Ingapirca Archaeological Ruins, a tour through the Ecuadorian Austro combining history and magic. Discover its location and tourist information. Cañar - Ecuador

Ingapirca Ecuador

Ecuador is a fascinating destination, which is characterized not only by its biodiversity, you can also appreciate the ancestral culture that is evident in each place. Approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes from the city of Cuenca, stands the archaeological complex Ingapirca, the ruins belong to what was once the fortress of Inca civilization, this space was used as an astronomical observatory, and has the certainty of the way of life of the Inca Indian culture.

In addition to enriching yourself with the culture, you will be able to experience the delicious gastronomy, one of the recommendations is to follow the Azogues route where they sell the famous "cascaritas" of pig. This is a typical food of the zone in which this meat is baked in branches of eucalyptus and its leather is toasted. It is accompanied with mote, potatoes and chili.

Ingapirca opening hours

    From 09:00 to 17:00

    Cost: USD 2 for domestic tourists and USD 6 for foreign tourists.

Ingapirca Location

An hour and a half from Cuenca, half a kilometer from the parish center of Ingapirca, in the Province of Cañar, one of the 24 Provinces of Ecuador. There is the Ingapirca archaeological complex, a fortress that the Inca civilization used as an astronomical observatory, where each space evidences how this indigenous culture lived.

Ingapirca Tourism, if you are a lover of culture and adventure you can go to the Tambo Train Station which is 25 minutes from Ingapirca. There you will be able to visit the ruins of Coyotor, and you will have the fabulous experience of knowing the fusion of the Cañari and Inca cultures, the duration of this tour is 20 minutes and costs 7 usd per person.

  • It is important to point out that the guides are ready to give you the facilities to visit the interior of the Ingapirca Ruins and to provide a wide and clear explanation to the visitor. and you will be able to know the secrets of the magnificent construction in Ingapirca.
  • These ruins were inaugurated in June 1987 and the first description of the place was made by three French citizens in 1736.
  • Ingapirca Cuenca represents in our days an archaeological pre-hipanic monument the most transcendental and important of Ecuador, it is known that in this place was an important religious, scientific, political, military and economic center for the Incas and Cañaris.
  • In the Cañar Valley there is proof of the presence of ancient Andean societies and the findings of cultural vestiges that represent a true wealth and contribution to the culture of our peoples, who were accentuated in the southern Andes.

Ruins of Ingapirca

Many people wonder what do the ruins of Ingapirca represent?


    According to scientific studies, Ingapirca's function was specifically religious. As Sun worshippers he worshipped in the shrine and the rest of his spaces were destined for the daily life of the Inca people. Ceremonial acts and in gratitude to the land and was celebrated in the celebrations like the Inti Raymi celebrated every year in the solstice of June. That is why it is also called Ingapirca Temple of the Sun.

  • The archaeological complex of Ingapirca, also called Ruinas de Ingapirca, is made up of a construction with immense stone structures, and its whole is recognized as the base of housing, terraces and paved roads. The complex has several elements that make it what it is: The Castle or Temple of the Sun, Pilaloma, the Condamine and the Vaguada, the Ingachungana, the Face of the Inca, the turtle, the Intihuayco, Escalinata del Barranco and the Site Museum.
  • These components of the Archaeological Complex have features that contain unique designs, an architectural design that is like the unmatched characteristics of its stonework, and the impressive architecture of its main building, an elliptical tower (Castle).
  • Inside the complex you can see some small stone walls probably carved in the same place, form some geometric figures such as the rectangle, square oval, even if you pay attention will be able to recognize animal figures that is in relief.
  • Additionally it is possible to distinguish some aqueducts that must have served to lead the water towards the baths where they had an entrance and an exit.
  • The temple is the main structure of the Ingapirca Complex and its shape is elliptical. This site was intended for the worship of the gods and as an observatory, in the form of an oval is raised a wall, and the rest of the ruins of what must have been the palaces is made up of the oval wall and what remains of the palaces, there is an interior courtyard, a large square and barracks.

     Ingapirca Characteristics

  • In the archaeological complex is "El Castillo" a large building that rises above the rest of the ruins.
  • The corridors were surrounded by walls raised with the material of a stone called pillow, and the width of the walls are thick. In addition, there are large rooms of the Inca and rooms that must have been dormitories, to which the respective restorations were carried out.
  • Once we manifested that this was a religious center to worship the sun god. It is a true pre-Columbian jewel, it is also known that it was built at a strategic point in the fifteenth century by the Inc aHuayna Capac on top of the ruins of what was the Cañaris people. its meaning is that it means "Wall of the Inca" or "Wall of the Inca",
  • The elements that make up the archeological complex are: The Elipse, or temple of the sun. Pilaloma, La Condamine y la Vaguada, El Ingachungana , La Cara del Inca, La Tortuga , El Intihuaico, Escalinata del Barranco and the Site Museum.


  • The Elipse: The material used are the carved stones that are perfectly assembled. The way the stones are distributed are by rows of 8 and 9, reaching a height of approximately 3.15 m to 4.10 m. Its elliptical shape is the shape that this monument has. The dimensions are the following 37.10 meters long by 12.36 wide and from its center comes a channel measuring 29.85m that goes to the west.


  • The Plaza or Cancha It is located immediately south of the annexed rooms, bounded to the east by the sector of the Condamine, north by a part of the Elipse, and south by a hillside, here is a rectangular room, because of its large size are presumed to function as a meeting room before the rituals in the Elipse.


  • Annexed Apartments The rectangular and quadrangular bedrooms on the sides of the corridor, The corridor was interconnected with the square, unfortunately only one remains complete, of the others only visible ruins where the foundations were. Due to the proximity between the ellipse and the temple or ellipse, the rooms must have been assigned to the personages in charge of the rites, or as warehouses to guard the objects that were used for the cult.


  • The Bodegas Construcciones, located in a slightly undulating terrain that connects the Vaguada and the Condamine, are called so because in the excavations carried out some crude clay bases were discovered that served to support the conical seat vessels. In them agricultural or liquid products were stored, the warehouses are small rooms aligned and rectangular in shape. Next to these structures there is the testimony of a paved road 4m wide, which begins at the height of Pilaloma and ends in the sector of the Condamine. Originally this must have been a section of Capac Ñan, attached runs a water channel, which supplied the vital liquid to all buildings.


  • La Vaguada At the end of the cellar sector there are several rooms of different sizes and rectangular shapes that surround a courtyard. The cultural remains suggest that these were dwellings and work areas.


  • Pilaloma Small plain located at the south-eastern end of the temple, on which the Incas built enclosures in a space delimited by a semi elliptical wall. Before the entrance to Pilaloma there are five circular structures or collcas that were used to store agricultural products in bulk. In the interior of this sector we find a square in whose center rises a huanca that marked a burial cañari. When excavating in this place it was discovered that this stone indicated a tomb sealed by a platform of pebbles, whose evidences are visible in the present. Under this element were found 10 skeletons of male sex and one female, all accompanied by a rich funerary trousseau composed of ceramic objects, gold, copper and fabrics of typical cañari filiation, apart from this square and tomb, Pilaloma is composed of eight housing structures, evidenced only by the bases and walls.


  • The Ingachungana is not a building itself, but rather a rocky sector located north of the Elipse, in this lithic surface were carved cavities in the form of tubs or seats decorated with high reliefs representing the twisted snakes. The word that identifies this component of the archaeological park comes from the Kichua language and literally means game of the Inca. The interpretations on the use of this site are various, from one that considers it a bath, because of the small channels that surround it, to the possibility that it is an Intihuatana, or rock in which it tied symbolically to the sun on equinox days. A part of this structure has been detached from its place of origin and is currently in the annexed ravine known as Intihuayco.


  • The Condamine Sector baptized with this name in honor of the French sage Carlos María de la Condamine who visited the site in the 18th century and elaborated a plan and a description of these ruins. It is a group of constructions arranged along a central corridor. Of the investigations carried out it is conjectured that this area was "Acllahuasi", or house of chosen women who worked for the royal elite of the empire, the great rooms of rectangular form could have been used as collective housings identified in the Inca architecture as kallancas.
  • The Intihuayco or quebrada del sol Palabra Kichua, which means "sunrise", is a cliff that extends west to northeast, practically closed in a natural way to the space taken advantage of all the monument. This sector has archaeological interest for the vestiges discovered there, the most important of which is the numerous ceramics cañari, additionally there are rocks of suggestive form: a turtle, without evidence of human action, a rocky wall in which a low circular relief is noticed, reason why it is called "stone of the sun", and finally a rock that has the appearance of a human face, which is known as "the face of the Inca", it is without a doubt a natural formation, to which the erosion and the thin vegetation has contributed.
  • Ceremonial Baths and Staircases Very close to the retaining wall that closes Pilaloma, there is a staircase that leads to some small ponds that are part of ritual baths, the staircase is limited by two walls along which open small doors that connect with three square ponds, whose bases have been identified drains, Another similar staircase is on the southern slope of the square.
  • Chambers Located next to the adoratory, they were probably conditioned for the priests and their rites, because one of the walls has a great quantity of niches.
  • Archaeological Museum It is located next to the archaeological complex and its purpose is to exhibit diverse objects that were found during the excavations and the proof of having evidence of the presence of the Cañaris and Inca cultures. You can see samples of textiles, ceramics and jewelry.