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Ollantaytambo Peru

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Ollantaytambo Peru

The town is pronounced oy-yahn-tietahm-bo but everyone calls it Ollanta for short. It was named for Ollantay, the Inca general who expanded the frontiers of Tawantinsuyo as far north as Colombia and as far south as Argentina during the reign of the Inca Pachacutec. The general asked for the hand of the emperor´s daughter, a request Pachacutec refused. Accomplished though Ollantay was, he was atill a commoner. The general rebelled against the ruler and was imprisoned. Ollantay´s love may have met a bad end, but yours will not when you glimpse the stone streets and houses, mountain scenery, some of the most lush territory in the valley, and great ruins.

Fortress of Ollantaytambo Peru.

Walk above the town to a ormidable stone structure where massive terraces climb to the peak. It was the valley´s main defense against the anatis from the neighboring rain forests. Construction began during the reign of Pachacutec but was not mined in this part of the valley. The elaborate walled complex contained a temple to the sun, used for astronomical observation, as well as the Baños de la Ñusta (ceremonial princess baths), leading archaeologists to believe that Ollantaytambo Peru existed for more than defensive purposes.

The fortress was the site of the greatest Inca victory over the Spanish during the wars of conquest. The Manco Inca fled here in 1537 with a contingent of troops after the disastrous loss at Sacsayhuamán and routed Spanish forces under Hernando Pizarro. The victory was short-lived: Pizarro regrouped and took the fortress.


Getting there

By bus

To get from Cusco to Ollantaytambo, you´ll need to change buses at the terminal in Urubamba. Buses from Cusco to Ollantaytambo drop passengers at the main square in the old town, about a kilometer (a half mile) from the ruins.

From Ollantaytambo to Cusco, buses depart from Avenida Estación, the main street leading away from the rail terminal. Colectivo cars will go directly from Ollantaytambo to Cusco for just a few soles more and are at the main square or outside the train station.


By taxi

Taxis from Ollantaytambo to Cusco, and from Cusco to Ollantaytambo generally charge USD 20 each way.


Where to stay in Ollantaytambo Peru

  • La Casona de Yucay. If you´re looking from where to stay in Ollantaytambo and what to learn something more about history, this is the place. The 1810 home of Manuel de Orihuela hosted South American liberator Simon Bolivar, and you can stay in Room 136 where he slept during his 1825 visit. Spacious rooms contain colonial-style furnishings and are arranged in blocks around four courtyards, lush with flowered gardens.
  • Sonesta Posada del Inca Valle Sagrado. In the heart of the Sacred Valley is this 300-year-old former convent (monastery). The cobblestone walkways are the perfect complement to the well-preserved colonial era church on the grounds. The rooms, with tile floors, wood ceilings, and han-carved headboards, have balconies that overlook the gardens or the terraced hillsides. A few rooms have access for people with disabilities, a rarity in this part of the country, but they must be reserved in advance. The restaurant has excellent regional fare and a popular Sunday lunch prefer modern.

In addition to the hotels, we make a list of more places where to stay in Ollantaytambo:

  • Hostal Las Orquídeas, which has clean and simple rooms with a shared bathroom around a courtyard for USD 20
  • Hostal la Ñusta, carretera Ocobamba, a clean and friencly place with good views from the balcony. Rooms are USD10 per person with shared bathroom.
  • Also worth a look if the town is getting full is Hostal Muna Tika, Av. Estación s/n, with pleasant, simple double rooms for USD 25, Seven of the nineteen rooms have private bathrooms, the others are USD 14 per person.
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