level and one hour an a half north of Quito.
Otavalo and the whole Province of Imbabura was celebrating Inti Raymi (God Sun Celebration).
After being part of a Shaman Ritual in Cuicocha, where native people give offerings to La Pacha Mama (Mother Earth) and give thanks to the Taita Inti (God Sun), I went back to Otavalo to meet with my friend Kathi (GER).
It was saturday night and our plans were to celebrate as well, so we visited a pub with live loud music, danced salsa and ecuadorian music, had a couple of beers and talked about the possibility of doing a three - day - hike the following week.
The weather in Ecuador was worsening lately in the last weeks, but we agreed to hike no matter weather conditions. So we planned ahead for bad weather on the 3 day - Inca Trail Hike.
Two days later we took a bus from Quito to Riobamba, spent a day and night there. Bought a tent and all the supplies for our long hike.
Day 1Kathi and I went to Alausi and got in a pick up truck designed to carry passengers in the back of it to the several andean villages up in the highlands.
We got off in Achupallas (3,350 m) and started hiking south towards our camping site. The day was just perfect... clear blue sky, sunny and warm.
Got to Cuchicorral camping site and set up our tent there. Total hiking time: 3 hours.
Day 2We started hiking at 7:30 am. Good weather again! Kept hiking southwest, passed Laguna Tres Cruces and climbed up to Cuchilla de Tres Cruces (4,400 m) and then to the knoll of Quilloloma from where we could see one of the most active ecuadorian volcanoes... Sangay! Chimborazo and Altar looked impressive in the distance as well. The views were excellent!
We walked down the mountain, crossed a stream and continued hiking on the left side of rio Culebrillas and Laguna Culebrillas. Two hours later we stopped for a while in Paredones Archaeological Site and and hour later at our next camping site. Total hiking time: 6 hours.
We kept walking for two more hours until we finally got to Ingapirca Ruins. As always, we were so excited of completing the hike in three days, and in just 12 hours total hiking time.
Kathi and I went back to Riobamba to celebrate our accomplishment the same way we started, with a couple of beers and a huge plate of food, we really deserved!.
I returned back to Quito in the afternoon while my good german friend Kathi spent an extra day in Riobamba and continued on her long journey through Ecuador and Peru the next day.
Some InformationInca Road to Ingapirca
- Duration : 3 days
- Difficulty : Easy - moderate
- Season : June to April
- Fees and Permits : None for trek, USD; 6,00 for Ingapirca Inca Site
- Transport : Pickup or bus to start, bus from finish.
- Follow Inca road remnant through mountain and lake country of Ecuador's best - preserved Inca site.