Red de Turismo Comunitario Cañar: Cuenca Discovery Tour: Explore Inca Ruins, Culture, & History

Cuenca Discovery Tour: Explore Inca Ruins, Culture, & History

Cañar, Ecuador

Red de Turismo Comunitario Cañar

Community-based cooperative

7 hours
From$50 USDper person

Red de Turismo Comunitario Cañar, a community-based organization, has built a cabin, nature trails, an ecotourism interpretation center, and a bar and restaurant with contributions from local partners and through the promotion of community tourism.

Tour Highlights

  • Examine a historic visual display of the life and culture of the Cañari and Inca people that once coexisted in the Ingapirca ruins while supporting the conservation of these ruins and other local archaeological sites and native forests.
  • Discover the most captivating building of the Ingapirca Archaeological Complex, the elliptically shaped Temple of the Sun, which was strategically built at the center and used for Inca religious and military purposes.
  • Visit the Chapel of Sisid Anejo and explore agricultural parcels and productive equipment in the community.

Tour revenue will be directly invested in the socioeconomic development of the local community, conservation of archaeological sites and native forests, and the revitalization of local heritage including the production and exhibition of traditional Cañari handicrafts and organic products.

Tour Details

  • Frequency

    Any day by appointment, especially on weekends

  • Start Time

    9 AM

  • Duration

    7 hours

  • Good For

    Adults, Youth, Students, Academics, Professionals

  • Languages

    English, Spanish

  • Weather

    Tour takes place rain or shine (tour itinerary might be modified in case of inclement weather)

  • Tour Participants

    5 to 20

  • Difficulty

    Hard (over 6 miles/ 9 km walking distance, intense physical effort)

  • Clothing & Equipment

    Waterproof warm clothes, Gloves, Scarf, Hat

  • Volunteer Opportunities

    Yes

Tour Description

Are you a history buff that enjoys visiting ancient archaeological sites? Fascinated to learn more about the Incas, Inca culture, and the Incan Empire of the pre-Colombian era in Ecuador? Then this phenomenal full-day educational tour is perfect for you!

Examine a historic visual display of the life and culture of the Inca and Cañari inhabitants that once colonized the Inca ruins. The Ingapirca ruins are the largest, most famous, and best preserved archaeological complex of Incan ruins in Ecuador. In fact, the 500-year-old Ingapirca ruins in the heart of the southern Andes are still greatly appreciated throughout the world today! Uncover the intricacy of the ruins, witnessing the substantial preparation that clearly went into the design of this Inca complex. In a site museum, you will view several historical artifacts that have been retrieved such as skillfully crafted jewelry, handmade textiles, and unique ceramic items. After a special lunch in the community tourism center, visit the Chapel of Sisid Anejo, one of the oldest in Ecuador, which was built in 1610 and explore agricultural parcels and productive equipment in the community.

During this Ingapirca Archaeological Complex tour, you will observe buildings made with stones where the Incas once lived. Located 80 km from Cuenca, in the province of Cañar, Ingapirca which means “Wall of the Inca” was built in the mid-18th century and constructed with a combination of the coppery brown adobe used by Cañari culture with millions of the bluish-green andesite stones brought later by the Incas. This is a very significant site for Ecuadorians, the setting where the Cañari and Inca people learned to coexist.

Discover the most captivating building in the center of this archaeological complex, the Temple of the Sun! An elliptically shaped building, it was built around a large rock and strategically placed on the solstices; at precisely the perfect time of day, sunlight would peer through the center of the small chamber doorway at the top of the temple. Today, much of the chamber has collapsed. After careful examination, it becomes evident that this building was used for rituals and other ceremonies of the Inca religion and was probably also used for military purposes. Clearly, the chambers next to the temple were constructed for the sole use of priests.

You will also view another noteworthy building of the Ingapirca Archaeological Complex, the Castle. This building, complete with storage chambers, patios, and a bathing area, offers the perfect illustration of architecture used by the Inca. Archaeologists believe it was operated as both a sun worshiping center and as a fortress.

Visit museums and local craft shops to witness some really fascinating artifacts and buy some memorable souvenirs. The Archaeological Museum has an impressive model of the Ingapirca Ruins on display which provides an outlay of the site and its various viewpoints.

Finish your afternoon with a tour of one of the oldest chapels of the Sisid Anejo community along with an exploration of agricultural parcels and productive equipment after indulging in your choice of a pampa tables meal or traditional lunch at the tourism center. For an additional charge, comfortable overnight accommodations can be arranged for your convenience.

Tour Itinerary:

9:00 AM: Depart for a 1-hour trip to Ingapirca Archaeological Complex.
10:00 AM: Tour various archeological sites: pilaLoma, the Castle, and the Wall of the Inca.
12:00 PM: Enjoy your choice of a classic Canari pampa mesa lunch or a traditional lunch at the Sisid Anejo community tourism center.
2:00 PM: Visit the Chapel of Sisid Anejo, one of the oldest in Ecuador, which was built in 1610.
3:00 PM: Explore the community agricultural parcels and productive equipment.
4:00 PM: Tour concludes*

*Optional accommodations can be arranged for an additional cost.

Tour Start Address

Terminal Terrestre de Cañar, Cañar, Ecuador

How To Get There

From Cuenca, Canar is 1.5 hours by bus.

More About Red de Turismo Comunitario Cañar

Mission

To improve the living conditions of the community by generating employment and income for its population through sustainable tourism development.

Main Programs

  • Community Tourism Center: Native Forest of Carbonería

  • Aisjo Sisid Community Tourism Center

  • Center of Community Tourism Charón Ventanas

  • Chuchucan Community Tourism Center

  • Ecotourism: Culebrillas Lagoon

  • Ingapirca Archaeological Complex

Awards & Recognition

Federación Plurinacional de Turismo Comunitario del Ecuador (FEPTCE)
Partner
El Comercio
Press