Inca Trail is now a World Heritage site

Aypate, main icon in Piura

ERP. The Qhapaq Ñan (Inca Trail) is now a declared World Heritage site, having been declared by the Cultural Agency of the United Nations, and by having been analyzed by the historic foundations and agreements that were made by the countries that are involved in this major decision. There is still a network of Inca trails that depart from Cusco which go all around the ancient territories of Tawantinsuyo. This is all a source of wonder for current generations.

“The designation as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO means that for the six countries involved, this acknowledgement is for one of the most important monuments in the Andean world”, declared to the media by Luis Lumbreras Flores, an archaeologist of the Inca Trail Project from the Peruvian Ministry of Culture.

UNESCO described the Inca Trail as a marvel in engineering that needs to be restored and preserved. With this distinction, the oldest network of trails in the Americas will need to receive financing by international organizations for its upkeep.

During the 38th Reunion for the Committee of the UNESCO World Heritage organization, they made this important decision, which was not only made for Peru but also for Colombia, Ecuador, Chile, Bolivia, and Argentina, which are all the countries that propelled the acceptance of the Qhapaq Ñan to be denominated as a World Heritage Site.

To come to this decision, they had to prove that the Inca Trail Tours, of around some 60 thousand kilometers in paths, possesses exceptional universal value. By them, the committee based it on four criteria.

Among one of these criteria is that the Qhapaq Ñan is proof that the Incas had a large amount of architectonic development because they had their own technology, which was not only used for the construction of its monuments but also for the planning of its cities. Secondly, this network of trails is a unique testimony regarding Tawantinsuyu. Thirdly, the techniques and the technological development applied to the work they had carried out takes us back to a significant period in the history of humankind. Last but not least, the Qhapaq Ñan is associated with traditions and living beliefs.

It is worth mentioning that of the total length of 60 thousand kilometers of this immense route that to this day they have only discovered 30 thousand kilometers of it, in which they have located some 273 archaeological sites, which starting from yesterday, have all been considered a World Heritage Site.

In the case of our country, they have nominated some 250 kilometers and some 81 archaeological sites. Until then, we only have inscribed 11 of these sites. There are only 5 recognized stretches: the Inka Hauk’aypata Plaza, the Cusco-Desaguadero stretch, the Ollantaytambo-Lares-Valle de Lacco stretch, the Vitkus-Choquequirao stretch, and the Q’eswachaka Bridge. Along these routes, there are some 25 significant archaeological sites.

In Piura

Along the Inca Trail around the areas of Huancabamba and Ayabaca, there is undoubted evidence in how these trails were used. Here around Piura, Aypate is the most important icon. After this declaration had been made, we can now await the intensified interest in tourism from around the world so that people can come travel along these trails that were used by the Incas, which are trails that were dispersed all over their territory.

Ramiro Ponce
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