When most people think of a Peru trip, they think of green hillsides and lush flora; however, there stands a place on a rocky hillside that seems to have been kept in the past, and kept pristine. Ollantaytambo is a sought-after destination for history and cultural buffs as well as anyone who enjoys connection to ancient civilizations when they travel.
Ollantaytambo Tumbles You Through Time
Ollantaytambo sits about 3,000 ft above sea level; it is an Inca archeological spot that is located 45 minutes away from the Peruvian city of Cusco; which is one of the most visited and toured cities in Peru. Ollantaytambo rolls you seemingly back in time, catapulting you back to the celestial space of antediluvian Andean culture.
Living Testament of the Incas
Ollantaytambo is known as one of the last “living testaments” of the Incas in Peru because Ollantaytambo was built upon Incan fundamentals and groundworks. The Incan irrigation system still works and water runs through stone canals on the sides of streets. Ollantaytambo is breathtaking and historically exquisite.
With stone ruins not only gazing below their perches high on the sides of mountains; but also forms the very heart of the town. Ollantaytambo is indeed as close as anyone can possibly get to an organic and very much alive Incan town. Worth the travel time on your Peru trip.
There are plenty of things to do while visiting, including the “free ruins” which lie on the other side of the town center. The main ruins in Ollantaytambo require an admission fee to enter and overlook the town on the left hand side.
The ascending climb can often be dusty and hot; but the view of the ruins mimicks a time warp. Beautiful temples with ancient irrigation, historic technology that will leave anyone in awe. “El Puente Inca” is a ancient bridge located just below Ollantaytambo off the beaten path into town.
After crossing the bridge one will find one of the only legitimately marked hiking trails that allows for visits and views of other major ruin sites along with a few camping and extended stay areas. When you travel here, you are promised a day full of hues of green and taupes with idyllic scenery and plenty of cows grazing and soaking in the beauty right along with you.
Preparing for Ollantaytambo and Getting There
There are a few options for preparing and arriving to Ollantaytambo. One way is to take the train from Cusco, If you are budget traveling, community transportation is probably the way to go for you. You can purchase a bus ride from Cusco to Urubamba in the Sacred Valley for around $1.30. Buses run from early in the morning to around 9 pm.
Once you’ve reached Urubamba you can find minivans for different destinations including Calca and Ollantaytambo. The one for Ollantaytambo costs very little; around $.50. When in Ollantaytambo, one can find hostels almost anywhere one looks. Budget hostels in Peru range from about $5 to $6.50 and go up in prices from there. You should be able to find a place the day of so if you weren’t able to book ahead of time, no sweat; unless visiting during the high traffic season-June-August.
Ollantaytambo is a place the feels much like a worm hole in time. It is a perfect travel getaway for any history buff or anyone who find romance in ancient things on their Peru trip. Outside of the flight this destination has very low expense, great for anybody with wanderlust and a budget. The day belongs to Ollantaytambo, like it has for hundreds of years.