Leaving the central sierra behind at Alausí, continue 93km south on the Panamericana and you’ll reach El Tambo. From here, a side road branches 8km east from the highway to the southern sierra’s first important attraction, Ingapirca. Though not as dramatic or well preserved as the Inca remains of Peru, Ingapirca is nonetheless an impressive site that certainly deserves a visit, if only to witness the extraordinary mortarless stonework for which the Incas are renowned. South of here, only a few low-key attractions dot the 79km separating El Tambo from Cuenca: namely the small market town of Cañar, the hilltop sanctuary of Biblián and the sleepy provincial capital of Azogues.

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