QHAPAQ ÑAN ARCHEOLOGICAL ROUTE
“THE POWERFUL, BIG, MAGNIFICENT PATH"
here have developed eight sub routes which make up the Archeological Route of the Austro, with attractions of both national and international significance when regarding world heritage archeology. The routes are meant to be walked since its offers many rich landscapes and unique experiences.
The first route is the Tomebamba IMPERIAL ROUTE. The trip will start at the city of Cuenca where you will then travel to the town of El Tambo. From here you can visit the Lake of Culebrillas where it is possible to camp. Then you will visit Paredones where you can walk a part of the Qhapaq Ñan, one of the best conserved. After the hike you will arrive at Ingapirca, the most important archeological complex in Ecuador. From Ingapirca you will head to the city of Cañar where the Cerro Narrio archeological site is found. Another option is to go to Ingapirca directly from el Tambo. Both of these options will take you to Azoguez. In the Cerro named Cojitambo you will find a Cañari archeological site; you will hen continue the route until Cuenca.
The second route is the CULEBRILLAS ROUTE; this is one of the most interesting archeological routes due to its historical characteristics. During the hike you will find two inns. The first is named Cuchishiana and the second Paredones. You will then arrive at Ingapirca which is one to the most important administrative centers for the Cañaris and the Incas. The major part of the trajectory is found in an environment of marsh and Andean pajonales. You can camp at the Culebrillas Lake and by the next afternoon get to the sector of San Jose and finish the route there or continue walking until Ingapirca.
The third route is the MAMAMAG ROUTE; which goes from the city of Cuenca in the direction of the town of Molleturo. At the height of the Lake of the Toreadora there is a marked path that will take you until the Burines lakes from where you take another path that directs you to the inn of Ingawasi. Arriving at the Mamamag inn you can skirt along right margin until the Mamamag Lake where you can follow the straightest path of the route. After this section you will arrive at Sorocuch where you can rest at the touristic installations of the Llaviuco Lake.
The fourth route is the WAMANIN MOLLETURO ROUTE; This is one of the most spectacular routes because of its splendid landscapes and monumental archeology. This route begins at the community of San Pedro of Yumate. The first leg is an ascent of two hours to get to the archeological site of Paredones. You can camp at the refuge. The next day you will head toward the community of Pan de Azucar and then to the cacao estate named “Bal of Gold,” in Naranjal. This route is characterized by the diverse climates and ecosystems that you travel through.
The fifth route is the CHOBSHI ROUTE; You depart from Cuenca and continue on to the community of El Carmen de Jadán from where you will go to the forest of Aguarongo. Then you will take the old path to Loja until you arrive at San Juan de Gualaceo. Then you can continue on to the archeological vestiges of Chobshi and Shabalula where there is a tourist complex.
The sixth route is the DUMAPARA ROUTE; which is centered on the town of Nabon. Here you can travel through traditional streets and then continue on the route to the archeological vestiges of Dumapara. After Dumapara, you can travel through the old town of Cochapata. You can walk until you arrive at the archeological site of Raric which belongs to the Formative period of Ecuadorian history.
The seventh route is the FASAYÑAN ROUTE; This route begins in the parish of Principal. After the first half hour walk you will find an archeological complex of the Cañari culture and one of the best viewpoints of the Sacred Forest of Fasayñan. After visiting this site you will find the lakes of Fasayñan and Ayllon. On the next day you will ascend the summit and return to the town of Principal.
The eighth and last route is the YACUBIÑAY ROUTE; which departs from the city of Zaruma. You walk until the parish of Huertas to continue on the trajectory to the high parts of the foothills of the Western Andes Mountain Range. This is an extensive archeological site of the Cañari-Incan cultures. Yacubiñay means eternal or permanent water, which for its characteristics was able to be an administrative center with an important military and political function.