The Inca road goes across the whole Arica y Parinacota region, vertically and horizontally. It goes from 4800 masl to zero level, passing through four ecological floors:
Next to the Andes Mountains:
There is 190 km from the coast to the mountains
It is located between 4800 and 4000 masl. As it name indicates, it is very high and has a flat surface. There are volcanos (all very active), lakes, small rivers and wetlands (that provide food for the camelids). Temperature can range from 0°C to -25°C in winter. There are also salt flats, but they are very few.
It is located between 3900 and 3000 masl. It is very easy to recognize this area because at 3000masl there is a place called Sierra Huaylilla. Mountain Range has a more aggressive surface containing ravines and cold rivers, usually affected by landslides and heavy rain.
Because this area does not have a flat surface, locals started to build terraces to work on farming. Most of Qhapac ñan is located around this zone along with most of the settlements.
Atacama Desert (the most barren in the world) Located between 3000 and 1000 masl.
Despite its aridity, when it rains it creates a beautiful phenomenon called the ‘’Flowering Desert’’
Atacama Desert : the most arid desert in the world.
Located between 3000 and 1000 masl.
They are located inside the ravines. Rivers that connect with the ocean are located here, these rivers alternate between salt and fresh water. This alternation makes possible the development of different kinds of agriculture in the zone.
The Valley of Lluta and Camarones have a constant stream of water, but the valley of Azapa obtains its water from the underground layers. Despite the aridity of this zone, thanks to the water and ground conditions makes possible to harvest any kind of plant.
It is approximately 17 kilometers long and it is divided in two by the Morro of Arica. From the Morro to the north, it is 7 kilometers long (containing two beaches) and to the south it is 10 kilometers long (containing two beaches) this part ends with the Anzota Caves