Ollantaytambo Tourist Attractions
Ollantaytambo is at the eastern end of the Sacred Valley. The valley is narrower here than at Urubamba or Pisac, with the mountains closer on each side, making for a more dramatic setting.Nestled at the foot of an ancient Inca site, the small town of Ollantaytambo, population 2,000, is the most beautiful town in the Sacred Valley. The cobble stone streets and main plaza give the place an anient feel. The town is set higher up from the main highway, and built on uneven ground. Stone stairways are beautifully framed by stone arches.Ollantaytambo is also well set up for visitors, with many restaurants and outdoor patios. It is easy to spend a day or more here, with a half day spent touring the ruins and the rest of the day spent exploring the town and soaking up the atmosphere.Ollantaytambo is one of only two places in the Sacred Valley to catch the train to Aguas Calientes at the base of Machu Picchu. While most people take the train from Cusco directly to Aguas Calientes, it is a shorter and less expensive train ride from Ollantaytambo.
Ruins and Fortress
Towering above the town of Ollantaytambo is the huge Inca fortress of Ollantaytambo. Steep stone terraces rising from the edge of town lead up to the fortress ruins at the top of the hill. A stone stairway leads up through the terrace walls, allowing visitors to step out on the terraced walls.Ollantaytambo was both a fortress and temple. The temple area is immediately above the terracing. It was still being built at the time the Spanish conquered the area, and remains unfinished. The stones for Ollantaytambo were taken from a nearby quarry on the mountainside on the opposite bank of the river. It is possible to visit the quarry on a 6 km hike from Ollantaytambo, beginning at the Inca Bridge in the village.
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