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ADDRESS & ACTIVITIES
ADDRESS OR VENUE
OPENING HOURS (or DATE if it is an event)
Ingapirca Parish, Cañar City, Province of Cañar, Ecuador
Monday to Sunday 08:00 - 17:30
ASSITED SELFGUIDED VISITS
ATTENDING FOLKLORIC EVENTS
WILD LIFE WATCHING
Incas and Cañaris tell their story at Ingapirca or "Wall of the Inca". It is the largest and best restored archaeological complex of Ecuador at 3.160 meters above sea level and 16 km from the city of Cañar, province of Cañar, in southern Ecuador. Ingapirca is from Inca origin, but when visitors enter the jurisdiction of Cañar they also enter to the Cañari nation, an ethnographic and geographical space conformed by the provinces of Cañar and Azuay, known as the Ecuadorian Austro.
The solar and lunar observatory, which also served as a military fort, was built at the beginning of the 16th century, before the arrival of the Spaniards to the area. The outer world has knowledge of the remains from the 18th century, locating it in the province of Hatun Cañar or "the great place of the Cañaris". The ruins were excavated and restored by an Archaeological Mission of Spain between 1974 and 1975. Those investigations gave rise to several publications by archaeologists José Alcina, Miguel Rivera and Antonio Fresco.
In the archaeological complex, there can be appreciated different architectural units, of which the Temple of the Sun or “Castle” stands out, it is an elliptical shape of 37 meters long and 12 wide. The oldest building is Pilaloma. Then there are the shrine and the chambers. It is possible to hire the services of native guides who explain the history and meaning of the Inca structures.
The site is put into value by the Archaeological Museum and inside it there is an explanatory mockup of Ingapirca and a large amount of ceramics belonging to the integration period. It also has an ethnographic room where you can find elements such as: utensils, tools and Cañaris’ clothing. The excavations carried out reveal the presence of the Cañari and Inca cultures. The administration of the Complex is in charge of the National Institute of Cultural Heritage of Ecuador.
The city of Cañar is also known as the Archaeological Capital of Ecuador, because in addition to Ingapirca, the town is the point of reference for other important archaeological sites such as the Inca baths of Coyoctor, Narrío Hill, Tambo Real de Paredones, the Inca trail (Camino del Inca) or "Qhaphacñán", Labrashcarrumi, Shungumarca, Shizhu, Hatun Cañar Mines, Taski, Culebrillas and Quilloac, all of those easily accessible.