The Inca Trail is a “Living Heritage” in 6 countries in South America.
As stated by the representative of the Ministry of Culture, Carlos Carhuatanta, the great Inca Trail or Qapaq Ñan, as it is known in Quechua, unites six countries in South America (Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and Chile) and it is considered “Living Heritage” because it is still used, even though the Inca Empire fell 500 years ago.
“This makes us appreciate our heritage, not only as an international tourist attraction, but as a great value that the six countries share, not only for tourism, but as a living heritage,” said Carhuatanta, in his statement to the Chinese agency Xinhua.
According to Peruvian authorities, the extensive roads, which have crossroads that cover more than 30,000 kilometers, are still used by inhabitants of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and Chile regions, as it used to be in ancient times. In addition, among the most important roles of the Ministry of Culture, together with chroniclers, is to identify the routes of the road that have not been discovered yet, and to preserve the part that belongs to Peru, which is estimated to be 25,000 kilometers long.
In order to be recognized as Living Heritage, the six South American countries, heirs of this infrastructure, worked together for 10 years to achieve this status given by UNESCO.
According to the representative of the Ministry of Culture, this extensive network of roads that crosses a complicated geography, passing heights of 3,500 – 5,000 meters above sea level, reflects the quality of the government’s organization and eagerness to connect the Inca civilization.