Technology over time

By completely dividing the Tawantinsuyo, the Qhapaq Ñan crosses mountain ranges, plains and rivers, so it has had to adapt to the different geomorphological conditions of these places. Some techniques used to solve these problems are:

Water drainage channels

A very common problem is the existence of a water stream that cuts the road, so a technique had to be created in which the water could continue its course without necessarily interrupting the route of the famous Inca road. The sections of the Qhapaq Ñan that crossed the Andes Mountains had a drainage system and lateral channels that managed to function properly despite the frequent rains.

Different types of bridges

Log bridges: The most rustic and simple ones, in which tree trunks are used to join two nearby points. A good example of this is the “Inca Bridge” in Machu Picchu. 

Suspension bridges: They were commonly made of straw and could reach up to 60 meters in length. They had to be renewed from time to time due to wear and tear. The most famous example is the Inca bridge of Queswachaka.

Stone bridges: Made with stones placed one on top of the other forming a solid path to cross short distances, although unfortunately most of these bridges have been destroyed by the time itself, but remains of them can still be found.


Floating bridges: Mainly made from totora leaves joined together, these types of bridges were used to transport people through the water. This eventually came to be used for the construction of small boats. 

old stone bridge