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Peru: Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley

By on March 30, 2017

After our visit to Písac, the next stop was Ollantaytambo, another village in the Urubamba Valley on the way to Machu Picchu. The village is at the foot of the ruins that has an important Inca temple. We, unfortunately, didn’t get a chance to explore the village beyond the little market around the entry point. It is a popular site to visit and there is quite a bit of confusion at this entry point. Stick close to your guide who probably has your tickets if you are using one. Hopefully, once you have had your turn at the ruins you can get some free time to explore the village beyond. Maybe even make this your only destination for the day. It’s only a 72 Km bus ride from Cusco There is more than enough to hike and things to see for at least half a day.

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The ruins of Ollantaytambo are impressive much like everything else around here. Huge, steep steps lead up the side of the mountains around the village. This was our first intro into climbing in the high altitude. I had to stop a few times to catch my breath. Fortunately, there are a few stops as the guide explained some of the surrounding areas and the view. There are multiple terraces common to most of the architecture of the Inca people leading up to the Sun Temple. There is a large stone alter at the top that remains unfinished. According to our guide, the Spanish interrupted the building of this ceremonial site. He also said that all the stones used here came from another valley over one of the mountains. I can’t imagine how they moved stones without machinery miles and miles.

Ollantaytambo Sun Temple Stone

The unfinished center stone of the Sun Temple. Unfortunately hard to see the design.

I poked around the temple area for a bit however much like Písac, I didn’t go too far into the ruins due to time restrictions. There were what looked to be lots of hiking trails leading deeper into the surrounding hills and there were grain storage house sites built high up on the other side of the valley.

Ollantaytambo Granaries

Granaries on the other side of the village valley.

Hope you enjoyed the photos. Until next time, Happy Travels.

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Jeffrey & Michelle
Canada

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