Ollantaytambo: Complete Visitor’s Guide

Ollantaytambo is a small town located in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, in southern Peru. It is known for its well-preserved Inca ruins and its traditional Andean architecture. The town is a popular destination for tourists visiting the region and offers a wide range of activities and attractions.

The town and Inca ruins of Ollantaytambo

The main attraction in Ollantaytambo is the Inca fortress and temple complex. The fortress, which sits on a hilltop overlooking the town, was built during the reign of the Inca emperor Pachacuti and was used as a military, religious, and administrative center. The complex includes terraces, stairways, and stone-paved streets, as well as several buildings and temples. Visitors can take a guided tour of the fortress to learn more about its history and architecture.

Another popular attraction in the Ollantaytambo ruins is the Temple of the Sun. This temple is believed to have been used for astronomical observations and religious ceremonies. The temple features a large wall of six stone monoliths. 

In addition to the Inca ruins, Ollantaytambo is also known for its traditional Andean architecture. The town is home to several well-preserved traditional houses, many of which are still inhabited by local residents. Visitors can take a walking tour of the town to see the traditional houses and learn more about the local culture and history.

Ollantaytambo: Complete Visitor’s Guide

What else can you do at Ollantaytambo?

Additionally, Ollantaytambo is a popular starting point for treks to Machu Picchu. The Inca Trail is a popular hiking trail that leads to the famous Inca citadel, located about 50 miles from Ollantaytambo. The trek is a multi-day journey that takes hikers through beautiful Andean landscapes and past several other Inca ruins. Visitors interested in hiking the Inca Trail should plan ahead and book a tour in advance.

In addition to its historical and cultural attractions, Ollantaytambo also offers a range of outdoor activities. Visitors can go horseback riding, whitewater rafting, and rock climbing in the surrounding mountains. There are also several hot springs nearby, where visitors can relax and soak in the warm water.

In terms of accommodation, Ollantaytambo offers a range of options for visitors. There are several hotels, hostels, and guesthouses in the town, catering to different budgets and preferences. Many of these accommodations are located in traditional Andean houses, offering visitors a unique and authentic experience. There are also several campgrounds located in the surrounding mountains, ideal for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Ollantaytambo: Complete Visitor’s Guide

Experiencing the local culture

When it comes to dining, Ollantaytambo offers a variety of options. There are several local restaurants in the town, serving traditional Andean dishes, such as ceviche, lomo saltado, and chicha morada. Visitors can also find international cuisine and vegetarian options. Local markets offer a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as locally made crafts.

For those who want to experience the local culture, Ollantaytambo is a great place to do so. The town hosts several traditional festivals and ceremonies throughout the year. Visitors can also take a cooking class and learn how to prepare traditional Andean dishes, or take a weaving class and learn how to weave traditional textiles.

In summary, Ollantaytambo is a unique destination that offers visitors a glimpse into the history and culture of the Incas. With its well-preserved ruins, traditional Andean architecture, and outdoor activities, the town is a great place to visit for anyone interested in Peruvian history and culture. Visitors should plan to spend at least a day in Ollantaytambo, but ideally more, to fully experience all the town has to offer.

If you want to explore more incredible places in Peru, check our Manu 4 Days tour.

Ollantaytambo: Complete Visitor’s Guide

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