Historic Ollantaytambo, Cusco, Peru

Ollantaytambo is a popular tourist destination in the Sacred Valley of the Incas between Cusco and Machu Picchu. Despite crowds of tourists, Ollantaytambo’s impressive Incan ruins are worth exploring.

From Pisac, in August 2016, Xindi, Lina and myself followed the French traveller in and out multiple buses before eventually arriving to Ollantaytambo. Like Pisac, entrance to Ollantaytambo’s ruins is included in the main Boleto Turistica del Cusco (Cusco Tourist Ticket).

Ollantaytambo Street Drain

Ollantaytambo town’s Incan streets still have drains running through them

Ollantaytambo Crowds and Ruins

Tourist crowds in the archaeological site above Ollantaytambo town

Sitting at Ollantaytambo

Relaxing away from the hordes

Ollantaytambo

Ollantaytambo’s complex extends over a large area

View from Ollantaytambo to Pinkuylluna, Inca storehouses

Across the valley opposite the main archaeological site lie Incan storehouses, called pinkuylluna

The hillsides around Ollantaytambo contain ruins of pinkuylluna, Incan storehouses. These buildings stored agricultural crops, including grain, quinoa, corn and potatoes. The storehouses’ exposed and elevated nature assisted preservation by allowing cool air to flow through.

Alpacas Grazing at Ollantaytambo

Alpacas grazing on grass nearby Ollantaytambo’s ruins

Pinkuylluna, Inca storehouses near Ollantaytambo

Pinkuylluna (Incan storehouses) in the late afternoon light

The storehouses opposite the main ruins can be visited although access to the paths leading to them closes before sunset.

Ollantaytambo’s historic town has a lovely atmosphere and many accommodation options. For future Sacred Valley of the Incas visits I would seriously consider using Ollantaytambo as a base to explore the region.

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