Spanish chroniclers of the conquest, whtn narrating this enterprise, showed an element of surprise regarding the roads' magnitude, especially those that ran over the steep hills of the Andes, which are also very difficult to access. In fact its construction appears to have demanded the sacrifice of many lives and much effort, especially since at the time they owned very limited and simple tools.
A shelter is found every so many kilometres down the road. These shelters were built to protect messengers, soldiers and travelers from the cold, the rain and the night. They were called tambos and many can still be found in relatively good shape. The Incas also built bridges to cross the streams and rivers, most of which have desappeared and only few still stand, or at least their bases do (such as that in Ollantaytambo which is made of stone and stands over the Urubamba river).
The capital of the Inca State was Cusco; it is from there that the main roads uniting the country ramified. The Tahuantinsuyu was divided into four parts: Chinchaysuyu, Contisuyu, Antisuyu and Colllasuyu. These four 'suyu' were connected with Cusco via two main roads that ran parallel to each other from the South of the country to its North. One ran across the coastal border whilst the other ran amongst the Andes. Both roads, named Capac Nan or Royal Roads, were composed of smaller tracks, mainly those in the mountains, since that is where most towns were located.