The Ingapirca ruins are among the best archaeological ruins in Ecuador, and though many people first think of Mexico or Peru when ancient ruins come to mind, Ecuador has its fair share of sites worth visiting as well. The Ingapirca ruins are an Incan ruin site located outside of a town by the same name. These are the largest Incan ruins in the country and are a popular day trip from the city of Cuenca. Affordable hotels in Cuenca can help you to plan this daytrip. If you have an interest in making your trip to Ecuador an educational one, then Ingapirca Ecuador is a site that can’t be missed.
The most significant building at the Ingapirca ruins is the Temple of the Sun. This elliptical shaped building was constructed in the traditional Incan way—without mortar. This fact makes the archeological site even more impressive. Ingapirca Ecuador is a great example of the skill the Incans possessed. Each stone was chiseled by hand and perfectly fit together. The Temple of the Sun also showed the knowledge of the Incan people. The temple was built so that on the solstices, sunlight would permeate the center of a doorway at the top of a chamber. Most of this part of the temple has since fallen down.
During a visit to the Ingapirca ruins, you will also learn about Inti Raymi. The Festival of the Sun, Inti Raymi, was an Incan religious ceremony in honor of one of their gods, Inti. This festival took place on the day of the winter solstice. Today, in certain parts of South America the Inti Raymi festival is recreated to the delight of locals and tourists on June 24 each year. Undoubtedly, this festival would have been celebrated at the Temple of the Sun at the Ingapirca ruins. Learning a little about the festival will help to bring significance to the ruins as you can envision what types of ceremonies took place in that very spot.
The rough translation of Ingapirca is “Inca Wall.” The views from this site are well worth the two-hour bus journey from Cuenca. Alternatively, there are villages nearby where you can spend a night or two if you choose. El Tambo and Canar are two villages that are close by, so you can plan on arriving early to avoid any crowds. If you are traveling from Cuenca, bus tours are available that will combine the cost of transportation with food, shopping, and a knowledgeable tour guide. A guide will illuminate details about this site, dating back to the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.
To visit Ingapirca Ecuador, it is advised to plan ahead. A daytrip from Cuenca will take approximately seven hours in total, so it is best to get an early start. Organized tours typically depart around 8 am and also include a stop at some local shops and meals. Your hotel in Cuenca can help to recommend a local tour company and often you will be picked up at the door of your hotel for the excursion. If you are within a short drive, it is essential to visit the largest archeological ruins in the country. Along with the Devil’s Nose Train and exploring the Amazon, many visitors report that this was one of their favorite attractions in the country.