Cuenca Ecuador - Ingapirca Inca Fortress, daily, private
Travel from Cuenca to the Inca fortress of Ingapirca ("wall of the inca"), Ecuador’s most important remains of the Inca Empire. The fortress is believed to be constructed 500 years ago.
A fascinating day trip to Ingapirca, the most northern fortress-temple remaining from Inca times. Sun-worshippers built this stone center on a promontory high above the Cañar valley, about 96 Km (60 miles) northeast of Cuenca and at an altitude of 10,595 feet (3,230 meters) above sea level. Ride through enchanting highlands, passing through the towns of Azogues and Cañar, with a short visit on Sundays to the market at Cañar. Upon arrival at Ingapirca stop at the on-site museum, and admire the stone fortress with several trapezoidal doorways and stone walls perfectly fit together, without mortar, of the Inca construction. There is an elliptical platform, known as the Temple of the Sun used for religious and ceremonial purposes, the barracks, the stone "Inca Face" and the zoomorphic carvings. Lunch at a pleasant inn of the area and later on continue to Tambo Coyoctor.
The Inca ruins of El Tambo Coyoctor are located right on the route of the Royal Road of the Incas or Qhapac Ñan, a segment of which is still seen, and along which guests can still stroll and perhaps visualize in their minds the chasquis or runners, carrying messages on knotted strings called quipus, at full speed in relay from one end of the Inca Empire to the other. Tambo Coyoctor is a massive rock outcrop, carved to form baths, showers and water channels believed to have been used in purification rituals before ceremonies of magic-religious significance. Visit the on-site interpretation center, run by the Community of El Tambo. Return to Cuenca in the late afternoon.
- Ground transportation and guide
- Order of visits may change depending on weather conditions or guest interest)
- Entrance fees to National Parks, Natural Reserves, community projects, and others are included in the excursions or have no cost. Unless otherwise is specified in each tour section.
Our recommendations for the best possible experience
- Dress in layers (T-shirt, blouse, sweater, coat).
- Take a warm coat for evening and rain protection.
- Sun protection (SPF 40) even if the day is cloudy.
- Hat or cap. Good walking shoes.
- Altitude: 2,550 meters (7,750 feet) to 3,230 meters (10,595 feet)
- Average Temperature: Day 10° to 25° C / 50° to 77° F. - Night 6° to 10° C / 43° to 50° F.
Why is this tour so special?
- This archeological complex is the most important of Ecuador
- The site includes roofless fortifications, courtyards, terraces, temples, houses and “castle” possibly temple of the sun.
- A museum is opened for a better knowledge and understanding.
- The Inca Empire settled here with temples and administrative centres
- Inca ruins display classic interlocking stonework that fit together perfectly without mortar, here you get to see this.
- Visitors can enjoy the Temple of the Sun, a stone fortress with many trapezoidal doorways and stone walls, an elliptical platform, Inca barracks and a ‘tambo’ check-point that is one of the many that used to line the Inca Road between Cusco and Quito.
- Evidence of both the Inca and Cañari cultures is visible on the site and it is therefore a historically important attraction in Ecuador, as it is the legacy of Ecuador’s pre-Hispanic era.
- Great views and country sides, complemented by visiting also another archeological complex, “Tambo Coyoctor”, recently rescued and managed now by a local community seeking through tourism a more sustainable way of living by promoting and preserving their heritage.
Some special Highlights
ABOUT THE INCAS
The Empire of the Incas, from its capital Cuzco, expanded in the 14th and 15th Centures to form the Tahuantinsuyo, which went from northern Chile to the north of Peru. In 1463 the ruling Inca, Tupac Yupanqui, began moving north to conquer Ecuador. The Inca armies met fierce resistance by the Cañaris and other local Indian groups, and it wasn't until 1500 that the Incas finally settled in what is now Cuenca and surroundings, under the rule of Huayca Capac, son of Tupac Yupanqui and a Cañari princess. Ecuador's new lords ruled for less than half a century, until the Spanish conquest in the 1530's, but their legacy was the kichwa language, spoken by the majority of the Indian population of Ecuador, and an incredible network of roads connecting Quito with Cuzco along the higlands and Santiago de Chile and Guayaquil on the coast. The Inca Road or “Camino del Inca” was 8 meters wide (24 feet) and paved with stone - along which the Chasqui runners would bring messages and even fresh fish from the coast to the Inca.
||Rates per Person (US$)
|PRICES PER PERSON 2013
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|6 - 9
||10 - 15
||16 - 20
Cuenca Ecuador Tours & Hotels
With the placid atmosphere of a small city, Cuenca fascinates its visitors
Ecuador's most beautiful city, Saint Anne of the Four Rivers of Cuenca, is located in the valley of Guapondelig (meaning “plain as wide as the sky”). At an altitude of 2,550 meters (7,650 feet) above sea level, Cuenca enjoys a mild climate and a fabulous geographic position. Surrounding the city of Cuenca are hills like Cullca to the north and Turi to the south, which are great lookout points. Cuenca has the placid atmosphere of a small city, both deeply religious and artistic, which fascinates the visitor. The beauty of its landscape combined with the harmony between old and modern architecture, has prompted, UNESCO to name Ecuador's third largest city, Cuenca, a World Cultural Heritage Site.
Houses stretch down the slopes along the Tomebamba, one of the four rivers that cross Cuenca, whose banks are covered with multicolored laundry under the riverside willows and linden trees. Both the Hispanic colonial downtown and the new homes in the residential neighborhoods, show how Cuenca keeps traditions of bygone eras close to its heart, but accepts the presence of modernity that abound in the city: new hotels, banks, art galleries and shops. Cuenca's cobblestone streets, graceful balconies, blossoming gardens and religious art treasures invite you to visit it, on foot and at a leisurely pace.
Cuenca's handicrafts are outstanding in variety, color and quality. These treasures, inspired by local imagination are created in straw, horn, cloth, embroidery, knit, clay, wrought iron, leather as well as gold and silver jewelry.
The region of Cuenca was already inhabited nine thousand years ago. The Cañari people settled here due to its favorable climate, abundant water and ideal land for cultivation. Extraordinary pieces of ceramic of this period, notable for their design and technique, are to be found in the museums. In the middle of the 15th century, the Incas came to this area and founded the city they called Tomebamba and a few years later, in 1557, the Spanish claimed the city and renamed it Cuenca.
Additional excursions surrounding Cuenca include the impressive Cajas lake district, the subtropical valleys of Paute, Gualaceo and Yunguilla, plus the legendary Inca ruins of Ingapirca.