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Ingapirca - Ruin - Ecuador

Ingapirca is the most impressive and significant set of Inca ruins in Ecuador. That being said, the ruins at Ingapirca are not very impressive when compared to Macchu Picchu or other pre-Columbian ruin complexes in Peru. Ingapirca was once an important Inca military and religious center, but over the centuries the site was cannibalized by the Spanish who used the finely chiseled stones to build their own homes and churches. Before the arrival of the Incas, the site had been an important Ca├▒ari observatory. Today, the best-preserved structure is an oval-shaped platform known as the Temple of the Sun. Efforts are underway to restore the site.

Although those who have seen the impressive ruin complexes in Peru (or Mexico and Guatemala, for that matter) may be disappointed by Ingapirca, it is still worth the trip, particularly if you are already in Cuenca or a ruins buff.

Ingapirca is located in the middle of nowhere, about 90 kilometers (56 mi) away from Cuenca. Guided tours to the site can be arranged in Cuenca, or if you get there by yourself (wheel and deal with the taxis in Cuenca, and make sure they stick around to take you back), there are guides hoping for clients at the entrance to the ruins. Alternatively, there are two daily buses from Cuenca to Ingapirca with Cooperativa Ca├▒ar, leaving at 9 a.m. and 12:20 p.m. from the terminal and returning at 1:15 p.m. and 3:45 p.m. during the week. On weekends, the second departure to Ingapirca leaves at 1:15 p.m. instead of 12:20 p.m. The ride is two hours and costs $2.50 each way. It is also possible to take any Quito-bound bus and ask to be let off at El tambo, from where you can take another local bus or hire a truck to bring you to the ruins entrance. Plan on spending about two hours visiting the ruins.



Price Description:

ADMISSION: $6 foreigners, $2 nationals; includes local guide in English or Spanish

Relative price: Mid-Range

Open Hours from:daily 8 a.m.

Open Hours to:daily 5 p.m.

Travel Skills: beginner/easy.

By Christopher Minster
I am a writer and editor at V!VA Travel guides here in Quito, where I specialize in adding quality content to the site and also in spooky things like...
15 Jan 2013

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