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Incas of Ecuador: Their Legacy

Incas of Ecuador date back to the second half of the 15th century. The Incas were the most powerful empire in South America before the Spanish colonization. One of the most famous archeological sites of the Incas is Machu Picchu also refer as the “Lost City of the Incas”. However, this civilization left behind a huge legacy in other South American countries.

The Incas in Ecuador: A Brief Overview

The Inca civilization could not attach all of Ecuador’s territory to its domain. Nevertheless, their influence reached all regions of mainland Ecuador and can still be witnessed today through ruins, agricultural techniques, traditional customs, and language.

Inca Architecture: Ingapirca

No exploration of the Incas in Ecuador would be complete without a visit to Ingapirca, the most significant Inca site in the country.

Located in the Cañar Province, this complex show the remarkable architectural skills of the Incas. The main structure, the Temple of the Sun, demonstrates its distinctive architecture famous for its rectangular buildings and stone-cutting techniques. 

Some other places where it is possible to appreciate the Inca architecture are Cojitambo, Hacienda San Agustín del Callo, and Pumapungo.

Incas of Ecuador: Ingapirca

The Inti Raymi Festival

The Inti Raymi Festival is a yearly celebration that pays tribute to Inti, the Inca Sun God. Besides, today it has evolved beyond gratitude towards Inti and has become a commemoration of indigenous identity.

During the Inti Raymi festival, people engage in various activities including:

  • Ceremonies and Rituals: Indigenous communities perform ancient rituals, offering agricultural products to the Sun God.
  • Traditional Dances and Music: Colorful dances and Andean music that reminds of Inca cultural symbols.
  • Processions and Parades: Traditional processions with music, and dance performances.
  • Cultural Exhibitions and Artisan Markets: Artisan markets display handmade textiles, pottery, and jewelry, while exhibitions highlight the region’s cultural heritage.
  • Traditional Food and Drink: Participants enjoy typical food like cuy and chicha (a fermented corn drink). One notable aspect of Inti Raymi is the Pampamesa, a communal meal where families and communities share food and celebrate together.

Incas of Ecuador at the National Museum

For a deeper understanding of the Inca civilization and Ecuadorian history in general visiting the MuNA (National Museum) in Quito is highly recommended.

This prestigious museum possesses a collection of Inca artifacts including textiles, ceramics, and gold pieces. For example, The National Museum proudly displays the Gold Sun Inca, a breathtaking artifact belonging to the Inca civilization’s mastery of gold craftsmanship.

Explore the exhibits and gain insight into the Incas’ daily life, religious beliefs, and artistic achievements.

Do not miss the opportunity to learn more about the Inca civilization in the highlands of Ecuador.

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