In the southern Andean region, outside of Cuenca, there are a great number of worthwhile spots to traverse only a short drive away. One of these spots is Ingapirca. In the local dialect Kichwa, Inka Pirka means “Inca wall”, and Ingapirca is name of the town and the ruins/archeological site nearby. Ingapirca is home to the largest known Incan ruins in Ecuador. The site is actually a combination Cañari and Incan site. The Cañaris are the indigenous peoples who occupied the region prior to the introduction of the Incas. Here is by far the best article I’ve seen talking about the site, and the information contained within is consistent with what the guide told us during our tour: Ingapirca Guide.

We had the opportunity to try chicha, a fermented beverage made from maize. It was delicious, tasted like fizzy, cinnamony apple cider.

Another quick stopover for our Christmas day travels was Biblián. The main attraction here is their cathedral, Santuario de la Virgen del Rocio ( Our Lady of the Dew), which is built into a cliff, looking over the town below.

Santuario de la Virgen del Rocio

img_4960eimg_4931ep1170168ep1170166eimg_4962eFinally, here’s a photo of a couple of hopeful Andean hitchhikers :). p1170185e