Importante tips about how to geat to Ollantaytambo: Ollantaytambo can be reached by our transfer from Cusco, Urubamba and Chinchero. It is also one of the principal stations for catching the train to Machu Picchu; see page for details. You won't be allowed on the station unless you have previously bought a ticket for the train; the gates are locked and only those with tickets can enter. An about the archaeoligical complex we presents, details about this amazing place stock in time
When Manco Inca decided to rebel against the Spaniards in 1536, he fell back to Ollantaytambo from Calca to stage one of the greatest acts of resistance to theconquistadores. Hernando Pizarro led his troops to the foot of the Inca's stronghold and, on seeing how well-manned and fortified the place was, described it as "a thing of horror". Under fierce fire, Pizarro's men failed to capture Manco and retreated to Cusco, but Manco could not press home anyadvantage. In 1537, feeling vulnerable to further attacks, he left Ollantaytambo for Vilcabamba. When you visit Ollantaytambo you will be confronted by a series of 16 massive, stepped terraces of the very finest stonework, after crossing the great high-walled trapezoidal esplanade known as Mañariki. Beyond these imposing terraces lies the so-called Temple of Ten Niches, a funeral chamber once dedicated to the worship of Pachacútec's royal household. Immediately above this are six monolithic upright blocks of rose-coloured rhyolite, the remains of what is popularly called theTemple of the Sun. The dark grey stone is embellished today with bright orange lichen. You can either descend by the route you came up, or follow the terracing round to the left (as you face the town) and work your way down to the Valley of the Patacancha. Here are more Inca ruins in the small area between the town and the temple fortress, behind the church. Most impressive is the >Baño de la Ñusta (Bath of the Princess), a grey granite rock, about waist high, beneath which is the bath itself. The front of the boulder, over which the water falls, was delicately finished with a three-stepped pyramid, making a relief arch over the pool.
If you are visiting Ollantaytambo, begin your tour at Catcco museum (Centro Andino de Tecnología Tradicional y Cultural de las Comunidades de Ollantaytambo), which houses a fine ethnographical collection. Its information centre gives tips on day hikes, things to see and places to dine and stay. Local guides are available for tours of the town and surrounding areas. Outside the museum, Catcco runs non-profit cultural programmes, temporary exhibitions, concerts and lectures. Also on site is a ceramics workshop, a textile revitalization programme and an educational theatre project. Ceramics and textiles are sold in the museum shop. The museum has internet access. Note the canal down the middle of the street outside the museum. A two-dimensional 'pyramid' has been identified on the west side of the main ruins of Ollantaytambo. Its discoverers, Fernando and Edgar Elorietta, claim it is the real Pacaritambo, from where the four original Inca brothers emerged to found their empire (this alternative Inca creation myth, the Inn of Origin, tells of four brothers and four sisters emerging from a cave in a cliff). Whether this is the case or not, it is still a first-class piece of engineering with great terraced fields and a fine 750-m wall creating the optical illusion of a pyramid. The wall is aligned with the rays of the winter solstice, on 21 June. People gather at mid-winter dawn to watch this event. The mysterious 'pyramid', which covers 50 to 60 ha, can be seen properly from the other side of the river. This is a pleasant, easy one-hour walk, west from the Puente Inca, just outside the town. You'll also be rewarded with great views of the Sacred Valley and the river, with the snowy peaks of the Verónica massif as a backdrop.
The stone quarries of Cachiccata are some 9 km from Ollantaytambo. Standing to the left of the six monolithic blocks of the Temple of the Sun, you can see them, looking west-southwest across the sacred valley. The stones that the Inca masons chose here had to be quarried, hewn into a rough shape and hauled across the valley floor and up to the temple by means of a ramp, which can still be seen. Between the ruins and the quarries more than 50 enormous stones that never reached their destination lie abandoned. They are known as the ' las piedras cansadas', or 'the tired stones'. It takes about a day to walk to the Inca quarries on the opposite of the river and return to Ollantaytambo. At Pinkuylluna Hill, on the western edge of Ollantaytambo, is an impressive collection of storehouses, or qolqas, sometimes referred to as prisons. It's a relatively straightforward climb up the mountain, although there are some difficult stretches. Allow two to three hours going up. The path is difficult to make out, so it's best not to go on your own.