Backbone of the political and economic power of the Tawantisuyo -the Inca Empire-, the Qhapaq Ñan (in Quechua language "main road") comprised a network of roads with more than 18,600 miles that interconnected important production, administrative and religious centers. Its plotting was made even before the Inca Empire's flourishing and it is estimated to have about 2000 years of existence. It currently crosses six Andean countries: Peru being its starting point; towards the South it crosses the territories of Bolivia, Argentina and Chile; and towards the North, Ecuador and Columbia. In 2014, it was declared World Heritage by the UNESCO.
The Qhapaq Ñan enters Argentina coming from Bolivia at a small village called Calahoyo (at the Puna, at more than 13,100 f.a.s.l.) and it crosses desserts, valleys and mountains linking the territories of the current provinces of Jujuy, Salta, Tucumán, Catamarca, La Rioja, San Juan and Mendoza, to get finally lost in the Andean Mountain Range, heading towards Chile.
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