What to do in Ollantaytambo?
Ollantaytambo is one of the most picturesque villages in Peru. There the trains towards Machu Picchu are approached for what it is obligatory stop. In addition, there is a famous archaeological site, beautiful waterfalls, an impressive lagoon and much more. What more places are there in this town?
- Basic information about Ollantaytambo
- Ruins of Ollantaytambo
- Catcco Museum
- Plaza de Armas and Church of Ollantaytambo
- Town of Ollantaytambo
- Archaeological site of Pinkuylluna
- Perolniyoc Waterfalls
- The Yanacocha lagoon
- Experiential tourism in Ollantaytambo
- Inca Trail
View of the Town of Ollantaytambo
Basic information about Ollantaytambo
First we will know some details about this peculiar town:
- Height in meters and feet: 2792 meters above sea level (9160 feet).
- Location: It is located 72 kilometers northeast of the city of Cusco in the Sacred Valley of the Incas.
- Climate: The climate is dry and rainy depending on the season of the year. The average temperature is 13ºC.
- How to get? From Cusco you get through the road through Chinchero. It takes approximately 1 hour and 50 minutes by car.
Ruins of Ollantaytambo
The main tourist attraction of Ollantaytambo is, without a doubt, its archaeological site. The structures that the Incas built there are as impressive as the buildings in Machu Picchu.
- The ruins of Ollantaytambo was a military and religious center located on a high mountain.
- The archaeological site still possesses immense Inca constructions such as the Temple of the Sun, the Monumental Cover, the Bath of the Ñusta and many others.
- There they faced the troops of the Inca rebel Manco Inca and the Spanish invaders commanded by Hernando Pizarro.
How to visit this place? The entrance to this and other tourist attractions is done with the Tourist Ticket of Cusco.
If tourists want more information about the tourist sites of Ollantaytambo, they can go to this place. There are also exhibitions of handicrafts made by the locals.
- The Catcco means Centro Andino for the Technology and Culture of the Communities of Ollantaytambo.
- This cultural site exhibits unique handmade pieces created by the residents themselves.
- In addition, the place includes a didactic exhibition about the origins of Ollantaytambo. It has a conference room for cultural events.
How to visit the Catcco? The venue is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 1.30 pm and 2p.m. at 4 pm Tourists should go to the Qosqo Ayllu sector in the same town.
Plaza de Armas de Ollantaytambo
One of the places forced to visit in Ollantaytambo is its Plaza de Armas. There are the main tourist services of the town.
- The Plaza de Armas of Ollantaytambo is the busiest point of the town. It has trees, benches and is surrounded by several cafes, bars and tourist restaurants.
- There are also the main hotels and tourist services. A short distance from the Plaza de Armas you reach the train station heading to Machu Picchu.
- Nearby there is also the Church of Santiago Apóstol, patron saint of the town.
How to get to the Plaza de Armas? The buses that cover the route Cusco – Ollantaytambo stop at the Plaza de Armas. You can also get there by walking from any part of the town.
Town of Ollantaytambo
Ollantaytambo is not just a train station to get to Machu Picchu. The town is full of Inca constructions that survive in time. Many tourists are delighted with this place.
- The town of Ollantaytambo is the only one in Peru that preserves its original Inca urban design.
- The Inca, colonial and modern structures are mixed in its streets. Walking through the town is like walking through a museum city.
- On the outskirts of the town you can also enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Vilcanota River and the Sacred Valley of the Incas.
- How to mobilize in Ollantaytambo? The town is not big. You can reach the main tourist sites on foot. It is not necessary to take a taxi there.
Streets of the Town of Ollantaytambo
Archaeological site of Pinkuylluna
The Pinkuylluna warehouses are one of the lesser-known attractions of Ollantaytambo and Cusco. They are in the middle of a steep mountain. From there you can see the whole town as a beautiful landscape.
- From any part of the town you can see some Inca constructions in the form of houses located in the narrowness of the mountain.
- These Inca structures are known as The Pinkuylluna warehouses. The Incas built these deposits to store various products such as corn, potatoes, coca and more.
- From the Pinkuylluna you can see the whole town and its surroundings. The Incas built it at that height so that the climate conserves food better.
How to get to Pinkuylluna? You can get there on foot. Only follow the road of the street ‘Qosqo Ayllu’ from the Main Square. The journey takes 20 or 30 minutes.
Ollantaytambo also offers adventure tourist attractions. The Perolniyoc falls is a natural attraction that includes a short trekking route.
- The Perolniyoc falls are a very beautiful natural attraction located on the outskirts of Ollantaytambo. You can get there on your own or through an adventure tour.
- The waterfalls have a waterfall of more than 100 meters in height. The beauty of the place is one of the favorite attractions of the locals.
- You do not need to buy an entrance ticket to visit the Perolniyoc Falls. You only need to get to the place and enjoy the beauty of the landscape.
How to get to the falls? Perolniyoc is located 30 minutes on foot from the village of Socma. You can get there by a short car trip from Ollantaytambo.
The Yanacocha lagoon
The Yanacocha lagoon is a natural attraction of great popularity in the towns around Ollantaytambo. The trekking route to this lake is also an incredible tourist activity.
- Yanacocha means ‘Black Lagoon’. This natural attraction is close to the town of Huayabamba (only 26 kilometers from Ollantaytambo).
- The color of the waters of this lagoon is black. The diameter of the lake is 240 meters. The depth, of 14 meters. The place is surrounded by a set of mountains.
- Many tourists decide to camp near the lagoon. The place is also ideal to take very good pictures.
How to get to the Yanacocha lagoon? The only way to get there is on foot. The journey begins in Huayabamba. The road takes 4 hours approximately. The income is free.
Experiential tourism in Ollantaytambo
One of the new activities in Ollantaytambo is the experiential tourism in the community of Willoq. This town preserves many of the ancient Andean traditions.
- The community of Willoq is located 45 minutes by car from Ollantaytambo. This small town is visited by tourists since 1992.
- The main customs in Willoq include the cultivation of earth and the techniques of ancestral weaving.
- There, tourists can also learn more about the lifestyle of the peasant communities of Cusco as well as their problems and joys.
How to do experiential tourism in Ollantaytambo? There are several tourist agencies that carry out this activity in Willoq. Through the internet you can get in touch and get more information.
Ollantaytambo is a must to get to Machu Picchu by train and also through the Inca Trail. This 4-day walk is considered one of the best in the world.
- The starting point to the Inca Trail is at kilometer 82 of the railway that leads to Machu Picchu. From Ollantaytambo are 15 kilometers by car (33 minutes).
- From there, tourists travel a total distance of 39.6 kilometers through ancient Inca trails to reach Machu Picchu on the morning of day 4.
- During the tour, tourists will appreciate other Inca archaeological sites such as Patallacta, Q’ente, Wiñaywayna and many more.
How to make the Inca Trail? You can only do the Inca Trail by hiring the services of a tourism agency (online). The reservation must be made 4 or 6 months in advance.
By Ticket Machu Picchu – Last updated, February 22, 2019