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The Unique Ecuadorian Inca Trail

The Inca Trail

While the Ingapirca Inca Trail in Ecuador is not as famous as its southern cousin, the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu was the most valuable route 1,000 years ago.

The Ecuadorian Inca Trail once connected the Incan empire’s northern capital Quito with the city at its heart, Cuzco, Peru. Its purpose was to move trade and messengers as well as large marching armies during the civil war that broke out between the two Incan princes, Huáscar in Quito and Atahualpa in Cuzco.

Inca Trail in Ecuador. CoCo Bongo Hostel

The Qhapaq Ñan 

The Inca Trail in Ecuador stands out for its roads and construction techniques. The Qhapaq Ñan possesses a vast architectural and social value, that represents the lifestyle of the Inca Empire society.

There is a fragment of the Qhapaq Ñan that crosses the Sangay National Park, in the Cañar Province, and it is considered the most well-preserved section in Ecuador. The trail extends for 30 km in the southern part of the Sangay National park, from the town of Achupallas to the Ingapirca Archaeological Complex.

Inca Trail in Ecuador. CoCo Bongo Hostel
Ingapirca Archaeological Complex.

Where to start the Inca Trail?

You can make your trekking journey in different ways. From Culebrillas lagoon to Ingapirca Ruins in approximately 6 hours, or you can start from Achupallas, cuts through the Sangay National Park, and continues to the Ingapirca ruins, a fusion of both Inca and Cañari cultures. 

This intrepid adventure trek takes three days, and it’s the right fit for those hikers looking to connect and explore an untouched region of the pristine Ecuadorian paramo, and its many beautiful lagoons.

The Inca Trail was declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco, which has allowed the development of sustainable tourism activities among its nearest communities.

Inca Trail in Ecuador. CoCo Bongo Hostel

Get ready for the Inca Trail

Not just getting ready for the Inca Trail, but for an adventure in Ecuador, like in Mindo or Quilotoa; your heart and muscles must be strong to resist and use less oxygen to avoid altitude sickness. We recommend packing:

-Backpack with straps to distribute the weight and to store enough water and clothes.

-Walking shoes and socks.

-Layers of clothing, including thermal clothing.

-Raincoats: jacket and pants.

-Walking sticks


-High SPF sun protection




-Toilet paper & wet towels


Inca Trail in Ecuador. CoCo Bongo Hostel


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