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Ingapirca Inca Ruins + La Cara del Inca – Ingapirca Ecuador 2019 (Episode 53: Part 3)

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This is Part 3 in our 3-part series from an excursion we took with Flavio from Polylepis Tours northeast of Cuenca, Ecuador to Biblián, Cañar and Ingapirca. Our third stop was in Ingapirca, Ecuador.

Ingapirca Ruins Map

Drive from Cañar to the Ingapirca Inca Ruins

The drive from Cuenca to Biblián, then to Cañar, then to Ingapirca and finally back to Cuenca was stunningly beautiful. The Ecuadorian countryside is lush and green with rolling mountains and blue skies with white billowy clouds. The old adobe houses with tile roofs dotting the green pastures made us feel like we stepped back in time.

The houses in the picture below are much newer and larger. Flavio told us that a lot of people who live in this area have family who immigrated to the United States 30 or 40 years ago, but still send money back to their families here in Ecuador. They use the money to build big houses.

Ecuador Countryside

Ingapirca is an important archaeological site in Ecuador. It’s considered the second largest Inca ruins in South America, second only to Machu Picchu. In reality, it’s a combination of Cañari and Inca ruins. The Cañari people have been living here for nearly 1500 years and the Inca only arrived a little over 500 years ago.

El Templo del Sol or the Temple of the Sun (shown below) was built on top of the Cañari infrastructure. You might notice in this picture and in the video that there is no safety wall or railing on the temple. One wrong step and it’s a straight drop of more than 50 feet to certain death on the rocks below. In Ecuador, you’re responsible for your own safety. The state doesn’t spend much money on railings.

Ingapirca Inca Ruins Ecuador

El Templo del Sol or Temple of the Son Inca Ruins – Ingapirca, Ecuador

Ingapirca Temple
El Templo del Sol

After wandering around the ruins and learning all about their history from Flavio, we walked along a narrow dirt trail for about a half mile to La Cara del Inca or the Face of the Inca. This is a rock formation that the looks like a face.

La Cara del Inca - Ingapirca, Ecuador

La Cara del Inca – Ingapirca, Ecuador

It’s common for people to pose for pictures with the Inca “face” in the background.

La Cara del Inca - Ingapirca, Ecuador

La Cara del Inca – Ingapirca, Ecuador

You may have noticed this house in the video. It’s located below La Cara del Inca and from our observation, the long walk along the dirt trail is the only access to this house. There is an indigenous woman standing on the porch looking up at all the tourists and behind her house is a long drop to the river below, which is probably where she gets her water. You’ll notice there are no power lines running to her house so she likely has no electricity. This is a slice out of history.

House Below La Cara del Inca

House Below La Cara del Inca

Here’s another slice out of history. I took this photo in black and white to make it more realistic.

Ingapirca Adobe House

Ingapirca Adobe House

You may have noticed lots of llamas in the video. They roam freely around the Ingapirca ruins. In Ecuador, they’re nature’s lawnmowers.

Ingapirca Llama

We thoroughly enjoyed our full-day tour with Flavio and Christian from Polylepis Tours. Flavio even arranged for us to have a vegan lunch at one of the restaurants at Ingapirca. If you’re in Cuenca and need a great tour guide, we can’t say enough good things about Polylepis Tours.

Ingapirca Ecuador

Hopefully you enjoyed our video, and if you did, please LIKE, COMMENT and SHARE it, and SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel. ¡Muchas Gracias!

Video Transcript

JP: Hey veggie lovers I’m JP with Vegans
Abroad and this is Amelia, mi media naranja.

JP: That’s “my better half” in español. Mi media naranja.

Amelia: Which is funny because that translates to medium orange (laughing)

JP: or middle orange. A: But ok, I’ll take it. JP: Anyway.

JP: This is part 3 in our three-part series to Biblián, Cañar and Ingapirca.

And in this video it’s all about Ingapirca, which are the Incan ruins that are just northeast of Cuenca.

A: Yeah it was incredible.

I hope you guys really enjoy the footage and

the experience as much as we did.

JP: It was really cool.
A: Yes.

A: We post videos every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 2 p.m. Eastern and we do stick around for about

an hour afterwards so if you guys want
to engage with us online give us a shout out.

JP: Ask questions about veganism or
living abroad or whatever.
A: What have you.

JP: Or anything about the video.

A: Yes. That too.
JP: We’ll be happy to answer your questions.

A: Absolutely.

A: Please remember to subscribe. Ring that little bell so you get notified on our latest and greatest videos

because we also have some cooking videos coming up and we’ll see you soon.

♫ upbeat music ♫

♫ calm music ♫

Flavio: OK my friends. Firstly, welcome to Ingapirca archaeological site.

This is one of the most important
archaeological site in Ecuador.

F: It’s considered the second important in South America. You know Machu Picchu.
A: Yes.

First one more important and Ingapirca is the most important for us in Ecuador.

Okay? The first culture here was Cañari ok
the Cañari culture. They call it Hatun Cañar.

And then the Incas come to here to re-found it with the name Ingapirca.

F: The Incas Wall. Ingapirca means Incas Wall.
A: Ok.

F: Now we walk around an hour twenty minutes more or less and then come back. Ok?
A: Ok.

Here extract scopolamine. It’s a hallucinogen plant. It’s a drug. Oh it is?

F: They call it the Trompeta de Angel.
A: They’re all over the place.
F: The angel’s trumpet.

A: Oh.
F: Trompeta de Angel.

The Incas use it to connect with the motherland, the Pachamama the different gods.

Yeah? Like a spiritual.

♫ calm music ♫

It’s a Cañari tomb, yeah, all the cadavers the rest of the people probably was an

important woman, yeah, priest like this
like a 10 or 12 youngest like offers or sacrifices.

A: Oh.
F: Now all the rest stay in the museum.

It’s like a ceremonial bath. Outside from here it was a meeting point for the Cañaries or the Incas.

When they have, for example, the sun festivals, June, July the solstice.

F: Temple, the people walking here and take a little bath like a purification.
A: Ok.

A: Then they go up to the temple.
F: These are ceremonial baths.

F: Construction was an important a different to Peru.
A: Right.

F: Have a big like avenues.
A: Right.
F: The Inca trails.

Recover the stones, yeah? Here is only
little portions yeah some portions in

different parts of the mountains. The
Cañaries used, the Inca, sorry, used these kind of canals.

A: Yeah.
F: To avoid the floated the water to destroy the road.

A: They were very smart.
F: Really really smart. It is an aqueduct.

A: Yes.
F: Yeah, it is an aqueduct.

We’re walking through
the ruins of Ingapirca. It is amazing.

I didn’t realize there was Cañari and
Inca architecture combined here so over

here you can see the rocks that look
like they just came right out of the

river are Cañari and the ones that are
shaped like bricks are from the Inca.

The llamas are looking very chillax today it is a perfect day to relax up here.

♫ calm music ♫

F: Both cultures here.
A: Yeah it looks like one on top like they built on top of the Cañari.

F: Uh-huh. But in the middle we have a Cañari wall. The Incas only…

A: That was smart.
F: Cover. Yeah?

In front of you we have a room of
the Incas room and here is call it aguila wasi.

Wasi is a Quichua word. Aguila mean
like a virgin or chosen, yeah, the chosen.

And wasi mean house as a chosen
house. The Incas collect young girls

young girls and prepare it here to serve
the Inca, yeah, to clean, for food, for…

It was a protocol was an important for your families the families of the girls was

an important the Incas chosen for your
daughter to offer.

F: But probably they serve is all they would yeah. Serve, cooking, cleaning and probably sexual.
A: Probably.

F: 12, 15 girls here.

♫ calm music ♫

A: We are in front of the Temple of the Sun. So the theory is is that if you can see

there’s four squares behind us and those
represent the four solstices so as the Sun

hit at different directions it would
shine on the rectangles so they used it

kind of like a calendar and then they used it for their religious ceremonies

or I don’t know if religious
is the right word they used it for ceremonies.

We’re on the other side. This
side faces west and in the summer

solstice the Sun is exactly overhead. Apparently there’s a big festival here

that’s very popular with the indigenous people and people throughout South America

will come between… What did he
say? Around June 20th? …for a long weekend

of festivals…celebrations.

♫ calm music ♫

Outside of the ruins we followed a path
down to La Cara de Inca or the Face of the Inca,

which some people say it was handmade
some people say it’s nature.

I think it’s nature personally but it does, if you look at the profile, it does look

like a nose. Got the forehead, the nose,
the moustache.

Now we are gonna eat some lunch because JP and I have definitely worked up an appetite

seeing all the sights and walking along all the ruins at this high elevation we’re feeling a

little thirsty and out of breath, but it’s
been fantastic!

JP: Wow I hope you enjoyed that footage as much as we enjoyed recording it.

A: Yeah, I loved it! I was so amazed by the ruins. I had no idea that Ingapirca was the second largest

Inca ruins in South America so it’s pretty
cool that it’s so close by that we can

go check it out and I loved the drive
through the country there and going back.

JP: Yeah, the countryside was just incredible.
A: It just doesn’t it looks like something off

of a postcard. It doesn’t seem real, but, it is.

History was really fascinating. I didn’t realize that the Inca had built

right on top of the Cañari infrastructure there.

JP: Yeah it was pretty neat how they combined, you could see the

different stones, the rounded stones were from the Cañari people

and the Incas were, they carved their
stones so they were more square.

A: Yeah and it’s just fascinating to think that this whole other civilization lived there in

the mountains in it I mean there’s still
so little we really know.

A: I think it’s really cool. I hope you guys liked it.

JP: And a big thanks too, to Flavio and…
A: Polylepis

JP: and Polylepis Tours and Christian our
driver. They were fantastic.
A: They were.

JP: And Flavio helped us he got us a vegan lunch at a restaurant that’s right there at

Ingapirca so we were pretty happy with him for that.

A: We certainly were.
JP: We were starving by the time we got to lunch.

A: We did of course have our backup PB&J’s.
JP: We did. (laughing)

A: But they were not needed.
JP: We didn’t eat them.
A: No.

A: Please remember to subscribe and ring
that bell to get notified on all our

latest and greatest. And we will see you soon for our next set of adventures.

JP: Bye.
A: Bye veggie lovers!

We feel like we’re on top of the world we are at the top of the Andes Mountains

and what’s amazing is that you can see the cloud forest in the background.

the clouds hanging below the mountaintops. So cool.

Walking Tour of the Pumapungo Inca Ruins in Cuenca Ecuador (Episode 31)

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The Pumapungo Inca Ruins in Cuenca, Ecuador is one of Amelia’s favorite places to visit. We both love walking around the beautifully landscaped grounds, learning about the Incan history. Entry is free and it’s very peaceful and relaxing.

On the day we filmed this video, it was so windy that my microphone didn’t work well so most of the audio was unusable. Instead of an Inca history lesson, you get to enjoy the beauty of Pumapungo with some relaxing music.

Hopefully you enjoyed our video, and if you did, please LIKE, COMMENT and SHARE it, and SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel. ¡Muchas Gracias!

Links to Info & Places We Visited in the Video