Ollantaytambo is a small town located in the Sacred Valley of Peru, known for its well-preserved Inca ruins and charming atmosphere. There are several things to see and do in Ollantaytambo that will give you a glimpse into the region’s rich history and natural beauty. Here are some recommendations:
- Ollantaytambo Ruins: Explore the impressive Ollantaytambo ruins, which served as both a temple and a fortress during the Inca civilization. The site features massive terraces, intricate stonework, and a breathtaking view of the surrounding valley.
- Temple Hill: Climb the steep stone steps to reach the top of Temple Hill. From there, you can appreciate panoramic views of Ollantaytambo, the surrounding mountains, and the Inca ruins. It’s a great spot for photography and soaking in the beauty of the area.
- Pinkuylluna Mountain Granaries: Take a short hike to the Pinkuylluna Mountain Granaries, located on the hillside opposite the main ruins. These ancient storehouses were used by the Incas to store crops and goods. The trail offers great views of Ollantaytambo and the surrounding landscapes.
- Ollantaytambo Town: Explore the narrow cobblestone streets of Ollantaytambo town, known for its well-preserved Inca-era architecture. Wander through the local market, visit the central plaza, and immerse yourself in the town’s traditional atmosphere.
- Pumamarca Ruins: If you’re up for more exploration, consider visiting the nearby Pumamarca ruins. This lesser-known archaeological site features terraces, a ceremonial center, and stunning views of the surrounding countryside. It’s a relatively quiet and peaceful site, offering a chance to connect with the ancient past.
- Local Community Visits: Ollantaytambo is home to several indigenous communities that still maintain their traditional way of life. Consider arranging a visit to one of these communities to learn about their customs, traditions, and artisanal crafts.
- Outdoor Activities: The Sacred Valley is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. You can go hiking, mountain biking, or horseback riding through the stunning landscapes. There are also opportunities for whitewater rafting on the Urubamba River or zip-lining across the valley.
- Maras and Moray: These two fascinating archaeological sites are located within driving distance of Ollantaytambo. Maras features thousands of salt pans used for salt production, while Moray showcases unique Inca circular terraces. Consider visiting these sites on a day trip from Ollantaytambo.
Remember to check the opening hours and admission fees for the archaeological sites in advance. Additionally, consider hiring a knowledgeable local guide who can provide you with historical and cultural insights during your visit.