Uncover the Secrets of the Ollantaytambo Ruins

Uncover the Secrets of the Ollantaytambo Ruins

OllantaytamboUncover the Secrets of the Ollantaytambo Ruins –¬†Ollantaytambo is situated at the northwest end of the Incan Sacred Valley.It is a village, an ancient Inca temple, and fortress in Peru. It lies about 60 miles (95 km) north of Cuzco and becomes home to some of the well-preserved Inca ruins in Peru.

OllantaytamboOllantaytambo was Emperor Pachacuti’s estate who built the town and the ceremonial center. The leader of the Inca resistance, Manco Inca Yupanqui used it as a fortress during the Spanish conquest in Peru. It has the distinction of being the only location in Peru where the Inca drove the Spanish army out in 1536. However The Spanish came back with more forces then the Inca retreated to Vilcabamba.

OllantaytamboAlthough they were also important strategically, the ruins at Ollantaytambo are mostly of religious significance. Constructed in the 1400’s, the Temple Hill (the large Inca fortress), and the Temple of the Sun with its monolithic stones soar above the cobbled streets of the town. Ancient symbol-like signs in relief still adorn those huge stones. The complex includes a stepped terrace and an location known as the Princess Baths where ceremonial bathing took place.

Ollantaytambo 200 stepsClimbing up the 200 steps to the top offers a visitor a close up look at the remains of some temples and fountains. These local to the area like to point out the Inca face which is carved into the cliff above the valley.

Ollantaytambo warehousesThe Inca constructed some warehouses out of fieldstones on the hills surrounding Ollantaytambo. Their area at high altitudes, where there is lower temperatures and more wind, protected their contents against decay.

Wall of the Six MonolithsKnown as the Wall of the Six Monoliths, the towering wall stands directly in front of the Temple Hill terraces. This construction was never completed for unknown reasons. It is notable since the distance the Incan had to move the huge stones. They used some special techniques to move these stones from a mine high on the mountainside on the Rio Urubamba’s opposite side, across the river and up to the location where it now stands, a distance of 3.7 miles (6 km).

The old town of OllantaytamboThe old town of Ollantaytambo is below the ruins. It is one of the best examples of Inca town planning and lies on top of Inca foundations. The cobblestone streets which are lined by adobe walls, are kept in genuine shape. Canals carry on bringing water to the town from the mountains. This town itself is divided into blocks or canchas. Each cancha was home to some families, and those homes featured access to a main courtyard. Several families continue to live in the home of their ancestor and have small shops in the courtyard. Ollantaytambo is such a traditional town, yet the locals clothed in their brightly colored native dress. They do not mind the visitors taking pictures or walking through their little town.


OllantaytamboOllantaytambo is one of the sites often visited when hiking along the Inca Trail and is one of the most popular tourist sites in Peru. Even if one is not interested in archaeology or ruins itself, a visit to this location becomes impressive just for the sights from the top of the terraces.

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