Following historic footprints
The Incas created an impressive system of trails which at the time connected Quito (at the North of their empire) with Talca in the south of Chile. In the southern part of the central valley of Ecuador it is still possible to tread in the footprints of the Incas by following part of this ancient trail!
It is truly a spectacular trek through the Andean paramo ecosystem, passing through indigenous communities and past beautiful lakes / mountains until we reach Ingapirca - the most famous Incan ruins of Ecuador.
This hike requires average physical condition.
||Leaving Cuenca behind early in the morning we journey 3.5 hours to Achupallas (3420 m). There we meet with the local guide the horse used to carry our equipment. Our trek begins following the Cadrul River through the narrow pass between mountains Callana Pucará and Mapahuiña. Continuing upriver in this U-shaped valley we arrive to an Incan town (3910 m) where we camp. During the trail there is the possibility of ascending Callana Pucará Mountain (4190 m) which has a fantastic panoramic view all the way to Chimborazo.
|| We follow the Cadrul River until we get to Tres Cruces (Three Crosses) Lake which leads us up to the Three Crosses Knife Pass (4420 m) crossing the crest towards Quillaloma. The ascent provides us with a wonderful view of the many different surrounding mountain ranges and lakes. Below us we are able to make out the Espíndola Valley with the well-known Qhapaqñan (Inca Trail), and at the bottom of the valley the sacred Lake of Snakes. We head down into the valley and near the Espíndola River we set up our tents.
||Following the Inca Trail along the River Espíndola towards the Lake of Snakes we arrive to the Incan ruins of Paredones (Large Walls). After crossing the Puyal pass (4000 m) and walking through typical Andean paramo vegetation we finally arrive to the end of our trail - Ingapirca Ruins (3160 m) - the most important archeological monument in Ecuador. Our guide will explain about the evidence of important past Andean societies such as the Kañari and later the Inca. After time to explore the ruins we return to Cuenca where our journey ends.
Average trekking time per day is 6-7 hours.Contact us to book this tour
PRICES (per person)
PAST CLIENTS FEEDBACK
“Luckily we enjoyed perfect weather for the trek which gave us some awesome views along the way! Having already trekked the Peruvian Inca Trail which is overrun with tourist hordes this was a really nice alternative - it got us completely away from everything for the duration of the trek.” (Pete George, England)
"This trip was exactly what we were looking for - the food was good and plentiful, daily walking distances were fine, and lots of time to take photos. My wife could even ride on the donkey when she was tired." (Bernd Sieger)
|# OF PASSENGERS
|6 or more
Note: this tour starts and ends in Cuenca.
- Transportation from Cuenca to Alausi / Ingapirca to Cuenca
- Transfer to Achupallas
- Professional, bilingual guide
- Horseman/muleteer + packhorses/mules
- Mountain equipment: (Tents, insulators, and in case the tourists do not have their own, we can provide rubber boots, sleeping bags, cooking utensils, dishes, place settings, etc.)
- Meals as listed in itinerary
- Drinks (water, coffee, tea)
- Ingapirca Entrance Fee
- Personal Expenses
- Transport from Quito to Cuenca