When we talk about the Sacred Valley of the Incas, we know very well that it is one of the best places available within mystical Peru. Full of ruins and archaeological sites to explore, traditional towns where ancient traditions continue to be practiced, and endless opportunities for adventure tours. And one of its most magical places is Ollantaytambo, this beautiful city stands out for itself. It is is one of the most important in the entire Valley, it is even often the stop for many travelers who have just arrived from Machu Picchu or are about to go. For this reason, together with the travel experts of Cusco Peru Travel, we want to tell you everything about Ollantaytambo.
EVERYTHING ABOUT OLLANTAYTAMBO
- WHAT IS OLLANTAYTAMBO?
- HISTORY OF OLLANTAYTAMBO
- GETTING TO OLLANTAYTAMBO
- ATTRACTIONS IN OLLANTAYTAMBO
- WEATHER IN OLLANTAYTAMBO
- WHERE TO STAY IN OLLANTAYTAMBO?
WHAT IS OLLANTAYTAMBO?
Ollantaytambo is a small ancestral city located in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, within the province of Urubamba. There is a fortress that resembles a stone colossus between two mountains protecting the Valley. It is one of the few cities in the Valley where residents continue to live in ancient Inca buildings that date back from centuries. You can find trails and streets built during the Inca Empire, as well as a great temple and sanctuary surrounded by canals and waterfalls. It is one of the only places in Peru where the Spanish army could be defeated, or at least stopped until they returned with more strength. It remains an excellent example of Inca architecture, and its location within the Valley is also impressive.
HISTORY OF OLLANTAYTAMBO
The city of Ollantaytambo is one of the most impressive places in the Sacred Valley. It is believed that during the 15th century, the well-known Inca Pachacutec conquered and began the construction of Ollantaytambo with different terraces and irrigation systems. Today the different terraces make up what is called the Fortaleza or Temple Hill. After the death of the Inca Pachacutec, the town fell into the hands of the Manco Inca, who used the city as a retreat against constant Spanish invasions. And the Ollantaytambo Fortress, which had religious purposes, was the site of a great battle, one of the only successful ones against the conquerors. From the top of the terraces the Incas managed to stop the conquerors, they also flooded the plain forcing the Spanish to withdraw. Manco Inca retired to the jungle fortress in Vilcabamba after his victory, knowing that they would return with more strength. This fortress was soon after conquered by Pizarro and his men. Today Ollantaytambo is usually a mandatory stop for those looking to enjoy a Machu Picchu tour, even some tourists choose to stay in the city and acclimatize to the altitude.
GETTING TO OLLANTAYTAMBO
To get to Ollantaytambo from Cusco, there are two ways by bus:
- There is the Pisac route, which is usually the busiest. To take the bus, you need to go to Puputi street. The bus goes through Calca and the trip can take about 2 hours. Then in Calca, you need to take another bus to Urubamba and finally another one that will take you to Ollantaytambo.
- The other route is through Chincheros, which is the direct one. To take this bus from Cusco, you have to go to Pavitos street. These buses will drop you off at Plaza de Ollantaytambo in 2 hours or less. The city is usually a destination within a Sacred Valley tour from Cusco. Also from this city, you can even take a train to Machu Picchu, but you cannot disembark here if you are coming by train from Cusco.
ATTRACTIONS IN OLLANTAYTAMBO
One of the incredible things about Ollantaytambo is that it is not only a city. It has different attractions to enjoy, so a whole day is recommended to learn in-depth. Ollantaytambo is divided into 4 main regions: The ancient city, The Temple Hill, the agricultural sector, and the ceremonial area. One of its main attractions is its ruins. The old fortress was built in the mid-15th century and is one of the best-preserved archaeological ruins in the Andean country. If you want to enjoy a Cusco to Machu Picchu tour, you must not miss this ruin. Regardless of which area you choose to travel and explore, Ollantaytambo will conquer your heart with its different views and landscapes.
WEATHER IN OLLANTAYTAMBO
Whether you are looking to enjoy one of the many luxury Peru tours, within Ollantaytambo you can expect a climate very similar to that of the Inca citadel. By consensus, it is usually recommended to travel and visit the ruins during the dry season, it runs from April to December. While the rainy season is from January to March. But this does not mean that the rainy season is not ideal, because the rains do not occur throughout the day and when they stop, the sun rises. Everything will depend on your available time and what you are looking for on your vacation.
WHERE TO STAY IN OLLANTAYTAMBO?
Fortunately, today, Ollantaytambo is one of the most important tourist centers in the Valley, so you can find plenty of options for accommodation. This city is usually a mandatory stop within a Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu tour, so you won’t have to worry about finding luxurious and exclusive options. We are obviously ready from giving hotel suggestions to reserving accommodation for you!
“I HAVEN’T BEEN EVERYWHERE, BUT IT’S ON MY LIST”
We hope together with Cusco Peru Travel to have been of help to tell you the main aspects of this amazing destination. If you are looking to know a little more about the Inca culture, you cannot miss its ruins and terraces. Finally, you can consult with our distinguished advisers so they can tell you how to visit this jewel of Peru.