Canar is often skipped by tourists after a quick visit to Ingapirca. There is a lot more to be found than these ruins.
The interesting culture stretches out through all the cities and little villages. Many of these places are easilly accessible from the main road between Cuenca and Quito and are certainly worth a quick stop.
These are the largest known Inca ruins in Ecuador. The most significant building is the temple of the sun, an elliptically shaped building constructed around a large rock. The building is constructed in the Inca way without mortar in most of the complex. The stones were carefully chiseled and fashioned to fit together perfectly. The temple of the sun was positioned so that on the solstices, at exactly the right time of day, sunlight would fall through the center of the doorway of the small chamber at the top of the temple. Most of this chamber has fallen down.
Cojitambo is one of the hidden gems of Ecuadorean tourism. This little town in the Canar province claims to have the largest Inca ruins of Ecuador. Inga Pirca is usually the only stop for people to make when looking for Inca ruins, but Cojitambo is an excellent alternative.
The ruins are not as well-reconstructed as the ones in Inga Pirca, but you can see that it once must have been an important stop for the Inca's. It is located on a strategic location. From the ruins you can see for miles. Cuenca, Biblian and Azogues are all visible from the ruins.
Azogues is the capital of the Canar province. Eventhough tourists hardly make it out to this small city, it has a lot to offer for everybody.
The city has one of the most beautiful cathedrals in the country. You can see it if you pass the town on the Panamericana. The Santuario Franciscano is a relatively new cathedral, which is being used for the celebration of the Fiesta de la Virgen de la Nube, protector of the city.
Close to Azogues you can visit the arqaeological site of Cojitambo. It is a larger complex than the famous Ingapirca.
The town is home to several indigenous Inca communities, spread throughout the area, with about 7000 people in total and about 1000 indigenous Cañari people living from agriculture on rural lands. High in the mountains are common lands for grazing and growing potatoes and other crops. Carnival is an important cultural celebration in El Tambo.
Carboneria is located in Canar Province, close to the capital of the province, Canar. Travellers rarely visit the province, but the ones that do enjoy the friendliness of the people and the amazing nature.
Carboneria is a typical community in Canar. The interesting culture and stunning beauty of the Andes can be found in this little mountainvillage.
It is very easy to get to, because it is located close to the Panamericana that runs straight through the province.
Canar's main appeal is as an opportunity to visit and experience a completely non-touristy Ecuadorian mountain town one in which a visitor is not likely to see another gringo andin which locals still stare unabashedly at foreigners, who are far from a steady presence. Despite its lack of tourist services or infrastructure, Canar does make an excellent starting point for do-it-yourself tours to Ingapirca, Ecuador's most important Incan ruins,and offers lots of spectacular hiking in the green patchwork hills surrounding the town.
Lots of backpackers taking a bus from Quito to Cuenca will notice the cathedral of Biblian, looking over the town from a steep hill. The cathedral of Biblian is very impressive and looks somewhat different from other cathedrals in Ecuador. The blue rooftop makes it the signature cathedral of the region.
For those travellers curious enough to make the trip into town, you might be a little bit dissappointed by the rest of the town. After a hike up to the cathedral and enjoying the view for a while, you will likely be on the next bus out of town again.