Postcards from Ecuador: An ancient church and even older Incan ruins on the road to Cuenca

Day 10 of the Honors College study abroad in Ecuador saw the group leave Riobamba for the road to Cuenca, stopping to tour the towns of Alausí and Biblián , as well as historical sites along the way, including the first Catholic Church in Ecuador, Iglesia de Balbanera, founded in 1534.

The group went even further back in Ecuador’s history as it explored Ingapirca, the largest known Incan ruins in Ecuador. Ingapirca roughly translates to Inca Wall. And those tightly fitted stone walls and their foundations are still standing today, set against the windswept grass hills of Ecuador’s Southern Sierra region, with the Temple of the Sun stretching up to the sky.

See photos from throughout the trip in our photo gallery.

Students pose for a picture in front of the ruins of Ingapirca.
Students study the exterior of the Iglesia de Balbanera.
Students walk among the ancient stone walls of Ingapirca toward the Temple of the Sun.