Ingapirca ruins are an architectural wonder dating back to Cañari and Inca civilizations. The citadel is known as the northernmost Inca heritage, located in the Ecuadorian Andes. Also known as the Machu Picchu of Ecuador, Incgapirca is an extraordinary site that everyone must visit, especially if crossing the southern part of the country.
The main attraction of Ingapirca is the Temple of the Sun built by the Incas, without mortar. The round building is at an elevation of 3180 masl, so if you have problems with altitude, you better do some training before. However, the trail at the site is not difficult, and everyone with decent hiking boots can do it. Spending a day at Ingapirca, and bringing a picnic lunch is an opportunity you don't want to miss. Have in mind that the area can be windy so a windproof jacket is a must.
The rest of the stones and buildings on the site are dating even before the Incas, and they were built with mortar by the Cañari.
Cañari civilization is one of the oldest ones in South Americ, but they were exterminated by the Incas whose empire expanded out of Peru´s borders. The Inca prince Tupac Yupanqui then married the Cañari princess Paccha, and they had the greatest Inca ruler of all times, Huayna Capac. He was born in Pumapungo, now a part of the colonial city Cuenca. Pumapungo ruins are visible and accessible up to date.
Ingapirca is about 80 km (50 mi) away from Cuenca, and if you decide to visit this site, you can join a tour offered by the many agencies in the old city center.
Witnessing the greatness of two ancient civilizations is an experience worth sharing. Prepare your camera and your hiking shoes, and enjoy a history-boosted trip that you'll never forget.
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