If you’re planning to travel to Ollantaytambo, here are some tips to help you make the most of your visit:
- Plan Sufficient Time: Ollantaytambo has a lot to offer, so make sure to allocate enough time to explore the town and its surrounding attractions. A day trip may not be enough to fully experience everything, so consider spending at least a couple of days in the area.
- Acclimatize to the Altitude: Ollantaytambo is located at an altitude of around 2,800 meters (9,200 feet). If you’re arriving from a lower altitude, it’s important to give yourself time to acclimatize and adjust to the thinner air. Take it easy on your first day, drink plenty of water, and avoid heavy physical exertion until your body has adapted.
- Dress in Layers: The weather in Ollantaytambo can be unpredictable, with temperatures varying throughout the day. It’s a good idea to dress in layers, so you can adjust your clothing accordingly. Additionally, pack a waterproof jacket or umbrella, as rain showers are common, especially during the rainy season (November to March).
- Stay Hydrated: Due to the high altitude, it’s crucial to stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to prevent altitude sickness and keep your energy levels up.
- Purchase the Boleto Turístico: To visit most of the archaeological sites in the Sacred Valley, including Ollantaytambo ruins, you’ll need to purchase the Boleto Turístico (Tourist Ticket). This ticket grants you access to multiple sites and is valid for several days. Check the ticket options and prices to choose the one that best suits your needs.
- Consider Booking a Local Guide: Hiring a knowledgeable local guide can greatly enhance your experience in Ollantaytambo. They can provide historical and cultural insights, explain the significance of the sites, and take you off the beaten path to hidden gems. Guides are available for hire at the entrance of the main archaeological sites.
- Book Machu Picchu Tickets in Advance: Ollantaytambo is a popular starting point for those visiting Machu Picchu. If you plan to visit the iconic Inca citadel, make sure to book your Machu Picchu tickets well in advance, as they often sell out quickly. You’ll need to take a train from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Pueblo) and then continue to Machu Picchu from there.
- Be Mindful of Local Customs: Respect the local culture and customs while visiting Ollantaytambo. It’s advisable to dress modestly, particularly when visiting sacred sites or interacting with indigenous communities. Ask for permission before taking photos of locals, and always be polite and friendly in your interactions.
By following these tips, you’ll be well-prepared to enjoy your time in Ollantaytambo and make the most of your visit to this beautiful and historically significant destination.