The Inca had over 16,000 miles of paved roads stretching from Cuzco all through the Andes Mountains. The Inca had no wheels, so runners carried verbal messages from one place to another by the roads. Messages were carried verbally because the Inca had no written language. Some Incan roads still can be seen today. The most famous road is now called The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Some of the road was built by cultures that came before The Inca. The most well known culture was the Wari. Some of the roads were 16,000 feet above sea level. That is about 2 miles higher than here in Boulder! Because the Inca lived in the mountains, there were rivers to cross. To traverse these rivers, the Inca built rope bridges or pontoons. The roads made transportation of goods or movement of military forces much faster than if they were following a small path. The Incan empire was huge, so the roads helped the government maintain control over the entire civilization. The Inca had llamas, which they used to their advantage. With animals, the Inca did not have to carry as many things, making travel faster. The entire span of the Incan road system is not completely known, because the Spaniards allowed it to deteriorate. In some places, they dug up the roads and in others, they simply allowed them to disappear under horse hooves. We are amazed by the Incan roads but sadly, we will probably never know the true extent of the system.