportation, and did not have horses until the arrival of the Spanish in Peru in the 16th century, the trails were used almost exclusively by people walking, sometimes accompanied by pack animals, usually the llama. For other uses, see Llama (disambiguation). ...

The trails were post roads used by the Inca people as a means of relaying messages, carried via knotted-cord quipu and by memory; and for transporting goods. Messages could be carried by chasqui runners covering as much as 240 km (150 mi) per day, working in relay fashion much like the Pony Express of the 1860s in North America. Inca Quipu. ... Representation of a Chasqui The Chasquis were agile and highly trained runners who delivered messages and royal delicacies throughout the Inca Empire, principally serving the Sapa Inca. ... Frank E. Webner, pony express rider c. ... // The First Transcontinental Railroad in the USA was built in the six year period between 1863 and 1869. ...

There were approximately 2,000 inns, or tambos, placed at even intervals along the trails. The inns provided food, shelter and military supplies to the tens of thousands who traveled the roads. There were corrals for llamas and stored provisions such as corn, lima beans, dried potatoes, and llama jerky. Along the roads, local villagers would plant fruit trees that were watered by irrigation ditches. This enabled chasqui runners and other travelers to be refreshed while on their journeys. Inca rope bridges provided access across valleys. For other uses, see Llama (disambiguation). ... Hong Kong style unpackaged jerky Jerky is meat that has been cut into strips trimmed of fat, marinated in a spicy, salty or sweet liquid, and then dried with low heat (usually under 70°C/160°F) or occasionally salted and sun-dried. ... Representation of a Chasqui The Chasquis were agile and highly trained runners who delivered messages and royal delicacies throughout the Inca Empire, principally serving the Sapa Inca. ... Rope bridges acted as suspension bridges over canyons and gorges to provide access for the Inca Empire. ...

Many of the trails converge on the center of the empire, the Inca capital city of Cuzco. Therefore, it was easy for the Spanish conquistadors to locate the city. Traversing the trails on horseback proved to be difficult and treacherous for the Spanish in their attempts to conquer the Inca Empire. The Church of La Compañía on the Plaza de Armas in Cuzco Cuzco is a city in southeastern Peru in the Huatanay Valley (Sacred Valley), of the Andes mountain range. ... There lies Peru with its riches; Here, Panama and its poverty. ...


Main routes

The most important Inca road was the Camino Real, as it is known in Spanish, with a length of 5,200 km (3,230 mi). It began in Quito, Ecuador, passed through Cusco, and ended in what is now Tucumán, Argentina. The Camino Real traversed the mountain ranges of the Andes, with peak altitudes of more than 5,000 m. El Camino de la Costa, the coastal trail, with a length of 4,000 km (2,420 mi), ran parallel to the sea and was linked with the Camino Real by many smaller routes. San Miguel de Tucumán (usually referred to as simply Tucumán) is the largest city in northwestern Argentina. ...

Inca trail to Machu Picchu

Inca trail to Machu Pichu.
Inca trail to Machu Pichu.
Much of the trail is of original Incan construction.

By far the most popular of the Inca trails for trekking is the Capaq Nan trail, which leads from the village of Ollantaytambo to Machu Picchu, the so-called "Lost City of the Incas". There are many well-preserved ruins along the way, and hundreds of thousands of tourists from around the world make the three- or four-day trek each year, accompanied by guides. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (692x1000, 209 KB) Im Orginal erhaltener Teil des Incatrail nach Machu Picchu in Peru, selbst fotografiert Author: Pajaro Source: http://de. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (692x1000, 209 KB) Im Orginal erhaltener Teil des Incatrail nach Machu Picchu in Peru, selbst fotografiert Author: Pajaro Source: http://de. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1871x1317, 881 KB) Summary Trail originally constructed by the Inca in Peru; now part of the Inca trail to Machu Picchu. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1871x1317, 881 KB) Summary Trail originally constructed by the Inca in Peru; now part of the Inca trail to Machu Picchu. ... Ollantaytambo terraces Ollantaytambo is a town in southern Peru, located in the district of Ollantaytambo, province of Urubamba, Cusco region. ... Machu Picchu (Quechua: Machu Pikchu Old Peak) is a pre-Columbian Inca city located at 2,430 m (7,970 ft) altitude[1] on a mountain ridge above the Urubamba Valley in Peru, about 70 km (44 mi) northwest of Cusco. ...

The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is actually three routes, which all meet up near Inti-Pata, the 'Sun Gate' and entrance to Machu Picchu. The three trails are known as the Mollepata, Classic and One Day trails, with Mollepata being the longest of the three. Passing through the Andes mountain range and sections of the Amazon rainforest, the Trail passes several well-preserved Inca ruins and settlements before ending at the Sun Gate on Machu Picchu mountain. The two longer routes require an ascent to beyond 12,000 ft (3,660 m) above sea level, which can result in altitude sickness. This article is about the mountain system in South America. ... Map of the Amazon rainforest ecoregions as delineated by the WWF. Yellow line encloses the Amazon rainforest. ... Altitude sickness, also known as acute mountain sickness (AMS), altitude illness, or soroche, is a pathological condition that is caused by acute exposure to low air pressure (usually outdoors at high altitudes). ...

Concern about overuse leading to erosion has led the Peruvian government to place a limit on the number of people who may hike this trail per season, and to sharply limit the companies that can provide guides. As a result, advance booking is mandatory. A maximum of 500 people, including guides and porters, are permitted to begin the trail every day. As a result, the high season books out very quickly.

Note that the trail is closed every February for cleaning.

The Classic Trail (four-day trek)

The four-day trail or Classic Trail starts from one of two points; km 88 or km 82, on the Urubamba River and 88 km and 82 km from Ollantaytambo. The first day is relatively easy, covering no more than 13 km in a few hours, passing by the Inca ruins of Llaqtapata, a site used for crop production and which has remained well preserved. The Urubamba River in Peru, a partially navigable headwater of the River Amazon, rises in the Andes to the south-east of Cuzco near the Puno region border (where it is called the Vilcanota) and flows north-north-west for 724 Kilometers before coalescing with the Apurimac River to form... Ollantaytambo terraces Ollantaytambo is a town in southern Peru, located in the district of Ollantaytambo, province of Urubamba, Cusco region. ... Llactapata viewed from the Inca trail above. ...

Day two includes the ascent to Warmiwañusca or Dead Woman's Pass, which, at 4,215 m above sea level, is the highest point on the trail. Day three starts with the final climb to Dead Woman's Pass, although some groups climb to the top of the pass on the second day and camp 600m below it on the other side at Pacaymayu. The views from the top provide excellent views of nearby mountains such as Salkantay and Veronika. After a second pass is the site of Sayaqmarka, perched atop a sheer cliff. After Sayaqmarka the Trail continues through thick cloud forest and jungle, filled with tropical flowers and colourful orchids. The third and final pass is Phuyupatmarka. The Andes is the longest and one of the highest mountain ranges in the world. ... Orchid re-directs here; for alternate uses see Orchid (disambiguation) Genera Over 800 See List of Orchidaceae genera. ...

The final day sees a descent past Wiñay Wayna, an impressive and well-preserved Inca site, where the one-day trail meets up with the main route. View of Wiñay Wayna Wiñay Wayna (Quechua for forever young) is an Inca ruin along the Inca trail to Machu Picchu. ...

Further reading

  • Inca: Lords of Gold and Glory. Virginia: Time-Life Books, 1992.
  • Andean World: Indigenous History: Culture and Consciousness by Kenneth Adrien.

External links

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Pre-Columbian Civilizations and Cultures
North America Ancient Pueblo (Anasazi)FremontMississippian
Mesoamerica HuastecIzapaMixtecOlmecPipilTarascanTeotihuacánToltecTotonacZapotec
South America Norte ChicoChavínChibchaChimorChachapoyaHuariMocheNazcaTaironaTiwanakuMapuche
The Aztec Empire The Maya civilization The Inca Empire
(Inca civilisation)
Language Nahuatl language Mayan languages Quechua
Writing Aztec writing Mayan writing
Religion Aztec religion Maya religion Inca religion
Mythology Aztec mythology Maya mythology Inca mythology
Calendar Aztec calendar Maya calendar
Society Aztec society Maya society Inca society
Infrastructure Chinampas Maya architecture Inca architecture (road system)
Incan agriculture
History Aztec history Inca history
People Moctezuma I
Moctezuma II
Pacal the Great
Tecun Uman
Manco Capac
Conquest Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire
(Hernán Cortés)
Spanish conquest of Yucatán
(Francisco de Montejo)
Spanish conquest of Guatemala
(Pedro de Alvarado)
Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire
(Francisco Pizarro)
See also
Indigenous peoples of the AmericasPopulation history of American indigenous peoples – Pre-Columbian art
Image File history File links Commons-logo. ... The pre-Columbian era incorporates all period subdivisions in the history and prehistory of the Americas before the appearance of significant European influences on the American continents. ... Cliff Palace, Mesa Verde National Park White House Ruins, Canyon de Chelly National Monument Ancient Pueblo People or Ancestral Puebloans were a prehistoric Native American culture centered around the present-day Four Corners area of the Southwest United States, noted for their distinctive pottery and dwelling construction styles. ... --24. ... The Mississippian culture was a mound-building Native American culture that flourished in what is now the Midwestern, Eastern, and Southeastern United States from approximately 800 to 1500 A.D., varying regionally. ... It has been suggested that Huastecs be merged into this article or section. ... // Overview Izapa was a very large pre-Columbian site located in Chiapas, Mexico, often placed in the Late Formative period. ... Jade mask found in Tomb 7, Monte Alban, c. ... Monument 1, one of the four Olmec colossal heads at La Venta. ... The Pipil are an indigenous people who live in western El Salvador. ... The Tarascan state was a state in precolumbian Mesoamerica roughly covering the geographic area of the present day mexican state of Michoacan. ... Teotihuacán[1] was, at its height in the first half of the 1st millennium CE, the largest pre-Columbian city in the Americas. ... The Atlantes – columns in the form of Toltec warriors in Tula. ... The Totonac people resided in the eastern coastal and mountainous regions of Mexico at the time of the Spanish arrival in 1519. ... Extent of the Zapotec civilization The Zapotec civilization was an indigenous pre-Columbian civilization that flourished in the Valley of Oaxaca of southern Mesoamerica. ... The Norte Chico civilization (also Caral or Caral-Supe civilization) was a complex Pre-Columbian society that included as many as 30 major population centers in what is now the Norte Chico region of north-central coastal Peru. ... The Chavín were an early civilization that existed in present-day Peru. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Late Intermediate Period Cultures Chimu Piece - Imperial Epoch, 1300 A.D. to 1532 A.D.Larco Museum Collection Chimor (also Kingdom of Chimor) was the political grouping of the Chimú culture that ruled the northern coast of Peru, beginning around 850 AD and ending around 1470 AD. Chimor was the... The Chachapoyas, also called the Warriors of the Clouds, were an Andean people living in the cloud forests of the Amazonas region of present-day Peru. ... Middle Horizon The Huari (or Wari) was a Middle Horizon civilization that flourished in the Andes in the south of modern day Peru, from about 500 to 1200 A.D. The capital city of the same name is located near the modern city of Ayacucho, Peru. ... The Moche civilization (alternately, the Mochica culture, Early Chimu, Pre-Chimu, Proto-Chimu, etc. ... Late Intermediate Period Cultures The Nazca culture flourished in the Nazca region between 300 BC and 800 AD. They created the famous Nazca lines and built an impressive system of underground aqueducts that still function today. ... Tairona figure pendants Monument in Santa Marta depicting Taironas. ... Area of the Middle Horizon The Gate of the Sun Tiwanaku (Spanish spellings: Tiahuanaco and Tiahuanacu) is an important Pre-Columbian archaeological site in Bolivia. ... Mapuche test of Wikipedia at Wikimedia Incubator Mapuche (Mapudungun; Che, People + Mapu, of the Land) are the original Amerindian inhabitants of Central and Southern Chile and Southern Argentina. ... Aztec is a term used to refer to certain ethnic groups of central Mexico, particularly those groups who spoke the Nahuatl language and who achieved political and military dominance over large parts of Mesoamerica in the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries, a period referred to as the Late post-Classic... This article is about the pre-Columbian Maya civilization. ... For the a general view of Inca civilisation, people and culture, see Incas. ... Inca redirects here. ... Nahuatl ( [1] is a term applied to a group of related languages and dialects of the Aztecan [2] branch of the Uto-Aztecan language family, indigenous to central Mexico. ... “Maya language” redirects here. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Quechuan languages. ... Aztec or Nahuatl writing is a pictographic pre-Columbian writing system used in central Mexico by the Nahua peoples. ... Maya glyphs in stucco at the Museo de sitio in Palenque, Mexico The Maya script, commonly known as Maya hieroglyphs, was the writing system of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization of Mesoamerica, presently the only deciphered script of the Mesoamerican writing systems. ... Aztec religion was a Mesoamerican religion combining elements of polytheism, shamanism and animism within a framework of astronomy and calendrics. ... The indigenous religious beliefs and practices of the ancient and modern Maya vary greatly over space and time, but certain common features can be discerned, all of which are consistent with other Mesoamerican religions. ... The Sun Temple complex at Písac. ... The Aztec civilization recognized a polytheistic mythology, which contained the many gods (over 100) and supernatural creatures from their religious beliefs. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Inca mythology includes a number of stories and legends that are mythological and helps explain or symbolizes Inca beliefs. ... The sun stone also called the Aztec calendar on display at the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City. ... The Maya calendar is a system of distinct calendars and almanacs used by the Maya civilization of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, and by some modern Maya communities in highland Guatemala. ... // Aztec society traditionally was divided into two classes; the macehualli (people) or peasantry and the pilli or nobility. ... It has been suggested that Maya women be merged into this article or section. ... It has been suggested that Women and clothing in Incan Society be merged into this article or section. ... Chinampas is an Aztec term referring to a method of ancient Mesoamerican agriculture through floating gardens—small, rectangle-shaped areas of fertile arable land used for agriculture in the Xochimilco region of the Basin of Mexico. ... As unique and spectacular as any Greek or Roman architecture, Maya architecture spans many thousands of years. ... View of Machu Picchu Incan architecture is the most significant pre-Columbian architecture in South America. ... This section needs additional references or sources to facilitate its verification. ... The Aztecs were a Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican people of central Mexico in the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries. ... The Inca Empire was an empire centered in what is now Peru from AD 1438 to AD 1533. ... Moctezuma Ilhuicamina, or Moctezuma I (also known as Montezuma I) (the surname meaning solitary one who shoots an arrow into the sky) was born to Huitzilihuitl, the second Aztec Emperor. ... Moctezuma or Montezuma II, also known as Motecuhzoma Xocoyotzin (c. ... Cuitláhuac was the Aztec ruler (Tlatoani) of the city of Tenochtitlán from June to October 1520. ... For other uses, see Cuauhtémoc (disambiguation). ... Pacal II, also known as Pacal the Great (the most recent work gives his full name as Kinich Janaab Pakal[1] (26 March 603 - 31 August 683), was ruler of the Maya polity of Palenque. ... Tecún Umán was the last king of the Quiché people, in the highlands of what is now Guatemala. ... Categories: Historical stubs | Inca emperors ... Pachacuti as drawn by Guaman Poma Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui (or Pachacutec; Quechua Pachakutiq, literally world-turner, i. ... Lifetime portrait of Atahuallpa, the last sovereign Inca emperor Atahualpa or Atawallpa (c. ... Aztec empire The Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire was one of the most important campaigns in the Spanish colonization of America. ... Hernán(do) Cortés Pizarro, 1st Marqués del Valle de Oaxaca (1485–December 2, 1547) was the conquistador who became famous for leading the military expedition that initiated the Spanish Conquest of Mexico. ... The Spanish Conquest of Yucatán was the campaign undertaken by the Spanish conquistadores against the Late Postclassic Maya states and polities, particularly in the northern and central Yucatán Peninsula but also involving the Maya polities of the Guatemalan highlands region. ... Francisco de Montejo (c. ... // The Maya civilization thrived throughout much of Guatemala and the surrounding region for close to 2000 years before the Spanish arrived in the early 16th century. ... Pedro de Alvarado y Contreras (Badajoz, c. ... The Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire was a process through which a group of Spaniards led by Francisco Pizarro succeeded in toppling the Inca Empire in the early 16th-century. ... Francisco Pizarro Francisco Pizarro González should not be confused with another Francisco Pizarro who joined Hernán Cortés to conquer the Aztecs. ... For other uses, see Native Americans (disambiguation). ... Natives of North America. ... Pre-Columbian art is the art of Central and South America in the time prior to the arrival of European colonizers in the 16th century. ...

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