Parque Arqueologico Cochasqui

Parque Arqueologico Cochasqui, Puntazanja: Hours, Address, Parque Arqueologico Cochasqui Reviews: 4.5/5

Parque Arqueologico Cochasqui

Parque Arqueologico Cochasqui
8:30 AM - 5:30 PM
8:30 AM - 5:30 PM
8:30 AM - 5:30 PM
8:30 AM - 5:30 PM
8:30 AM - 5:30 PM
8:30 AM - 5:30 PM
8:30 AM - 5:30 PM
8:30 AM - 5:30 PM
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28 reviews
Very good

Quito, Ecuador17 contributions
Preinca archeological ruins
Nov. 2019
Sometimes people ask me if there is any archeological ruins in Ecuador, and yes there is!
Cochasqui is a great example of old civilizations that lived here, sad to know that spanish conquers destroyed everything else.
Anyway, it is near from Quito, cheap entrance and passionated guides. Completely worth it. Next time, I will go there for camping.
Written 28 November 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Seattle85 contributions
Wonderful place
Dec. 2018
This place is pretty close to Quito. We went there on our way to Otavalo, which becomes the high-light of the day as we do not like shopping. It has great view; and interesting facts about Cochasqui people. Even though I do not understand the Spanish speaking explaining things (we do have an English tour guide), but I can tell she really enjoyed her job. I hope more visitors will go to visit.
Written 23 January 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Lynn H
57 contributions
Pyramids and...Llamas? Who Knew?
Feb. 2018 • Friends
When I think of pyramids, I think of Egyptian pyramids. I definitely wasn’t thinking about llamas, amazing Andean views, and ancient calendars. When our friends told us about the pyramids of Cochasqui, we thought “cool, we’d love to see some pyramids”. But this is a different kind of archaeological site, an expansive, educational, and inimitable representation of the ancient Andean culture that created it.

As we drive north from Quito past Guayllabamba towards Tabacundo, on a sharp little u-shaped bend in the highway, our friend says “turn here, this is it” and I see the big sign that says Cochasqui as I pass the turn. So I go up a little ways and turn around. And you would never suspect that this is an important national archaeological research park by the signage on the highway. But it is. And it is a very worthwhile visit too.
We drove up the unremarkable, mostly dirt road and pull into the small dirt parking lot. We walked up to the tiny, understated ticket booth and purchase our tickets for $3 for foreigners ($1 for nationals, $0.50 for students, and $0.20 for children – pets are not allowed – sorry Niele). Once through the gate we waited in a covered area that had a large topographical map in need of a little touch up, several wooden benches and stools, and a variety of photos and art. The best part was the curious greeting crew of llamas waiting at the chain link gated entrance to the pyramid area. They were a little shy, but determined that a gathering crowd meant there were treats in store for them at some point in the future.

When our guide arrived, we headed through the gate and the llamas ran off to the hills close by to watch our every move, quietly awaiting their turn to participate in the tour. The park does have English speaking guides, however, our group was mostly Ecuadorian, and therefore we had a Spanish speaking guide. First on the tour was one of the smaller pyramids which had been excavated so that we could see part of the structure. Our guide explained some history of these pre-Columbian and pre-Incan ruins which sit on 84 hectares (210 acres) and consist of 15 truncated pyramids and 21 burial mounds which are called tolas. Archaeologists date the site construction between 950 CE and the Spanish conquest of the 1530s. Exactly how the pyramids were constructed is not clear, but archaeologists believe that Cochasqui was “a ceremonial and astronomical center for the Quitu-Cara culture, a developed social, technological and scientific organization that inhabited a vast region from the coast to the Amazon and from the north of the province of Pichincha to the southern region of Columbia.” (quoted from Wikipedia)

We walked down the gentle slopes of the valleys between the pyramids and their ramps on large wooden steps laid onto grass paths as our guide explained the archaeological theories of the ancient pyramids. Our guide also explained that this particular location was most likely one critical reason that the Quitu-Cara people used to choose this site due to its expansive views and high altitude. The views alone were marvelous. We made our way past the largest pyramid which measures approximately 90 meters (300 feet) long by 80 meters (260 feet) wide and 21 meters (69 feet) high1, then headed back uphill to the astrological center. The excavated astrological center was covered by a corrugated metal roof held up by large, smooth logs, and contained both a very large sun calendar and a large moon calendar. The sun and moon calendars were believed to assist in determining planting and harvesting seasons.
We walked slightly uphill to just in front of a restoration of a small, covered suspension bridge. And almost miraculously, llamas began to gather from all over the large property, eagerly awaiting their treat. Our guide provided small amounts of natural salt for those of us who were interested in making friends with the llamas. It was amazing how shy each llama was as they cautiously approached our outstretched palms and how soft their lips and tongue were as they gently ate the salt from our hands. Once the excitement of feeding the llamas had passed, we headed further uphill to a small plateau where there were wooden benches overlooking the entire pyramid area. Our guide explained further the importance of this archaeological site to the history of the ancient people of Ecuador. At that altitude on the plateau you could really imagine the significance of the view and the pyramids to the communities living in and around this location.

Our hike continued to a eucalyptus tree-lined road traversing the property which the conquering Spanish built to travel across the mountain. Our guide explained the significance of many of the plants and trees to the Quitu-Cara culture and how they were used in everyday life. We walked through a hand-made gate up a narrow dirt path to a restoration of a Quitu-Cara domicile from pre-Spanish times. The home contained numerous artifacts that showed the normal, everyday life of a typical family with sleeping areas, a kitchen and an eating area as well as a complete garden with a variety of plants that would have been cultivated by the family.

We followed the Spanish-built, stone and mud walled road back to the heritage museum near the entrance to the park. As we entered the classic Ecuadorian style building with its numerous artifacts distinctly displayed, our guide explained the meaning, purpose, and history of each piece. As we lingered and listened, the cultural significance of and pride in the archaeological findings became quite clear. To show us more insight into the daily lives of the ancient people, our guide walked us from the museum to a restoration of an ancient hut near the entrance gate. Inside were numerous artifacts and explanations of daily society including chores, hunting, games, art, clothing and community artifacts. Our guide led us through daily life in a village as well as allowing us to try our hand at some of the ancient games.

Overall, this is an excellent display of ancient Andean life as well as the miracles of ancient construction and astrology. The tour is approximately 1.5 – 2.5 km (0.93 – 1.55 miles) mostly on grass and wooden planked stairs. The temperature and climate varies, as it always does in the Andes, however I would recommend being prepared for anything from sun to rain to wind with temperatures of 10C – 27C (50F – 80F). The museum building and cultural hut are a bit on the musty side for anyone who suffers from allergies or asthma. But it was a fascinating look into ancient Andean culture, customs, and history, and well worth the few hours that it took and the $3 entry fee. For more information and to plan your visit, see the links provided below.

Happy Exploring,
Lynn & Bob
Written 6 August 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Tustin, CA8 contributions
Great day at Cochasqui!
Jun. 2018 • Couples
We went to Cochasqui along with Luis from Suviatours at the end of June, 2018. It was a great tour: the site is fascinating, and there were other highlights as well, like being swarmed by a pack of llamas and alpacas! And being a birder, I was pleased to see a number of bird species at the site that were new to me, which was a nice extra treat! Cochasqui is well worth the time, and I recommend Suviatours to guide you there, and in particular, their excellent guide Luis!
Written 10 July 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Dublin, CA132 contributions
So Amazing
Dec. 2017 • Couples
This hidden Gem about an hour + outside of Quito Old Town is fantastic. It is older
than the Incan's. There are mounds of dirt everywhere with pyramids buried under them. There is a museum and they employ local guides. After paying have one of the guides take you around and explain the history (not all speak English. The small museum has artifacts. They do a good job at explaining the moon calendar that was used during this time. There are hundreds of Llamas and Alpacas on the grounds of this national park. The animals help keep the grass mowed. SALT-make sure to bring a bag of salt to feed them. If you are lucky, the animals will come running to you for the salt in your hands. I guess it helps to digest all the grass they are eating.
Plan to spend about 2+ hours here and bring your own toilet paper. The bathrooms have running water (yeah!).
Written 17 March 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Medina, OH2,029 contributions
For tourists this is off the beaten path but absolutely worth the visit!
Oct. 2017 • Friends
We all know about the Incas and their civilization but this archaeological treasure is pre-Inca dating to the Caranquis in the 13th century and perhaps well before. As a tourist site this is not very sophisticated but I think that is quite OK! On a mountain slope northeast of Quito near the town of Cayambe it offers a magnificent view out to the east and south toward Quito. There are some 15 flat topped pyramids, most with long ramps leading eastward, and numerous burial mounds.It is theorized that Cochasqui was a ceremonial and astronomical center, used to calculate solstices and to help determining when crops should be planted. Leaders of these people may have lived at the top of the pyramids. And it seems sure that the setting was used for defensive purposes looking down and out as it does on the broad valley below. There will be good guides on the site who can guide you through, a small and simple museum and good interpretative signage as you work your way through the site. You will be accompanied as you wander the site by lots of llamas and sheep and other local and quite tame fauna.
Written 19 October 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Rhea C
Carrboro Nc14 contributions
Very interesting archeological site
Dec. 2016 • Couples
This site has not been excavated or studied very much yet, but it is very interesting. The tour guide was great and the museum has a lot of artifacts that have been found on site.
Written 23 December 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Evanston, IL631 contributions
Amazing to see/learn about pre-Incan pyramids
Aug. 2016 • Couples
Although off the beaten track (an hour from Otavalo, but en route from there to the airport), this is quite an amazing but overlooked site with over a dozen pyramids. Most are still covered, but there are some excavated and a detailed and informative tour--worth bringing a translator for (it's only in Spanish), and takes about two hours. The solar and lunar calendars are fascinating...also how precise this civilization was in understanding where they were relative to the equator and time. If you're sensitive to it, you can notice energy still there...if not, you might notice you've been climbing around at 3000 meters for several hours and aren't winded. No wonder civilizations around the world came to visit before the Yankees showed up. You might consider it too!
Written 17 August 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Quito, Ecuador176 contributions
Nice site and awesome camping
Sep. 2015 • Family
Great short trip from Quito. There is room for tents or 3 bed cabins if you plan on spending a night or two.
Staff is very friendly and knowledgeable. Bring heavy jackets and firewood for making smores.
Written 30 November 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Auckland, New Zealand37 contributions
Very interesting place to visit
Aug. 2015 • Family
We visited as part of a conference day trip and found it very interesting, including how the locals lived hundreds and thousands of years ago, how the pyramids (not pyramids in the traditional sense of the word but ok) were built etc. interesting walking up a couple of hills at that altitude about 3300m, you're panting straight away and that was interesting too. Highlight of the place was feeding the Llamas, who came right up to us to eat....salt! Lots of great photos taken there, we loved it. Our guided tour was good but went on too long, could have been shorter. So an interesting place to visit and worth a stop when in the wider area for sure!
Written 4 August 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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