City Spotlight: Ollantaytambo, Peru

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Ollantaytambo, Peru

January 2016

 Situated in the Sacred Valley, this Inca town is one of the last areas you can drive to on the road to Machu Picchu.

Length of visit: 1 day

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 Lodging: Kamma Guest House

We found this guest house on Booking.com and are so glad that we did! It’s perfectly situated in town, and at the base of the Pinkuylluna mountain. Our room was small but perfectly fine for our needs, and everything was clean and quiet. We had big shutter windows to open and look down the street. The best part of the guest house was the dining area on top of the guest house in a glass sunroom. Beautiful views of the valley!  We missed breakfast, but they packed snacks for us to take on the train to Macchu Picchu.  As an added bonus, we were able to arrange transport from Cusco to our guest house through the hotel.  It was a private drive, and round trip it was about $40.  We could have done it cheaper ourselves, of course, but we didn’t want to waste any time with trying to sort out transit between cities. I would absolutely recommend it again.

Can’t Miss Sights, Tours, and Experiences

+ First thing first, just enjoy the views in this town. It’s small, and surprisingly not completely overrun with tourists, so enjoy the views of the ruins and the Inca architecture.

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+ The Fortress of Ollantaytambo is a sight not to be missed.  During the Inca Empire, Ollantaytambo was the royal estate of Emperor Pachacuti, who conquered the region, and this fortress was his stronghold. It will also give  you a taste of those terraced farming areas. The views from the top of the fortress are, of course, breathtaking.

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+ We took some time to climb Pinkuylluna next to the guest house, and were able to get up close to the granaries on the side of the mountain. It was a harrowing trek, but with lots of sunscreen and water, completely worth it.

Good Eats

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+ The only restaurant we went to in Ollanta was Uchucuta Restaurant which had great reviews.  The food was very good – L was able to get a tasty vegetarian dish, and I got meat skewers and was able to try alpaca (overrated).  Also, pisco sours were plentiful!  The service was only so-so, but all in all, we were glad to have eaten here.

Overall

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Ollantaytambo was so great to explore for a day.  You have the opportunity to touch history, exert yourself physically, and take in all of the country’s natural beauty while you do it.  I absolutely recommend making a stop here for anyone en route to Machu Picchu.

 

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