Ollantaytambo


Ollantaytambo is at a stage in its growth when restaurants, hotels, and cafes are coming in, but without a horde of tourists to disrupt the atmosphere. The layout constructed by the Inca is nearly the same: the town is made of canchas (blocks), with single stone doorway leading into the courtyard and surrounding houses. Some of the homes remain from Incan time, and while wandering these areas, you’ll see that the simplicity of life hasn’t changed. The landscape around Ollantaytambo is worth staying at an inn for a few days. Most likely, you’ll spend your time exploring the nearby agricultural terraces, sacred ruins, and ancient village of the Inca.
Right next door, the Ollantaytambo ruins were once the royal estate of the conqueror and Incan Emperor Pachacuti. While it was created to be a religious site, the fortress watched over the northern entrance of the Sacred Valley. During the Spanish Conquest, it was a stronghold for Manco Inca Yupanqui, leader of the Inca resistance. It was there that Manco Inca flooded the plains below with water, forcing the attacking conquistadors to retreat. Some structures lay unfinished, probably because of a hasty retreat when the conquistadors returned with four times the soldiers. But they left behind some amazing structures, including the Sun Temple, the Wall of the Six Monoliths, grain storehouses, and ceremonial fountains.

Ollantaytambo Ruins


Hours of Operation:

Monday – Sunday 7:00 am – 5:30 pm

 

Ollantaytambo


 

Ollantaytambo


S/. 130 ($47) for Cusco Tourist Ticket (access to all sites around Cusco, one-time access to each site, valid for 10 days) or S/. 70 for partial ticket

 

Ollantaytambo


The ruins are a common starting point for those following the Inca Trail, a four-day hike to see some of Peru’s greatest ruins. Follow stairs up a series of terraces to reach the top of Temple Hill, a religious ceremonial site. There, the Sun Temple features the Wall of the Six Monoliths, made up of stones that weigh 50 tons each. Imagine dragging them from the quarry far beneath and hauling them along a ramp up the mountain! The Inca also built several ventilated storehouses, called qollqa, at high altitude to delay food decay. They poured grain from the terraces into the storehouses and accessed the grain through openings at the bottom. The face of the Inca deity, Wiracocha, is carved faintly into the cliff above the valley.
As you travel back down the mountain, you’ll come across many other beautifully carved structures, including the Princess Bath, a ceremonial fountain at the base of the ruins. Farther out, to the south of the ruins, a 15th century village contains cobblestone streets and canchas (houses surrounding courtyards). Many of the Inca ruins are associated with the sacred, so this village an excellent demonstration of ancient urban life.

 

Ollantaytambo


What’s nearby? 

The Inca believed the Urubamba River, which fed their agricultural terraces, was the earthen Milky Way.The river is popular for rafting, as it flows through great wedges of mountain and jungle. The rapids are best between December and May, when they’re the fullest.

 

Ollantaytambo


Interested in touring Peru and visiting Ollantaytambo? We offer five different tours that explore this region.

Clink on the links below and explore the incredible country of Peru.

Machu Picchu & The Sacred Valley – 9 Days      Best of Peru Tour – 15 Days      Explore South America – 30 Days      Best of South America – 21 Days      Best of South America: Peru, Argentina, Chile, & Ecuador – 25 Days  

 

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Ollantaytambo, Peru

Ollantaytambo Ruins

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