This time we followed an invitation by the Centro de Investigaciones Turísticas (CEITUR) of the Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja to explore the Qhapaq Ñan (English: Great Inca Road, or Main Andean Road) in the area between Cañar and Saraguro in Ecuador. The Qhapaq Ñan constituted the principal north-south highway of the Inca Empire travelling 6000 km along the peaks of the Andes between Quito in the north and Mendoza in the south along the spine of the Andes linking a network of roads over 23,000km in length connecting various production, administrative and ceremonial centres. For the past three years the World Heritage Centre has been assisting in a pioneering project: the preparation of a single nomination for the inclusion of Qhapaq Ñan in the World Heritage List involving six participating countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. During our 5 days of travel we explored several archaeological sites such as Ingapirca, Cojitambo and Chobshi which form part of the Qhapaq Ñan and learned a lot about the history and the cultures of the area including the Inca, Cañari and Saraguro.
For more information on the Qhapaq Ñan please see:
For more information on the UNESCO project please see: