Ingapirca, the biggest Inca ruins of Ecuador

Just 22km southeast of Cuenca lies Ingapirca.

It makes for a wonderful 1 day trip out of town.

Fast facts:

  • Direct bus from Cuenca at 9am and return either at 1pm or 4pm
  • 2 -2.5 hours bus trip one way for 7$ return per person
  • Entrance fee with English guide: $2 per person
  • Time spent at the site: around 2 hours
  • Eat at the archeological site: almuerzo for $2.50

Have you ever wondered why there are so little remains of Inca ruins in Ecuador? We found the answer when visiting Ingapirca. Incas conquered every tribe from Columbia to Argentina except the Quechuas around Cuenca. They were famous warriors known for enlarging the heads of the boys since the were chosen to fight at the age of 6. This was to scare away the enemies.

When the Inca emperor couldn’t win by fighting, he married the Quechua princess instead.

Quechuas were moon worshipers (la Luna - feminine - matriarchy). They built round buildings from unprocessed stones.

Incas on the other hand were sun worshipers (el Sol - masculine - patriarchy), built square buildings with doors facing the sun rise and were great stonemasons.

When Spaniards came (all 200 of them) in 1534, they captured the Inca emperor in Cuenca where he was residing (stories do tend differ especially about the location where he was captured). In order to enslave the nation they had to destroy as many religious sites as possible and that’s why we can’t find that many Inca sites in Ecuador.

Check out the tree with beautiful flowers in the video. When the Quechua princess died, in order to ensure smooth reincarnation she would be buried with many offerings and 6 of her favourite servants. They were alive, of course. But to make their journey less inhuman they would drink a medicine made out of the flower tree in the video to put them into deep sleep. Enjoy!

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