How it all started

Faced with the need to exchange goods and products, the Qhapaq Ñan began as a herdsman road that connected the different indigenous communities of each area. With the arise of Cusco as the new administrative and political center of the communities, the Inca Empire began a process of expanding its power and territory based on the exchange of provisions which were made through this route.

Some historical background

This road were once used by the Incas for territorial expansion, maintaining a certain autonomy of each community they conquered; thus, those who were leaders would be called Carangas, and now they were the chiefs of each community. They were in charge of paying taxes to gain access to the road and holders of certain privileges. 

The Incas chose their best Cusco architects to expand this herdsmen road, recognizing the land and obtaining the best materials, thus allowing the origin of the Qhapaq Ñan. 

To explain it better


The different communities all over Los Andes began to eat and grow fruits, vegetables and legumes.

As a way of generating interaction between the villages, exchanges of food and provisions began to take place.  
To make this happen it was necessary to move around through these herdsmen roads. 
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Archaeological culture that spread through Bolivia, Peru and Chile. With Lake Titicaca as its core and covering a large area of the Atacama desert. 
The Tiwanaku provided a great number of advances in clothing , ceramics and above all in architecture. 
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That’s why we are able to see many of these advances along the Qhapaq Ñan. 
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TIWANAKU (1500 BC y 1187 AD)
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INCA PERIOD (1438-1533)
The Inca people triumphed throughout the Qhapaq Ñan, through a very good administration, in which they included the leaders of different communities.  
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The Incas were only between 60 and 90 years in Chile, this period was necessary to extract the most important of each community.  
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This civilization dedicated itself especially to remodeling and maintaining the Qhapaq Ñan in the best possible condition, since it allowed them to transit within the Tahuantinsuyo. 
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The Qhapaq Ñan gave the Spanish explorers and conquerors access to all corners of Tahuantinsuyo.  
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In this way they established new cities and founded Lima as the capital of the colony.  
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They burgled Cusco of its power and rebuilt it with cathedrals, public halls, and Spanish-style houses. 
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The descendants of the Inca communities maintain many traditions, celebrations and religions, such as the veneration of Pachamama (Mother Earth).  
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Although much of the Qhapaq Ñan has disappeared, some communities still use sections of this road. 
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And in this way achieving a physical and spiritual connection among them. 
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2014 year date

Finally, in the 38th World Heritage Committee, held in 2014, UNESCO decided to include Qhapaq Ñan on the World Heritage List.