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  1. UNESCO World Heritage Site;

  2. Machu Picchu of Ecuador, at par with many of Peru's Sacred Valley monuments;

  3. Mixed Inca and Canari architecture;

  4. Inca fortress with Temple of the Sun its most significant structure;

  5. Temple of the Sun built in Inca style without mortar;

  6. Canari style walls built with mortar;

  7. Fascinating Solstice stone and calendar stones;

  8. Inca Ruins 80 km from Cuenca;

  9. Daily trips from Cuenca;

  10. Weather: At 3180 masl it is rather cold when the sun is not shining (afternoons).

Ingapirca Ruins, Ecuador, Cuenca

INGAPIRCA RUINS ECUADOR, INCA FORTRESS NEAR CUENCA, We organize tours, provide an Ingapirca Map, great Pix, Solid info on Ecuador's Machu Picchu and great pix. At a road distance of  80km from Cuenca, this UNESCO Heritage site is located in the Andes of Ecuador, at an elevation of 3,200 masl, slightly higher than the the nation's capital, but usually considerably colder.


How to get to Ingapirca

It is Ingapirca is an easy day trip from Cuenca. The Transportes Cañar bus company offers a daily bus at 9 a.m from Cienca that goes directly to Ingapirca.With many stops along the way, the ride takes about 2 hours. The bus waits at the site and returns at 1.15 p.m. There is a small museum - ticketing office before the entrance, but the museum part is not always open.


INGAPIRCA RUINS: All about Ecuador's Machu Picchu, the northernmost inca ruins north of Peru, its mixed Inca-Canari stiles, its irrigation canals and Temple of the Sun. Join our daytrips from Cuenca! Elliptically shaped is was constructed around a large rock on top of a mountain. The main building is constructed Inca-style without mortar, but some parts are built in the Canari fashion, who used mortar to stabilize their walls. The stones of the Inca walls were carefully chiseled and fashioned to fit together perfectly. On the top of the Temple of the Sun there is a small chamber, which now has mostly fallen down. Originally the chamber was positioned so that on the solstices sunlight would fall through the center of the doorway.


Dear visitor, our website gives you info about our National Parks Tours, our Galapagos programs, the Cuyabeno Loop, as well as our Cuyabeno  and Cofan Lodges in the Amazon.   For those who want to combine the Exuberant Nature of Ecuador with the Famous culture of Peru, we even have a 7 days Highlights of Peru extension! Our website gives you the best information on the internet, like Ecuador Travel Guide, because we are the only tour operator run by professional biologists. Take a look:



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AMAZON RIVER CRUISE ECUADOR: In Ecuador, birding is for all ages.


For those that are limited in time, we are now organizing the Cuyabeno Day Trip that takes you at 9 AM from the park entrance to the surroundings of Lake Cuyabeno, to the Siona village and back by 5 PM.




Price: from $ 99

 1 día

RÍO NAPO LODGE TOUR, ECUADOR: La plataforma en el árbol de Ceibo de la comunidad Kichwa Añagu.


Lodges along Yasuni ­ National Park are excessively expensive and excursions are just organized close to each lodge. We developed a fabulous and affordable tour to all the highlights along the Napo, while staying in 2 different decent Quichua lodges.



Price: from $ 450

3 days

viaje a Cuyabeno


The most remote part of the Amazon is the Lagartocoche lake system at the border with Peru. Hosted in a Secoya Indian Village.


Price: from $ 450

 4 days

admirando la increíble vida silvestre


The Cuyabeno Loop explores the breathtaking scenery of the lower Cuyabeno and Zabalo Rivers and the Cuyabeno Lake. Watch the amazing birds and wildlife. Pass 2 nights with the amazing Cofan Indians in the Cofan Lodge and enjoy 2 nights of comfort in the famous Cuyabeno Lodge.

Price: from $ 799

5 days


admirando las increíbles aves


Located in Southern Cuyabeno, the Cofan Lodge is the only lodge in that part of the Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve with quality programs and great facilities. It is owned by the Cofan Indians and provides a totally different experience from any other lodge in Cuyabeno.



Price: from $ 450

4 days

Laguna Cuyabeno


The Cuyabeno Lake Programs explores all the wild places surrounding the Cuyabeno Lake. Bonsai-shaped Macrolobia trees with the whispering of the mysterious prehistoric Hoatzin birds and the noisy Blue and Yellow Macaws. Our Cuyabeno Lodge is on the best location, because we were the first lodge and chose the best location right on a seasonal island in Lake Cuyabeno.

Price: from $ 390

4 - 5 days


Chimborazo con Lamas


Our Northern Andes Tour lets you get a taste of some of the best Andean National Parks, visiting the highest groves in the world: the Polylepis trees, the highest mountain in the world calculated from the center of the Earth, the Chimborazo with Vecunhas and Lamas, the highest active volcano in the world, the Cotopaxi.


Price: from $750

5 days

Cascada San Rafael


Our National Parks Tours take you on a fantastic journey along the best possible sample of Andean and coastal parks. They have been designed to complement Galapagos and/or Amazon cruises. They can start from different places, particularly Quito, Guayaquil and Cuenca. While the full program lasts 9 days, it is possible to make a limited selection of parks, like the 6 days' "Andes and Coast" module.

Price: from $ 1999

9 days


Bartelome ent Galapagos


We have a fabulous selection of Galapagos programs, including cruises, island hopping, scuba diving or relaxing on one of the many different hotels varying from modest inns to deluxe resorts.



Price: from $ 550

From 3 days



A fabulous program for visiting the most famous cultural highlights Lima, Cusco, Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley. At the same time it serves as the Lima hub for the Peru National Parks Tour. This module is an extension to our National Parks Tour Ecuador and/or Galapagos National Park and/or Amazon Cruises.

Price: from $ 1199

7 days

Continuación del presente tema


Inca Ruins, Ecuador Location, 80 km from Cuenca

Incapirca Inca Ruins: Inca and Canari culture

Only briefly before the arrival of the Spanish Conquerors, the Incas had subjected the Canari people, and in fact, Ingapirca used to be a fortification with both Inca and Canari styles, which is visible throughout the site. While the true objective of the site is not fully understood, the fortress must have played a military role to dominate what now is Ecuador and Southern Colombia. The Puma design of the Ingapirca and the half moon shape of the site, reflect the Canari civilization, while typically, the Sun temple at Incapirca, and Inca Ruin with its Inca walls reflect the Inca culture.


It is said that the Inca Tupac Yupanqui during the expansion's campaigns of the Inca-Empire trough south Ecuador, met the Canari "Hatun Canar" tribe and strategically married the Canari princess Paccha, giving on birth to the future Inca Huayna Capac in the city of Pumapungo (nowadays Cuenca), thus merging the Canari and Inca cultures, in which the Incas were sun worshippers, while the Canaris were moon worshippers. In this way, the Inca dominated the Canari and they decided to settle their differences and live together peacefully. The Canari people built this complex for the Inca Huayna Capac. They renamed the city and kept most of their individual customs separate. Although the Inca were more numerous, they did not demand that the Canari give up their autonomy. Like in most other major Inca sites, at the Ingapirca Ruins too a sophisticated underground aqueduct system was constructed to distribute water to the entire compound.


The religions of the Incas and the Canaris were very different: The Incas were sun worshippers, while the Canari were moon worshippers. Supposedly, the rounded shape of the site reflects the half moon.


As a cult edification, people had numerous ritual celebrations on the complex. Supposedly, great quantities of a local fermented drink (chicha) were used in these festivals. As sun and moon worshippers, they tried to be as close to their gods as possible.


The Weather at Incapirca, ecuador

The weather at Ingapirca is different from the cities of Cuenca and Quito, Ecuador's capital. At 3180 masl, and located on a mountain top in stead of in a valley, the weather is considerably colder, but the patterns are similar: sunny mornings prevail, while the afternoons often become cloudy and rain showers may undermine your experience. Therefore we prefer to organize morning visits to Ingapirca out of Cuenca, and have you back by 14:00 hrs in Cuenca, so that you can enjoy Colonial Cuenca, where you are less dependent on good weather.


UNESCO World Heritage Site

Read all about this UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ingapirca. Well-studied it is a must for any Ecuador trip and Cuenca visitor. The Inca Trail of Ecuador, that treks through the Andes passes right through the site. The design of Ingaprica is shaped as a puma, while the compound as a whole reflects a half moon and merges both the Canari and Inca construction styles and civilizations. There is a brand new nice-looking visitor center just outside the historical site, but as a museum it still needs to be developed. Much better museums are found in Cuenca and Quito. Read more on our page: Museums in Ecuador.



Entrance sign of Ingapirca.

Ingapirca map showing the Puma design.


INGAPIRCA: INCA RUINS IN ECUADOR: City layout of Ingapirca with drainage channels.INGAPIRCA: INCA RUINS IN ECUADOR: Inca architecture at Ingapirca

City layout reflect the Inca ruins of Ingapirca with drainage channels of which the Incas were the true masters.

Ingapirca housing and storage area.

An overview of the Ingapirca Ruins, Ecuador

Ingapirca shows the merging of two great cultures: the Inca architectures uses perfectly custom chiseled rocks with almost no space in between, while the Canari architectures uses mildly shapes rocks held together with mortar.

INGAPIRCA: INCA RUINS IN ECUADOR: Inca civilazation at IngapircaINGAPIRCA: INCA RUINS IN ECUADOR: Inca royal palais, Ingapirca, Ecuador

Ingapirca Inca ruins wall with with typical trapezoid inca desgn door.

Canari wall with mortar of an Ingapirca ruin Inca design building of a noble family.


INGAPIRCA: INCA RUINS IN ECUADOR: Chamber at the Temple of the Sun, Inca monument at Ingapirca, EcuadorINGAPIRCA: INCA RUINS IN ECUADOR: Ecuadorian highschool class at Ingapirca

The chamber on top of the Temple of the Sun has been shaped so that during the solstice, at a certain time of the day, the sun would fall through narrow windows and lighten holy items.

More and more, the Ecuadorian middle class families go visit their cultural sites. Teaches take their high school classes on annual excursions, like this class.


INGAPIRCA: INCA RUINS IN ECUADOR: Ingapirca collective grave with astronomical rockINGAPIRCA: INCA RUINS IN ECUADOR: Inca house at Ingapirca Ecuador

Ingapirca collective grave with astronomical rock.

Inca house at Ingapirca Ecuador.


The Canari had different burial systems and rites. The stone in this picture shows casts the shadow of a Puma during the Solstice. Influenced by the Incas, at the ingapirca ruins, the houses have designs similar to those on Machu Pichu, but technically they were primarily terracotta buildings, as opposed to the ones in the sites in the Valle Sagrada in Peru, which are all build out of rocks.


INGAPIRCA: INCA RUINS IN ECUADOR: Inca rock lunar calendar INGAPIRCA: INCA RUINS IN ECUADOR: Guide explaining the Moon Calendar
INGAPIRCA: INCA RUINS IN ECUADOR: Ingapirca calender: for every date there is a precise reflection combination
INGAPIRCA: INCA RUINS IN ECUADOR: As water reflects differently from every whole, it was possible to track the date from this rock calender at Ingapirca

The Canari had a sophisticated calendar system, based on the reflections of the moon in holes they had carved into rocks, placed under specific angles to catch the moon reflections for each moon-month of the year.


The Ingapirca Inca ruin of the Temple of the Sun

INGAPIRCA: INCA RUINS IN ECUADOR: Ingapirca Temple of the Sun with inca wallsINGAPIRCA: INCA RUINS IN ECUADOR: Inca fortress at Ingapirca was the most northern Inca fortification

INGAPIRCA: INCA RUINS IN ECUADOR: Ingapirca is a UNWSCO world heritage site INGAPIRCA: INCA RUINS IN ECUADOR: Inca walls are clearly visible at the temple of the Sun at Ingapirca

Temple of the Sun on top of the Ingapirca Fortress.


The weather often changes rapidly in the afternoon. These pictures were taken of the Inca Temple of the Sun within half an hour. As we left the site for lunch 45 minutes later, the site was covered in a drizzly rain and as we learned later from our contact at the site, the sun did not come out again in the afternoon. So we prefer to arrange excursions in the morning without stops on the way. That way you can still enjoy a pleasant afternoon in Cuenca at much more pleasant temperatures.


INGAPIRCA: INCA RUINS IN ECUADOR: Ingapirca Ruins Rock face INGAPIRCA: INCA RUINS IN ECUADOR: Ca?ri ornament from Ingapirca at display in the National Museum in Quito

Ingapirca at 1 hour from Cuenca.


The Ingapirca Inca Ruins, Learn about the giant face shaped rock under the Temple of the Sun, the irrigation systems & Inca houses, at Heritage Site.



While the surroundings of the site are being commercially developed, don't expect many great restaurants or quality souvenir shops. For the latter, you may want to wait until you are back in Cuenca, Quito or Otavalo, for which the best shopping areas are on our page on Art and Craft in Ecuador.


Trips are almost daily available. They leave Cuenca early in the morning, serve lunch in a nice hacienda (old colonial farm) near Ingapirca, after which you return to Cuenca. Our Andes Trek, Ecuador program includes the best National Parks of Ecuador in the Andes as well as the famous cultural highlights.  Please contact us for information, rates and bookings.


For detailed information on climate and weather conditions read: Climate of Cuenca, Ecuador; Climate Galapagos Islands in Ecuador; Climate in the Amazon of Ecuador and Climate of Ecuador.



PARKS & TRIBES Travel Agency in Quito
Ecuador Address: Las Casas, Crossing Street: Jose Coudrin, 2 streets above the Occidental Highway, Canton Quito, Prov. Pichincha, Neighborhood Belisario Quevedo 
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