The Incas created an extensive network of roads called Qhapaq Ñan to unite the disparate parts of his vast empire. Today you can follow in the footsteps of the Incas by these ancient ways, the most popular of them remains the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. This spectacular and ancient road through what was, in the late fifteenth century, the main access to the sacred citadel.
The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is the most famous trek across South America and is crossed by thousands of adventurers from around the world every year. The route has been declared World Heritage for its cultural and ecological value; also it represents the most authentic and picturesque way to visit Machu Picchu, which reveals the overall architectural goal of the Incas and their great respect for nature.
The road begins at the Complex Llactapata near the town of Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley and passes through several archaeological sites built by the Incas before reaching the “tambo” Intipunku at the entrance to Machu Picchu. Its 40 km long high cross gorges, valleys and Andean tropical forests, rewarding the traveler with beautiful views and architectural and natural wonders. You can say that is just as impressive as the same Machu Picchu. The Inca treasures found along the way include the complex of Machu Q’ente, Huayna Q’ente, Pulpituyoc, Kusichaca, Patallacta, Torontoy, Runkuraqay, Sayaqmarca, Phuyupatamarca, Wiñay Huayna, Intipata, Killapata and Chaskapata. The national park that protects the road and everything around is home to numerous species of flora and fauna endangered and offers unparalleled views of the snowy peaks surrounding it.
Besides the famous Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, around the citadel there are various Inca trails to neighboring sites. The most important of them is the way to Huayna Picchu, is a zigzagging path to the top of the steep hill where there are ancient terraces, carved rocks, tunnels and the Temple of the Moon.
To the west there is another Inca road leading to Intipata and passes through a drawbridge of trunk. It is a narrow path on the flanks of a mountain of granite, interrupted by an empty space where a drawbridge that could be easily removed in case of danger was placed. Among the other Inca roads that communicate with Machu Picchu, there is the one leading to the river and to San Miguel and the vertical path whose destination is the top of the mountain Putucusi.