It is called Inca road system or the great stone road, the network of roads that made the road system of the Inca empire. Qhapaq Nan Nan Capac (Quechua: ‘royal road’ or ‘Inca Trail’) for both the organization of all routes to the main road (about 5200 km in length) are used terms. All these roads were connected to Cuzco, the capital of the Inca Empire or Tahuantinsuyo, facilitating communication with other peoples attached under the Inca expansion process; at the same time, they constituted an effective means of political and administrative, economic and cultural integration. Since the Capac Nan interconnecting such distant places like Quito, Cuzco and Tucuman, in the sixteenth century it was used by the Spaniards to invade Peru, Bolivia, Chile and the Argentine pampas mountain range.

The famous “Inca Trail” connecting the city of Cuzco to the archaeological site of Machu Picchu, is only a small and tangential part of the vast network of Inca roads.

Network in South America

Starting from Cuzco, the Capac Nan enabled through the four “his” (Quechua suyu ‘region’ or ‘territory’) which constituted the Tahuantinsuyo:

  • Chinchaysuyo north, occupied by groups like the Chincha, Chimu or Yungas and pastures;
  • Collasuyo southeast, occupied by Aymara, Colla and puquinas;
  • Contisuyo southwest, occupied by groups like the conti or count, collaguas and settlers from puquina origin; and
  • Antisuyo east, occupied by antis (the present native populations of the Amazon).

The Capac Nan enabled the economic and political control of these towns, while its integration, exchange and state mobilization of various products, the transmission of cultural values, access to the various shrines Inca and the development of common practices; It was also a symbol of imperial power Cuzco and its expansion throughout South American geography, which included current six Andean countries: Peru, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia and Ecuador.

With a total of sixty thousand kilometers long, spine 1 is skillfully constructed by the hands of specialists can be compared, for its size, with the Silk Road or the Great Wall of China.