It was awe inspiring to realize we were standing on the spot of a city that was built in the 15th century when the Inca people merged with the native Canari. Ingapirca, the site of the only remaining sun temple from the Inca empire, sits on a hill at 10,498 feet elevation with impressive panoramic views over the surrounding countryside.

There isn’t much left of Ingapirca, which means “Inca stone wall,” since the invading Spanish razed the town. The largest structure still standing on the site is the Temple of the Sun. The building is constructed in the Inca way, without mortar, as are most of the structures in the complex. The really interesting feature of this temple is that it appears to have been built at such an angle that the sun would have shone directly into the doorway during the solstices.

Ingapirca is easily Ecuador’s best pre-Columbian ruins, however, I have read that by comparisons with Machu Picchu, Ingapirca falls a little short. Still, it is in our “backyard” and easy to get to and impressive to see.

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