Ingapirca, Kichwa for ‘Inca’s walls,’ are the oldest and largest archeological ruins in Ecuador. They were in built and inhabited by the Inca people and the indigenous Canari Ecuadorians. The ruins show that the site was used as a strategic position by the Incas for military expansion, to store food and for worship.
The two most notable features are the central elliptical structure – the exact position of the entry allowed the sun to fill the chamber during solstice – and the complex aqueduct system which provides water to all areas of the complex. Ingapirca is also an example of the terraced farming methods the Inca used to increase the availability of arable land on the steep Andes.
Approximately an hour north of Cuenca, their location provides the visitor with a breathtaking drive through the Andes. Go early in the morning to make good time and allow yourself the solitude to really absorb the beauty of the ruins. Bring your camera as this is a memory you will want to remember – very Insta-worthy!
Be sure to wear layers! Ingapirca is located 10,200 ft above sea level – it can get windy and cold! Wear a thick wool jumper or channel your inner Inca princess and wrap up in a cosy Alpaca poncho. Remember that you are prancing about on a mountain so ensure you are wearing comfortable shoes with grip. I would also recommend keeping a little pair of gloves in your back pocket.. Just in case!
Last but not least this is an ideal situation to see fluffy llamas, who are very much at home here, and can be seen grazing around the Ingapirca.
I wouldn’t miss out on such a cultural treasure because …I’m Just Not That Way.