Ingapirca is a really interesting historical site in Ecuador. It was originally inhabited by the Canari people who tried without success to resist the Inca. The Inca then tried to assimilate the Canari but it seems like they were not totally successful either. The Canari people are still living in Ecuador and are so important that although there are few actual people who identify as Canari a city is named after them. It is Canar, Ecuador.
Ingapirca sits at 10,500 feet and is a pretty small town. We took the bus from Alausi. I mention this because I had a hard time finding information about bus transport online, so for anyone heading there, know this-you can take any bus going to Cuenca and get off at El Tambo. From El Tambo we walked across the street to the local bus stop and caught the bus to the town of Ingapirca. From the bus stop at Ingapirca the town it is a short walk up the hill to the museum and historic site. Just tell the driver or the assistant “El Tambo” and they will let you know when to get off the bus. Of course if you don’t speak Spanish you just have to hope it will work. We had really know idea if the bus would stop in El Tambo and as we approached the time frame we thought it should take to get there based on our internet research and it was just countryside with nothing in either direction I began to panic. But it wasn’t an isssue we did arrive in a proper town. We left at 6:00 AM out of Alausi so when we arrived it was definitely time for food. By this time I learned the word for breakfast (desayunos) which only helped a little since the server still wanted to know what we wanted.
By the way in Ecuador they ask if you want leche. The coffee is instant and on the table along with sugar. If you say you want leche they bring hot milk if you say you don’t want leche they bring hot water.One thing I learned in Ecuador that I really appreciate is that many of the tourist sites require a professional guide. So in the Galapogos we had a guide with us each time we went on shore. At Ingapirca we had to wait for our English speaking guide to arrive. At the Intinan Museum near Quito we had to have a guide. The guides were included in our pricing and required and the sites were pristine. We didn’t see any of the outlandish shenanigans we have seen elsewhere. By shenanigans I mean people climbing on monuments, touching artifacts and generally behaving poorly. I really appreciated the service and the great information provided. I wish every historic site had this type of oversight. Well done Ecuador!
Ingapirca the site was really pretty with amazing views plus a fun short trail that loops from the site through farm land which shows off the beautiful landscape and some artifacts like carved stones, a ritual bath, and a large cliff face that looks like an actual face. Also at the site is part of the original “Inca Trail”, which is a road system that includes about 25,000 miles of roads within South America.
Brad selected a hotel in a converted farm house. It was quite nice with a fireplace in our room, lovely grounds and top notch service. When they brought us soft boiled eggs with our breakfast I thought I might cry. I do like a soft boiled egg. Actually this was easily one of the best hotels we have stayed at in South America. It touched on all the points I like, quite, comfy bed, dark at night, fireplace, dining available on site and great service. Also they had a dog that Brad hung out with and enjoyed a lot. I was able to relax and paint one evening which I really enjoyed. I worked on an image from our time hiking on the Galapogos Islands.
Ingapirca is a commitment as far as travel time goes, the town has little to offer but the historic site is nice. If you have ambition and want to hike at 10,500 feet I would absolutely go and enjoy the site and hike there it is really serene and lovely.