Recently I had the opportunity to join  James Drummondo (our guide) and a small group of friends as we set out to explore an isolated location in the Cajas Mountains.  We were searching for the ancient site of a once thriving Inca community.  James is a thoroughly capable and competent guide, and after hiking for about one hour, we discovered the stone foundations of many historic buildings.  Perched high on a hill, the site was spectacular, with panoramic views of the valleys below. It was easy to see why the Inca choose this location, as any enemy approaching could be discerned from quite a distance.

I’ve hiked many times with James and consistently find his knowledge and respect for our fragile environment to be extraordinary.  From “catch and release” fly fishing for trout, to an appreciation of the amazing flora in the Cajas,  a day spent with James as your guide is well worth the modest expense.  I highly recommend his services.

Rick Hubbert

Cuenca, Ecuador

These ruins, considered as the largest archaeological complex in the province of Azuay and perhaps more important than Ingapirca,

Due to the characteristics found, the ruins of Paredones de Molleturo was most likely a religious and military center.  The architectural remains suggest that this site was  very important.


Paredones de Molleturo is located in the foothills of the western cordillera of the Andes and to access them, you must pass through the small and picturesque village of San Pedro de Yumate.

Archaeological vestiges and landscaping to the extreme with an amazing double vista. On clear days one may be lucky enough to take in a beach sunset on one side and the Chimborazo crowning the heights on the other, all at the same time.  Unrealistic this may sound, it is part of what can be seen in this site, which is also guarded In a central part of our ancestral history, so the archaeological complex Paredones de Molleturo, is a must visit for the lover of nature, landscaping and history.

Placed on a mountain blade and its surroundings, we find a series of Cañari-Inca buildings, raised with boulders and andesite rock, joined with mortar or quillocaca. Paredes - still standing - about 0.80 cm wide and 2.4 meters high (they can even be seen a couple of windows) and scattered on about 100 hectares, attest to a significant pre-Hispanic settlement in this area, which by its geographical location, was a point of high political, commercial and military interest of the Tahuantinsuyo and the trade of the Spondylus.


In addition, one of the portions of the Inca Trail best preserved in the country can be seen here, with hundreds of meters of intact road, where you can admire the wisdom of its builders, both in the road itself, and in the aqueducts That accompany it and the aesthetic beauty with which they conceived them.

Paredones de Molleturo is a destination that combines several edges for travelers and seekers who long for that contact offered by nature in its most beautiful manifestation, overwhelming landscapes and history that is felt step by step in this magical corner of our mountains .


The  cañari name of this settlement was Chacanceo, the meaning is unknown.

Molleturo comes from the Quechua word "mulli" meaning "tree" and "turu" meaning "mud".

Paredondes de Molleturo is located 70 km from Cuenca and 6 km from Molleturo.

Sourse:  El Mercurio Newspaper

                                                   Paredones Ruins

These ruins are a combination of both Inca and Canari located on the far side of Cajas outside of the national park.  Total drive time is 1 hr 45 minutes from Cuenca and the hike to the ruins is 45 minutes and considered an easy to moderate at an altitude of 12,000 ft. These ruins are rarely visited.  Cost is $70 per person.  These are just a few of the ruins.  

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