Travellers who cross Ecuador should pass the province of Cañar, named to the pre-Hispanic ethnic group the Cañaris. The tribe had constructed in many important areas, but unmistakable the most important is Hatun Canar. Which after the Inca conquest, the newcomers renamed as Ingapirca, which means Inca wall. These are the largest known Inca ruins in Ecuador. Most travellers visit the site from Cuenca so we decide to offer an alternative and stop in El Tambo and make the trip from here. El Tambo is just an in clouds covered small village at 2983MASL, half an hour away from the ruins, that shows us the real quiet life in this country.
A population half mestiza and half indigenous helps us finding the splendid hostal Sunshine and inform us about everything we like to know. So the next day we take the 1$ microbus, pass through small settlements till the village Ingapirca (at 3120MASL), half a mile away from the entrance of the historical site. We show an old library card and tell them we are students and enter for 3$pp but actually the prize is 8$pp. A friendly guide, included in the reduced prize, tours us around and explains all the features of the ruins. The most impressive is without doubt the temple of the sun, where stones were carefully chiselled and fashioned to fit together perfectly.
This temple was positioned so that on the solstices, at exactly the right time of the day, sunlight would fall through the doorway and lighted a niche with a figurine or offerings for the sun god. Apart from the cult to the sun, Incapirca played also an important role on military strategies and last but not least, it was also an astrological observatory.
We like Ingapirca and the gorgeous environment in which it is situated and more important we find it nice to observe the difference between the Mayan culture or the Teotihuacán ruins. We walk long time observing this curious structure and the ingenious developed complex underground aquaduct system to provide water to the entire compound. So to all of you… lots of reasons to visit this archeological área and El Tambo
– Go by bus to the site(1$pp) and after the visit walk the 10km back on a dust road that meanders down, passing by all the little places where families has settled down and have small farms.
– El Tambo is a small village, touristic not well known but Hostal Sunshine (on the main road) gives all the service you need. Situated in the centre, close to small bars for breakfast, lunch or cheap local dinners, clean bedclothes, clean bathrooms with endless hot water, TV with international channels and WIFI at the reception. The owners are very friendly and helped us out with all our questions. Prizes go from 6$pp and 12$ for two in a private room.
– Buses to Cuenca(1,75$pp) or direction Riobamba(5$pp) are easy to get just a few steps away from the hotel