Capac Ñan is the name given to the ancient Inca Trail, although to be more precise, this name does relate to one trail but to a network of trails that add up to around 25,000 kilometers (15,534 miles) of extension.
Its extension could be compare to ten times the journey between Tumbes (furthest northern province of Peru) to Tacna (furthest southern province of Peru) through the Pan-American highway.
Pedro Cieza de Leon, a Spanish soldier that came along with the conquistadors through the main trail of the highlands in 1540 wrote:
“I doubt there’s any record of another trail comparable to this one, crossing deep valleys and rising above the highest mountain and through tons of snow, swamps, rocks and turbulent rivers”.
Cieza de Leon was hallucinating with the magnificent engineering work that had to major roads: the Capac Ñan that went from Cusco (Peru) to Quito (Ecuador), and another one that made the same journey in parallel along the coast.
A lot of the sections of the Capac Ñan can be done by foot nowadays, on a true journey though the amazing Peruvian geography.
Source: Sumaq Magazine.
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