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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Inca trail appointed UNESCO World Heritage status and a new Inca road to Machu Picchu discovered

unnamed (7)June has been a momentous month for Peru with an Inca trail appointed UNESCO World Heritage status and a new one discovered.

UNESCO has granted the Inca Qhapaq Nan road system, also known as the Great Trail, the prestigious World Heritage status. The road system, which is inclusive of 273 component sites along the route, extends more than 30,000 kilometres and is believed to have been used by the Spanish when they arrived in South America in the 16th Century.

Also during this time, many other roads were built through the lush mountains peaks, so intricately woven by the Incas that still to this day, new routes are being discovered. Recently, a team of Peruvian archaeologists found a new trail leading to the mysterious Machu Picchu citadel in Cusco.unnamed (8)

The discovery was announced this month by the director of the Archaeological Park of Machu Picchu, Mr Fernando Astete.

The new road begins at Wayraqtambo and leads up to a platform where travellers can see the Incan ruins at Machu Picchu from a completely different angle. Even with much of the road still heavily covered by thick vegetation, it is said to be a discovery that will change the way the world sees Machu Picchu.

The Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism (MINCETUR) and President of Peru Export and Tourism Promotion Board (PROMPERU), Mrs Magali Silva Velarde-Alvarez, affirmed that the recent discovery of a new Inca Trail to Machu Picchu will diversify the tourism product.
“This is a very exciting find for Peru and will enable us to offer our visitors a different perspective and experience of famous Inca citadel.

It is also further proof of the greatness of our ancestors and why Peru is one of the most important archaeological destinations in the world," Mrs Silva said.

The new trail to Machu Picchu is approximately a mile long and between 1.20 and 1.40 metres wide, dimensions vary with topography. Another impressive discovery along the trail is a tunnel, more than five metres long, located 2,700 metres above sea level.

The trail is thought to predate Machu Picchu itself, which was built at the height of the Inca Empire, around 1450, and was unknown to the outside world before being discovered in 1911 by the American historian Mr Hiram Bingham.

Peru now has a total of 12 World Heritage Sites, including; the City of Cuzco, Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu, the ChavĂ­n Archaeological Site, Huascaran National Park, Chan Chan Archaeological Zone, Manu National Park, the Historic Centre of Lima, the Abiseo River National Park, geographical Nasca lines and Pampas de Jumana, the historic centre of Arequipa, the Sacred City of Caral-Supe, and now the Great Inca Trail.
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