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The Archaeological Complex of Ollantaytambo

The Archaeological Complex of Ollantaytambo, located in the district of the same name, in the province of Urubamba, is a very popular tourist attraction with thousands of visitors per year. You might think that it is due to the fact that it is a stop on the way to Machu Picchu, but that is far from true.

The site boasts an almost intact Inca urban planning and that is something that attracts a lot of attention from tourists. It can even be said that it is one of the reasons why this stop takes longer than necessary.

How do you get to Ollantaytambo?
There are two ways to get to Ollantaytambo: by the Chinchero highway or by train. To get to the Ollantaytambo PeruRail Station (train) you can take a bus, taxi or private service from downtown Cusco and would be arriving in approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes. Of course, the ideal situation would be to take the train at a previous station to enjoy the full experience.

What are the places to visit in the Archaeological Center of Ollantaytambo?
The main places to visit within the archaeological complex are:

The terraces or “andenes” is the first thing you see when you arrive in Ollantaytambo. This grouping of terraces is located on the side of the mountain and is large enough to distinguish them from a great distance.

Intihuatana of Ollantaytambo
It is an Inca sundial located on a vertical slope above the Temple of the Sun and was used as an observatory, since it is an axis on which the sun fixes its position throughout the year in order to continue with agricultural planning. It is a high wall with security holes up to 80 cm deep on its sides.

It is worth mentioning that the sun was the most important divinity of Tahuantinsuyo and hence many of its constructions were based on it.

Royal House of the Sun
The Royal House of the Sun, as all of Ollantaytambo, still preserves the urban layout of the Inca era. It consists of 17 superimposed terraces, a series of straight and wide terraces that overlook the main square and the side of the town.

The Temple of the Sun
The complex was almost completely destroyed, and its remains consist of huge blocks of pink granite, some of which weighed 67 tons. The remaining immobile parts constitute a stone canvas that, due to its solidity, volume and form of assembly, resisted the attacks of the thieves of Inca idols and repelled the looters.

Although it is not complete, it is still one of the most surprising sections for visitors. The monoliths still standing give an idea of how imposing this part of the complex was in its best years, something similar to what we can see in the Coricancha.

The Monumental Cover and the Enclosure of the 10 Niches
It is the last of the upper group of terraces of the Royal House of the Sun, where the entire wall is made up of two stone canvasses that form a kind of enclosure. To this day, the enclosure is incomplete, we can only find the foundations, and it is because it was demolished at the time of the conquest.

The Bath of the Ñusta
The Bath of the Ñusta or Bath of the Princess is a beautiful fountain with three water outlets running parallel to each other. A masterpiece of the Incas, as they were experts in hydraulic engineering. We can easily see this in all their temples; places where water plays a very important role.

How to buy a tourist ticket to Ollantaytambo?
The Cusco Tourist Ticket is required, and this can be obtained in two places:

-Av. El Sol 103, Cusco (Galerías Turísticas Of. 101)
-At the entrances of the archaeological sites (Ollantaytambo, etc.)

Remember that you can choose a full or partial Tourist Ticket, so it will depend on the attractions you want to visit. The general recommendation is to get a full ticket, since it usually costs more to buy a separate one for each place.

Did everything you can find in Ollantaytambo amaze you? Then, don’t think about it anymore and venture on the journey! Our PeruRail Vistadome train offers a different way of traveling and the Ollantaytambo stop is no exception. Buy your train tickets here!

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