Approximately 19 miles northeast of Quito is Cochasquí Archaeological Park and, within it, are the ancient pyramids of Cara. This complex is the most extensive and most important of pre-Columbian and pre-Inca Empire ruins in the north of Ecuador. It consists of 15 pyramids and 21 burial mounds stretching across almost 85 hectares and it played a huge role in stopping Inca incursions in the early 16th century.
You can explore the complex via a hiking trail that runs through the pyramids and even gives you a look at the solar and lunar calendars sitting atop one of them. If you visit during the Andean March equinox, you might be lucky enough to catch a local celebration, with folk dancing, ceremonial cleansing, and traditional food.