Located upon a small hall amidst a patchwork of fields, Ecuador’s finest ruin Ingapirca commands captivating views across the lush El Canar valley. Sitting at 3300m above sea-level, the site was originally of Cañari design, a civilisation that dominated southern Ecuador. Fierce rivals to the Inca, the Cañari were finally conquered by Inca Tupac Yupanqui in the 15th century and their culture assimilated. The Cañari were scattered across the empire and an Incan “Temple of the Sun” was constructed at Ingapirca to dominate the original “Temple of the Moon”.
Today, much of the site has been destroyed, the impressive stonework ransacked by the conquistadors to build the colonial city of Cuenca. However, the eye-catching elliptical “Temple of the Sun” has been beautifully preserved and features some of the finest Inca stonework in South America.