Exploring the Ollantaytambo ruins, the stop between Cusco and Machu Picchu
Religious, military and agricultural center of Tahuantinsuyo and later fortress of the rebel Incas, the Ollantaytambo ruins preserves in its structures one of the clearest samples of how it was lived in times of the empire.
The Ollantaytambo ruins is one of the peculiar and surprising Archaeological Parks of Peru. Due to the multiplicity of architectural types and the singularity of each of them: we have not reached the full knowledge of the techniques used in the construction of huge walls, with megalithic pieces that correspond to irregular polyhedrons in their form and excellent in their finish.
Each stone worked is an independent work of art in relation to the others, with different sides, angles and volumes.
How to get from Cusco to Ollantaytambo
Ollantaytambo is located at the western end of the Sacred Valley of the Incas. To get there, take the paved road that leads to Quillabamba. The village is in the km. 78. The train to Machu Picchu also makes a stop in the village.
It is located in the district of the same name, in the province of Urubamba, in the department of Cusco. Approximately 60 km. in a straight line northwest of the city of Cusco.
Ollantaytambo Train Station
Traveling by rail, Ollantaytambo station is at km. 68
By road via Chinchero-Urubamba the distance is 75 km .; On the road that passes through Pisaq, the distance is 93 km.
The tambos of the incanato were many, each one is singularized putting a name before the word tambo; for example, Ollantaytambo which means the Tambo de Ollanta.
What to see in Ollantaytambo
- Templo del Sol
- El fuerte de Choqekillka
- Punku Punku o Llajta Punku
- La Avenida de las Cien Hornacinas
- La plaza Mañay Raqay (Kuychipunku)
In the Temple of the Sun: gigantic blocks of red porphyry, with masterful finishing worked as if it were a soft and moldable material. In which they had to be faces of union of the pieces, appear moldings or prominences that possibly fit in grooves of the pieces with which they assembled.
Inkapintay: it is all place including the strong one has taken east name, hybrid word possibly assigned the last century, the old highway to the front in Choqana breaking the front and last part of the orogenic spur.
The Fort of Choqekillka: It was another Pukura or Barracks of characters similar to Choqana, it is conformed by precincts, incomplete aqueduct, trails and short platforms.
PunkuPunku or LlajyaPunku: located at the eastern end of the town of Ollantaytambo, where the road makes the last curve to enter it. PunkuPunku means Door of Doors and LlajtaPunku the Door of the People.
The Avenue of the Hundred Hornacinas: They call this way to the current street where pedestrians and vehicles enter after to overcome the curve of LlajtaPunku.
There are remnants of long walls with many niches or cupboards, the walls never show inclination towards the street but on the contrary in search of support in the transversal walls to give solidity to the buildings, the cupboards were located in the previous faces of the walls and not towards the street, the wall today commented is inclined towards the street and its cupboards alike, the quality of the lithic pieces and the mud mortar.
The square MañayRaqay also called Kuychipunku; Mañay means request, request raqay, is interpreted as the Plaza de las Peticiones. This square is located on the right bank of the Patakancha stream, corresponding to Araqama Ayllu, it is rectangular in shape. The walls that limit it have many doors. On the eastern side of the square runs a small arm of the Patakancha stream at the center of the western wall is the large door that allows the passage to the fortress.
Ollantaytambo things to do
Near to Ollantaytambo ruins becomes a strategic place to perform various activities, among which we can mention:
– Outdoors: Walks through the valley, mountain biking, horseback riding, paragliding, canoeing through the Vilcanota and off-road routes.
– Cultural experiences. Demonstration of Andean weavings, workshop of ceramics, theater, dances, music, stories, route chacras, Peruvian cuisine, etc.
- Pakaritampu / Av. Ferrocarril s/n / Reservas Lima: 445-2803 / [email protected]
- Hostal El Sauce / Ventidero 248 / T. (084) 20-4044 / [email protected]
- El Albergue / Al lado de la estación del tren / T. (084) 20-4014
- Ollantaytambo Lodge / Quinta Cruz Esquina s/n / T. (084)20-4141 / [email protected]
The restaurant KillaWasi owned by the hotel Sol y Luna, offers a genuine proposal of local cuisine with fresh and organic ingredients brought from the neighboring farms and the garden of the hostel. The menu has been designed by the prestigious chefs Pedro Miguel Schiaffino and Nacho Solís, who try to reflect in their dishes the value of the products of the Sacred Valley.
How can I buy the tourist ticket to enter Ollantaytambo?
The Tourist Ticket of Cusco can be purchased at the Tourist Ticket offices, located on Av. El Sol, or in the Plaza de Armas of Cusco. You can buy the Full or Partial Ticket, choosing a certain group of places you wish to visit.
Hours of operation: From 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., every day of the week.
Tourist Ticket of Cusco:
General: S / 130 soles (36 EUR or 47 USD) / Reduced: S / 70 soles (19 EUR, 25 USD)
Promotional ticket for Domestic Tourism:
General Admission: S /. 70 soles (19 EUR, 25 USD)
Reduced Rate: S /. 40 soles (11 EUR, 15 USD)
Keep in mind that buying the tickets for each site separately represents a greater expense.
Ollantaytambo History (brief review)
Manco Inca Yupanqui, also known as Manco Cápac II, was one of the more than 500 sons of HuaynaCápac and the first of the four rebellious Incas of Vilcabamba. When fleeing from the hosts of Atahualpa in Cusco, he collaborated with the Spanish conquistadors, believing that this way he would get rid of the Atahualpist troops. Although the Spaniards crowned him an Inca emperor, he did not have many privileges and was even the victim of a series of mistreatments and humiliations. On April 18, 1536, Hernando Pizarro released him on the condition that he not leave Cusco. Manco Inca gave him in exchange gold objects, silver beams and offered to bring him a real-size gold statue of Huayna Cápac. Pizarro believing him, left him free, but Manco Inca immediately enrumbed the town of Calca, where his captains were already waiting for him.
From the fortress of Ollantaytambo, in 1536, the rebellious Inca was one step away from freeing Cusco from Spanish rule. It is this citadel Manco was able to repel the attack of the pizarristas and forced to fall back to the Spanish troops. However, Manco Inca had to take refuge in Vilcabamba when he had to drop his troops because of the excessive time that the war was taking. Finally he was murdered in 1544 when he was betrayed by a group of almagristas.
This is a guide to the Ollantaytambo ruins in Peru, the stop between Cusco and Machu Picchu. If you have question ask them in the comments below. And don’t forget to pin this article!