Ingapirca (3,200m) is Ecuador's major Inca site, located 1 1/2 kilometers (approx.) away from the village of Ingapirca. The Ingapirca ruins looks like a small fortress. Some archaeologists think that its main elliptical platform structure (usnu), which is called the Temple of the Sun, was used for religious purposes. The structure itself has an outstanding Inca stonework, its doorways and niches designed in a trapezoidal shape are an unmistakable Inca style.Ingapirca means "Wall of the Inca" and have been occupied by the native Cañari people for some 500 years.
There are some hypothesis and contradictions about the Ingapirca's exact function. Perhaps, Ingapirca was actually a sun temple, a religious center, or a fortress.
There is a small museum close to the entrance with some signs in other languages such as French and English explaining the site. The Inca Ruins are open daily and the admission fee is US$.5.00. Guides are also available for an extra cost.
Excursions around Ingapirca
Cara del Inca (face of the Inca), is a 15 minute walk from the ruins, a vast natural formation in a rock overlooking beautiful scenery. The Ingachugana and the Sillón
de Inga (Inca's Chair), a big rock with carved channels.
Baños del Inca, Inca ruins (smaller) located some 1 1/2 km. from the Ingapirca ruins. This is an immense carved rock forming water channels looking over the small Plaza.
In the village of Ingapirca the Indian weekly market is on Fridays, with an interesting craft shop next to it.