One of many dreams on my bucket list of places to see is to one day visit Machu Picchu in the Cusco region of Peru. It's one of the most visited sites in all of South America and one of the greatest historic places in the world. Well, I'm closer now than I've ever been living in Cuenca, Ecuador, so I'm sure this dream of mine will be realized one day soon. In the meantime, the Ingapirca ruins will have to do. I've read a few negative reviews by world travelers who have been to the most spectacular of ruins in this world, saying Ingapirca is disappointing and not that big a thrill. I, however, found this area, which is so close to Cuenca, to be a wonderful day trip and area to visit and a joyous celebration time during the Inti-Raymi festival.
We went with friends via bus (oh, how I love hopping the bus to see the sites of Ecuador), and boarded early for a 2-hour ride north of Cuenca to the town of Ingapirca. The weather was warm and sunny, and we were ready for a blue-sky day of Incan music, artistic vendors selling their crafts and wares, festive dancing and a joyous celebration of this yearly Incan fiesta. There were many different cultures visiting from Peru, Bolivia, Columbia and other areas outside of Ecuador. The costumes were colorful and the dancers were joyous and entertaining.
Inti Raymi is the "Festival of the Sun." Yearly, it is celebrated around June 21st, the shortest day of the year (originally it was celebrated during winter solstice). It is to honor their Incan God Inti. The fee to enter the ruins was $10, but because of our cedulas, we were charged only $2 each. A tour guide is provided as groups of people are ushered through the gate to see the ruins. We ended up with an English-speaking guide , so that made it a bit easier on some to understand the history of the ruins. Because I was more focused on taking photos than staying with the group to hear the guide's in-depth history of the ruins, you'll have to google it. For me, photography rules!!!
It was a very relaxing and fun day for us and our friends, and we recommend going to see this area of Ecuador that is so close to Cuenca and also because it is a very scenic ride there and back. Also, the town of Canar (Can-yar) is another place to visit on the way. Will we go back there? Maybe! For now, it's another area we've experienced in this beautiful country, and we're ready to move on and see more. Now for some photography to show you Ingapirca during Inti Raymi through my lens. Enjoy!
Pictures tell the Story of Our Day at Ingapirca
|We departed on an 8:30 am bus and enjoyed the scenic ride to Ingapirca. This little girl was fascinated by the big man sitting behind her (Bo!).|
|Ah, the carefree simple life of living in a little bus-van. I wonder where these artists will travel to next?|
|There were crowds of visitors waiting for the dancers (and "helado" of course)......|
|.....and the weather, Andean music, dance performers and costumes did not disappoint us.|
|A variety of dance troops entertained the crowds in their traditional colorful costumes.|
|Children love the fiestas!|
|The older generation stick to their traditional attire for every day wear.|
|It was time to do our "ruins" tour.|
|The views were beautiful....|
|......and walking and touring the ruins was fascinating.|
|I was able to capture the town of Ingapirca from the ruins with my telephoto lens. That is where the bus let us off, and it's a short walk to the ruins.|
|Our English speaking tour guide shared lots of history about this area. I'm not sure if the Ecuadorians in our group understood what he was saying!|
|It was time to head back to the town and take a bus into Canar (Can-yar) where we would see more celebration and then have dinner before heading home.|
|On the way to the bus, we had a delicious traditional Ecuadorian hot drink called Canelazo which is made with spiced cinnamon, naranjilla and herbs, being poured by this precious young girl.|
|......listened to some strolling musicians.......|
|....and passed by crowds of families camping.....|
|In 30 minutes, we arrived in Canar....|
|.....where another celebration was in process. This woman seems to have a perfect view. Her attire fascinated me!|
|Women in their hats are a common sight in Ecuador.|
|Each culture has their unique and personal traditional style.|
|Ecuadorian children always stare at us when we stroll by them!|
|When they catch me photographing and capturing their moment, they always smile!|
|By early evening, we had seen enough dancing and celebrating of this yearly South American event.|
|Thank you friends, for inviting us to join you this day to celebrate Inti Raymi together.|
|Thank you, Jim, for capturing this photos of Bo and me at Ingapirca. I'm surprised you got all of Bo's hair in the picture!|
Yes, we're starting to see more and more of beautiful Ecuador. Be looking for our next adventure as we decide, "Where shall we go next?"