Write us

Carnivals in Ollantaytambo

10 March 2014 (2472 reads)

Carnivals in Ollantaytambo

The carnivals in Ollantaytambo are different, 'cause children are licensed to drench each other with water bombs. The custom dates back to pre-Inca times, and is related to the planting of crops. And the traditionally men woke their sweethearts with a bucketful of water, and later in the day the women retaliated with sneak attacks. That impresses every tourist.


Though some adults still indulge, today the sprinklings are mostly confined to children, avenging playground grudges and settling rivalries between siblings. Occasionally tourists are caught in the crossfire, or mistaken for a favourite uncle (fare game).

At my hotel, Rosa, the owner’s daughter was waging a stealthy war against Jose, the boy who helped his parents run the restaurant up the street. Both were in their early teens and had reached the age when this might be their final year to fight in the annual water war. As seasoned veterans they both took on the roles of battlefield commanders, organizing their younger siblings and friends into ambush squads and water bomb re-loading teams.

The street and sidewalks between them were the contested area. Water-swollen plastic bags were tossed, the contents of pails and pots were thrown, and hoses let loose.

The kids’ water fights are a part of Carnaval – Festival of Joy. Other carnival and fiesta activities in January and February include the Dance of the Condors, a parade procession in masks and costumes, cattle branding, stick fights (Chiaraje), and ritual battles fought by throwing ripe fruit.

Ollantaytambo is considered the best preserved continuously inhabited Inca village. It is in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, and is a short distance from Macchu Pichu. Ollantaytambo has several impressive Inca structures including a large fortress. Most of the community is built on the foundations of Inca houses, and many original buildings remain inhabited.

The town of about 2,000 inhabitants has enough archaeological treasure to be an alternative to Machu Picchu, with the added attraction of being a living community. The stone block roads, walkways, walls, aqua-ducts, and water drains are authentically still in use.


It is the site of a significant victory by Manco Inca over the invading Spanish conquistadors. Manco Inca won the battle by manipulating the complex irrigation and aqua-duct system, flooding the battle field. The Spanish advantage of horses was turned against them as the animals bogged down in the muddy fields.

The town is a stop on the railroad from Cusco to Agua Callenties, which is the village at the base of Machu Picchu.


Book now


Pisaq Tour from Ollantaytambo

USD 85.00
If you are in Ollantaytambo and want a private tour to the impressive constructions of Pisac take the services of Hierba Buena Tours

Tour & transfer Ollantaytambo, Maras, Moray & Salineras, Chinchero

USD 75.00
Transfer to Ollantaytambo or Cusco that includes a refreshing tour to Maras, Moray and Chinchero in private service

Transfer Ollantaytambo to Cusco

USD 60.00
Private transfer in comfortable vehicles from the Ollantaytambo train station, where we will pick up you, to the airport or hotel in Cusco

Travel Blog

The Inti Raymi 2023, the magical and great festival of the kingdom of the Incas

24 May 2023

The Inti Raymi 2023, the magical and great festival of the kingdom of the Incas

It was not about an obligation or myths, it was about giving true love to the Sun God, the Inti Raymi is a festival of worship and gratitude.

read more (+)

More from Blog

Cusco says goodbye to the rains and prepares for the festivities 26 April 2023

Cusco says goodbye to the rains and prepares for the festivities

Cusco prepares for the festivities and cultural activities, saying goodbye to the refreshing rain and welcoming the sun of June, the Sun of the Incas.
From Cusco airport to Machu Picchu 31 January 2020

From Cusco airport to Machu Picchu

Take our taxi, it will take you completely comfortable from the Cusco airport to Ollantaytambo, then we board you on the train to Machu Picchu.
Ukukus: 26 years of music and art in Cusco downtown 10 January 2020

Ukukus: 26 years of music and art in Cusco downtown

Ukukus is reborn, for more than 30 years it has governed the nights of Cusco, it is the party at the end of the road, the obligatory last night in Cusco for tourists.
Rainy season tips for visit Machu Picchu 27 December 2019

Rainy season tips for visit Machu Picchu

Information on what to bring and what to do in the rainy season in Machu Picchu

Hierba Buena Tours
Urb Aprovite A-16, San Jeronimo, Cusco, Perú
Phone / WhatsApp: +51 984 763 998

We accept the following payment methods without additional charges

Tarjetas de crédito Cusco