Ollantaytambo is a town and Inca archaeological site located in the Sacred Valley of Peru, approximately 60 kilometers northwest of Cusco. The site was built during the Inca Empire and served as a religious, administrative, and military center. Ollantaytambo is known for its impressive stone structures, including its terraced walls, fortress, and Temple of the Sun.
Today, Ollantaytambo is a popular tourist destination and a starting point for those traveling to Machu Picchu. Visitors can explore the ruins of the site, hike in the surrounding mountains, and learn about the culture and history of the Inca civilization. The town itself is also a charming destination, with cobblestone streets, traditional houses, and a bustling market.
The best time to visit Ollantaytambo is during the dry season, which runs from May to September. During these months, the weather is generally sunny and dry, making it ideal for exploring the Inca ruins and hiking in the mountains. The rainy season in Ollantaytambo runs from November to March; during this time, the area can experience heavy rainfall and occasional flooding. While the rain can make for beautiful landscapes and fewer tourists, it can also make hiking and exploring the ruins more difficult and muddy. Overall, if you want to experience Ollantaytambo at its best, visiting during the dry season is recommended.
There are plenty of things to do in Ollantaytambo, both in the town and the surrounding area. Here are some ideas:
Overall, Ollantaytambo offers plenty of adventure, culture, and relaxation opportunities.
If you are planning to visit Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley, here are some recommendations to make the most of your trip:
Overall, Ollantaytambo is a beautiful and unique destination with plenty to offer visitors. Following these recommendations can make the most of your trip and create unforgettable memories.
Ollantaytambo has a rich and fascinating history that dates back to the Inca Empire. It was a strategic location for the Incas, serving as a religious and military center.
The town was named after an Inca warrior named Ollantay, who was in love with a princess named Cusi Coyllur. The couple’s love story is immortalized in a play called “Ollantay,” considered one of the most important literary works from the Inca era.
During the reign of the Inca emperor Pachacuti, Ollantaytambo was expanded and developed into a major center for agricultural production and a military stronghold. It was strategically located at the Sacred Valley entrance, making it an essential stop on the Inca Trail.
When the Spanish arrived in Peru in the 16th century, Ollantaytambo was among the last Inca strongholds to fall to the conquistadors. In 1536, the Inca leader Manco Inca launched a rebellion against the Spanish, and Ollantaytambo was a key site of resistance. Although the Incas were eventually defeated, the town remained an important center of agriculture and textiles during the colonial period.
Today, Ollantaytambo is a popular tourist destination and a testament to the ingenuity and skill of the Inca civilization. Visitors can explore the town’s narrow streets, marvel at the impressive stone structures of the Inca ruins, and learn about the history and culture of this fascinating region of Peru.
The name “Ollantaytambo” comes from the Quechua language, which the Inca people spoke. The name is believed to have two parts: “Ollantay” and “Tambo”.
“Ollantay” is the name of a legendary Inca warrior who is said to have lived in the area. His story is immortalized in the Inca play “Ollantay,” which tells the tale of his forbidden love for a princess named Cusi Coyllur.
“Tambo” means “resting place” or “inn” in Quechua. It refers to the fact that Ollantaytambo was an important stopping point on the Inca Trail, where travelers could rest and find supplies before continuing their journey.
So, Ollantaytambo can be translated as “the resting place of Ollantay,” reflecting the town’s historical and cultural significance in Inca times.
The exact date of when Ollantaytambo was built is not known, but it is believed to have been constructed during the late 15th century by the Inca Emperor Pachacuti. It was expanded and developed into a major center for agricultural production and a military stronghold during his reign.
The town was strategically located at the entrance to the Sacred Valley and served as an essential stop on the Inca Trail. The Inca Empire flourished during this time, and Ollantaytambo played a crucial role in its growth and development.
Today, Ollantaytambo is recognized as one of the best-preserved examples of Inca urban planning and architecture, with many of its original stone structures still standing. Its historical and cultural significance has made it a popular tourist destination, attracting visitors from all over the world.
Many great restaurants in Ollantaytambo offer a variety of delicious Peruvian dishes. Here are some of the best ones to check out:
No matter where you choose to eat in Ollantaytambo, you’re sure to enjoy the delicious food and warm hospitality this charming town offers.
Ollantaytambo is located in the Sacred Valley of Peru, about 60 kilometers northwest of Cusco. There are several ways to get to Ollantaytambo:
No matter how you choose to get to Ollantaytambo, the journey itself is part of the experience, as you’ll be treated to stunning views of the Andes Mountains and the Sacred Valley along the way.