With incredible scenery, breathtaking views, exciting walks, adventure activities and historic ruins, the Sacred Valley is one of the best places to visit on your trip to Machu Picchu in Cusco. This valley full of beauty begins 32 kilometers from Cusco, offers extreme experiences, or some days of relaxation in one of its serene and quiet villages; But others, like Pisac or Ollantaytambo, offer you a unique cultural experience.
If you already have the Machu Picchu Tickets in your possession, you should know that Ollantaytambo is a mandatory city to reach Machu Picchu by train; Once here, you can not miss the opportunity to see its amazing structures, are one of the best prior to the visit to the Inca City.
Archaeological center of Ollantaytambo
Where is Ollantaytambo?
It is at the opposite end of the village of Pisac, 80 km from Cusco; The space of the archaeological complex is confused with the people, since many of the Inca channels still remain in use until today. It is reached by the highway Chinchero – Urubamba, or by train (km 68). It is 2,700 meters high, and houses some of the most amazing Inca buildings in the whole valley.
What does Ollantaytambo mean?
The word Ollantaytambo is derived from the word “ulla-nta-wi”, which means “place to look down”; The word “tambo” was added later. In Quechua culture, the name comes from the word Ollanta, the name of an Inca captain, whose love story passed from mouth to mouth, from one generation to the next, since the time of the Incas; Was written as the drama “Ollantay”, by a priest from Urubamba named Antonio Valdez. The Spanish derivation of the Quechua word “tambo”, means “city that provides lodging, food and comfort to the travelers”.
Archaeological complex of Ollantaytambo
Visit the majestic ruins of the village of Ollantaytambo, in the heart of the Sacred Valley of the Incas. The archaeological complex of Ollantaytambo was military, religious and agricultural center. This fabulous architectural setting is exceptionally interesting due to the size, originality and detail of its structures.
The Royal House of the Sun
The Royal House of the Sun is formed by 17 very wide superposed terraces, and oriented towards the main Plaza of the town; Another upper group of Andenes, crosses transversally against the previous group and is much higher.
The Choqana Fort
Choqana is a Quechua word that means “where it is dropped or thrown”; And was a barracks (pucara) located 2 kilometers from Ollantaytambo, to the left of the banks of the Urubamba river. It served as administrative center, checkpoint and strong; Had (have) provision of water, food stores and monitoring stations.
The Square Mañay Raqay or “K’uychipunku”
Mañay (order) and Raqay (shed); Can be translated as the Place of Petitions. It is the name of the Inca square of Ollantaytambo, it remains until today and it is located to the right side of Patakancha stream, just next to the entrance to the ruins is of rectangular form, its walls present many vain, possibly doors.
The temple of the Sun
Although it is almost completely destroyed, it is still very impressive; Immovable pieces make up a beautiful monolith, this one had to endure the onslaught of the extirpadores of idolatries and looters of treasures. It was the western wall of the Temple of the Sun, formed by 6 huge rocks with slats that are coupled with incredible accuracy. It is one of the most beautiful pieces of the enclosure.
The Monumental Front and the 10 Niches Enclosure
It is the terrace (platform) at the end of the upper group of platforms, in La Real Casa del Sol; The walls are constituted by two stone canvases, which form a room. During the time of the conquest, this enclosure was demolished, the outer wall and the one that held the door of entrance are incomplete; Although the bases of these still remain, being able to notice how the cupboards were inside and not in the open like today.
The bathroom of the Ñusta
It is a beautiful fountain with three waterfalls carved inside it; These were known as liturgical sources and could be found in the main cities of the empire during the time of the Incas.
In Ollantaytambo we find groups of parallel platforms, with formidable facades inclined towards the hill with steps that leave embedded in the walls, can be seen at a great distance.
How to buy the Tourist Ticket to enter Ollantaytambo?
The Tourist Ticket of Cusco can be purchased at the Tourist Ticket offices, located at Av. El Sol, or at the Plaza de Armas del Cusco. You can buy the Full Ticket or a partial Ticket by choosing a certain group of places that you want to visit. Keep in mind that buying tickets for each site separately represents a higher expense.
- Opening Hours: 7:00 am to 6:00 pm, every day of the week..
- Note: Try to arrive early in the morning, so avoid tourist groups that start arriving from 11am.
By Ticket Machu Picchu – Last Update, 05-15-2017