The Cañar Province of Ecuador is most famous for the Cañari-Incan Ruins of Ingapirca. They are the best preserved Incan ruins in Ecuador. These ruins originated with local people, the Cañari, and the Inca built on top of them during their short occupation in Southern Ecuador.

Few visitors know that other ruins are dotted across the Cañar Province and that a tourist could spend several days exploring the area.

Like other parts of the Sierra in Ecuador, the Cañar Province is rich in cultural traditions. For example, we visited just before New Years and found our car stopped by children and teenagers in many of the small villages along the quieter backroads. They would pull a rope or chain across the road and prevent passage until someone in the car had paid a toll. One group had a monigote, a life-sized stuffed doll, laying on the side of the road. The neighborhood would gather to watch it burn on New Year’s Eve and then jump over its flaming body to purify themselves for the coming year.

If you like backroad travel, you will love the Cañar Province. Locals still walk cows from the city streets of Azogues out to the nearby fields. Farms are worked by hand. Local women wear brightly colored skirts and wool hats. Apart from the ruins at Ingapirca, the province is relatively unvisited by foreign tourists.

I hope these photos will encourage you to explore the Cañar Province. These photos barely scratch the surface.

Click on any photo to open a slideshow with further descriptions of each photo.

More Articles About The Cañar Province

If you would like to read more about the Cañar Province, check out these articles:

Ecuador Por Mis Ojos

Recently, the Instituto Geografico Militar of Ecuador and I released a book of photography, Ecuador Por Mis Ojos. This post shares photos from that book.

If you would like to see other photos from the book, please check out:

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