The Inca Wheel and Inca Road Network

Did the Incas have the wheel? Although the Incas were very advanced and did in fact know about the concept of the wheel, they never developed it in practice. This was quite simply because their empire spanned the world’s second highest mountain range, where there were more straightforward methods to carry goods than using the inca wheel.

The Inca Wheel

In it’s heyday – right at the time of the Spanish Conquest in the 1530’s – the Inca Empire stretched all the way from northern Argentina to Southern Colombia, an area defined chiefly by high peaks, narrow valleys and barren rocky terrain. Carrying goods was thus far more convenient by porters and on pack animals, such as llamas, who were well attuned to traversing tricky mountain slopes with heavy loads…. far easier than dragging a wagon up a mountain I’m sure you’ll agree!

The Ina Road Network

In order to make travel by foot easier, the Incas developed an extensive and complex system of roads for transportation and communications, which they called Khapaq Ñan. This covered the vast majority of their  Empire, the total length of road incorporated is thought to have been around 25,000 miles, the same as the Earth’s diameter. The most famous stretch of road is, of course, The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.

Exploring Peru on Foot

At Aracari, as locally-based specialists in luxury travel Peru, we encourage you to try out the time-honoured tradition of navigating the Andes by foot and take advantage of the many incredible Peru treks available, from day hikes, to multi-day lodge-to-lodge treks, to the famous Inca trail to Machu Picchu.

Map of the Inca Road System

This fantastic map of the Inca road system comes from Wikipedia:

Related Post

World on Sale: Conde Nast Traveler’s 25th anniversary collection... Aracari is delighted to announce that our Peru itinerary has been included in World on Sale, a special collection of trips featured by the prestigious...
Rediscovering the love of travel on a trip to Northern Peru Sometimes everything comes together on a trip – the people, the landscapes, the timing – to make you fall in love with travel again. This year, that f...
A blast from the past – Peru in 1937! We just came across this link on Youtube and thought you might enjoy James A. Fitzpatrick's "Traveltalks; The Voice of the Globe: 1937 Glimpses Of Per...
Celebrating Bajada de los Reyes festival in Ollantaytambo Bajada de los Reyes Festival    Closely related to Christmas, the popular Spanish festivity known in Spain as “Dia de los Reyes magos” on the...
Natural Hot Springs Colca Thanks to the seismic activity of the region, the Colca Canyon and Valley are sprinkled with natural hot springs, or thermal baths, where locals and t...
Gaston Acurio – The ambassador of Peruvian cuisine About Gaston Acurio Gaston Acurio is considered one of the most important chefs in the world, and is often referred to as the ‘ambassador’ or ‘archit...