Starting at the village of San Bartolomé to gain an insight into how local guitars are made here, you’ll then continue onto Chordeleg which is renowned for its fine gold and silver filigree jewelry. A slew of jewelry shops line the main road and plaza, so there are plenty of options if you’re looking to buy something special. Then it’s onto Gualaceo, a sleepy colonial town and a great place to the slow pace of rural life and admire the folkloric clothing and textiles. After lunch here, you’ll stop off at Bulcay to learn how the skilled weavers use a particular technique to pattern their textiles, and there’s also a chance to tour an orchid farm en route to Ingapirca.
Before reaching the Incan ruins you can visit a Panama hat workshop and Biblian, a small town which cradles the Gothic-style shrine of the Virgen del Rocio atop Zhalao Hill (on Wednesdays only). Then it’s onto the archaeological complex of Ingapirca, the largest Incan ruins in Ecuador which encapsulate the sophisticated design and diplomacy of this ancient civilization. You’ll discover how, much unlike the European colonizers, the Incas merged their own community with that of the indigenous Cañari, forging a hybrid community that thrived here at Ingapirca. This is reflected in the two separate Temples of the Sun, dedicated to the beliefs of each culture.
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