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Home / News / 6th World Heritage Site for Chile: Camino del Inca

6th World Heritage Site for Chile: Camino del Inca

The Camino del Inca, a pre-Columbian road system known in native tongues as “Qhapaq Ñan”, once stretched over 30,000km/18,600mi throughout the Andes region. This ancient route facilitated the Incan trade system, and also served to send out troops to protect the Incan empire. Now a number of pieces of this lengthy trail – extending 6000km/3,700mi in Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru, Argentina and Chile – have been collectively declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is the first time that a World Heritage Site designation has been shared amongst six countries simultaneously.

Five segments of the newly-designated site lie in Chile, spread across three separate regions of the country for a total of 125km/77mi. First, in the Arica & Parinacota Region, is the “De la Sierra” route, between Putre and Zapahuira. Next, in the Antofagasta Region, are the “Del Cobre” route between the Miño volcano and the village of Lasana, the “Topa Inca” route between Cupe and Catarpe Cupo, and the “Capricornio Andino” route between Camar and Peine. Finally, in the Atacama Region, is the “Despoblado” route, leading from Portal del Inca in El Salvador to the Finca Chañaral. The track once led all the way south to the Santiago area, and is a testament to the well-developed infrastructure of the great empire of the Incas.

This recent UNESCO World Heritage Site designation compliments the existing five World Heritage Sites in Chile: Rapa Nui National Park on Easter Island, the unique wooden churches of Chiloé Island, the port city of Valparaíso, the former nitrate mining towns Humberstone and Santa Laura, and the mining town of Sewell.

For information on any of these internationally-significant cultural destinations, please contact your travelArt sales representative.

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