Ingapirca, Inca & Cañari Culture
Set off from Cuenca to travel along the Pan American highway. On the way you’ll get the chance to visit various points of interest such as a Cañari indigenous market (on Sundays), the beautiful church of Biblián or even a local artisan who weaves hats and other objects out of toquilla straw, before touring Ingapirca, the most important Inca ruins in Ecuador, and finishing up with a leisurely lunch.
This tour includes
· A bilingual (English/Spanish) guide
· Private transportation
· Price of private tours includes entrance fees
This tour does not include
· Group tour price does not include $6 Ingapirca entrance fee
· Travel insurance
· Tips and gratuities
· Any other service not mentioned herein
Due to the high altitude, weather can change rapidly. We recommend you check with our office prior to departure regarding proper attire.
· Good walking shoes
· Warm and waterproof clothes
· Sun cream
The small village of Biblián is famous for one thing, it’s neo-Gothic Sanctuary of the Virgin of the Dew (Santuario de la Virgen del Rocío). When a terrible drought ravaged the area in 1894 villagers carried an image of the Virgin Mary up into the hills and prayed for salvation. When the rains arrived a church was built on the site where the shrine had been created. It was completed in 1908. Clinging to the face of a cliff overlooking the Pan American highway, the church resembles a fairytale castle. Make sure you don’t miss the altar built into the rock.
The Cañaris were once the principal indigenous group in all of southern Ecuador. When the Incas arrived in the 15th century they at first resisted them fiercely, at one time defeating them and pushing them back to Saraguro. When civil war broke out in 1527 between two claimants to the Inca throne, Atahulapa in Quito and Huascar in Cuzco, the Cañaris sided with Huascar. In retribution Atahualpa killed most of the men and boys of the Cañari tribe. The Cañaris then fought alongside the Spanish against Inca forces in their conquest of Ecuador, but received little recognition from the Spanish for their help. There are currently about 40,000 Quichua-speaking Cañari indigenous peoples living in Cañar, the highest province in Ecuador, most of whom are farmers or herders. They have their own traditional dress and wear felt hats.
Located at the top of a hill with beautiful views of the surrounding countryside, Ingapirca is the most important Inca complex located in Ecuador. It was built during the Inca expansion into Ecuador at the end of the 15th century on a site that had been occupied by the Cañari people for 500 years. The original Cañari structures were mostly destroyed and replaced by the Incas and their settlement was probably used as a fortress and place of worship on the Inca road between Cuzco and Quito. Today the Temple of the Sun is the only structure that remains mostly intact. The temple features stone walls constructed in the Inca way using massive blocks chiseled to fit together perfectly without the use of mortar.