Nestled in the heart of the Sacred Valley of the Incas, Ollantaytambo town stands as a living testament to the rich Incan heritage. The cobblestone streets, ancient terraces, and well-preserved architecture transport visitors to a bygone era, allowing them to experience the essence of Inca civilization.
Where is Ollantaytambo Town Located?
Ollantaytambo is situated about 60 kilometers northwest of Cusco, Peru. To embark on this journey, you can take a scenic bus ride from Cusco, winding through the picturesque Sacred Valley. Another option is hiring private transport for a more personalized experience. If you’re feeling adventurous and have the time, consider hiking the Inca Trail, a historic route that adds a profound layer of significance to your visit.
How to Get There
- From Cusco by Bus: Board a bus from Cusco to Ollantaytambo. The journey takes approximately two hours, offering breathtaking views of the Andean landscape.
- By Private Transport: Arrange for a private car or taxi for a more flexible and comfortable journey. This option allows you to stop and appreciate the scenic beauty along the way.
- Inca Trail Hike: For the adventurous, embark on the classic Inca Trail trek, a multi-day hike that culminates in the awe-inspiring town of Ollantaytambo.
Connection to Machu Picchu
Ollantaytambo serves as a pivotal point for those en route to Machu Picchu. Many travelers opt to take the train from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes, the gateway to Machu Picchu. The train journey itself is an experience, offering panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.
Train to Aguas Calientes: Purchase a train ticket from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes. The train ride provides a scenic preview of the lush landscapes leading to Machu Picchu.
Bus to Machu Picchu: From Aguas Calientes, take a bus to the entrance of Machu Picchu. The winding road offers glimpses of the ancient citadel nestled amidst the mountains.
Visiting Ollantaytambo not only allows you to immerse yourself in Incan history but also sets the stage for the awe-inspiring experience of exploring Machu Picchu, creating a seamless connection between two iconic destinations in the Peruvian Andes.
What to Do in Ollantaytambo Town?
Ollantaytambo Archaeological Site: Explore the imposing Ollantaytambo archaeological site, a well-preserved Inca complex featuring massive stone terraces and temples. The site provides a fascinating glimpse into the advanced engineering and architectural prowess of the Incas.
Pinkuylluna Mountain Granaries Hike: For the more adventurous souls, a hike up Pinkuylluna Mountain offers stunning views of the town and ancient granaries built into the mountainside. It’s a captivating journey that combines history with breathtaking landscapes.
Ollantaytambo Market: Immerse yourself in the local culture by strolling through the vibrant Ollantaytambo market. Here, you can witness the daily life of the community and purchase handmade crafts, textiles, and traditional Peruvian souvenirs.
Paseo de los Artesanos: This artisan alley is a haven for those seeking authentic handmade goods. From alpaca wool textiles to intricate pottery, Paseo de los Artesanos showcases the craftsmanship that has been passed down through generations.
Is Ollantaytambo Town Worth It?
Absolutely. Ollantaytambo offers a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. Its status as one of the few remaining Inca towns provides a rare opportunity to step back in time and appreciate the legacy of this remarkable civilization. Whether you’re an avid history enthusiast, a nature lover, or simply seeking a tranquil escape, Ollantaytambo town is a gem waiting to be discovered. The fusion of ancient charm and modern accessibility makes it a destination well worth exploring, leaving visitors with memories etched in the stones of this living Incan heritage.