Since arriving in Cuenca, we have heard glowing reports about the Ingapirca ruins. “Oh, you just have to go; it’s the ‘Machu Picchu’ of Ecuador,” one expat exclaimed.
For some reason, Ingapirca kept getting bumped to the bottom of our “to-do” list and on Thursday when it decided to rain on the ruins, we headed down the autopista to “Inga.” The 80 kilometer ride revealed some scenic Ecuadorian countryside with the “bluebells of Texas” gracing every turn. And then on the horizon…the sign…”Ingapirca”!
I’m not exactly sure what I was expecting, but it looked more like a glorified version of the Pumapungo ruins in Cuenca. There were six tour buses, lots of gringos, and a sea of umbrellas protecting everyone from the deluge of rain that welcomed us. It took about ten minutes to view the entire section of ruins—running from stone to stone—with our umbrellas in tow.
Ingapirca is located in the Cañar Province at about 10,000 feet so the weather is mostly cloudy with a chance of rain—most days. If you’re fortunate enough to have sunny weather, I’m sure it looks just like the postcards in the museum!
Actually, I was slightly disappointed because I didn’t get any pictures of the llamas (they were taking cover from the rain). And I have to say that the entrance fee of $6.00 for non-residents and $2.00 for residents would be well worth the price when the sun is shining. We just happened to hit it on a soggy day!
If you’re planning a visit to the ruins, be sure to check the weather report and head out early in the day. We had a slight three-hour delay in the morning as our Ecuadorian friends had some electrical problems with their car and we had to pay a visit to the mechanic.
The entire day wasn’t “ruined." On the way back to Cuenca, we stopped by a cascading waterfall that reminded me of the Giron waterfalls!