Discover the Hidden Treasures of Ollantaytambo, Peru
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Discover the Hidden Treasures of Ollantaytambo, Peru

4 min read

Jun 14, 2017


By Jared Karp

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Last updated on March 29th, 2021 at 09:14 am

Ollantaytambo Peru: a Hidden Gem

When I think of my many travels throughout South America, I’ve found that the lesser-known destinations, can leave a long-lasting impact. This was what the town of Ollantaytambo, Peru in the Sacred Valley, was for me. From the Ollantaytambo ruins to the incredible views of the Sacred Valley, this place captured my heart. Follow along as we discover the hidden treasures of Ollantaytambo Peru.

Ollantaytambo Peru, the Gateway to Machu Picchu

When planning a trip to Peru, it is hard to imagine not going to see the splendor of Machu Picchu. Tucked away in lush green valleys, Machu Picchu is a breathtaking sight to behold. The incredible engineering and intelligent design of the ruins are astounding. It is easy to understand why Machu Picchu is a bucket list item that attracts a large number of visitors every year.

Machu Picchu on clear day

Ollantaytambo Peru acts as the gateway to anyone embarking on a Machu Picchu tour. The most convenient way to get to Machu Picchu is by train. You can catch the train from Cusco or take it from the Sacred Valley station in Ollantaytambo Peru. While many guests use Ollantaytambo as a place to get somewhere else, I encourage people to stop and enjoy the quaint town. 

Things to Do in Ollantaytambo Peru

Ollantaytambo is is simply a town and an Inca archaeological site about 2 hours northwest of Cusco. During the Incan Empire, Ollantaytambo was home to the Emperor that conquered the area and built the town and ceremonial center. Though small, this town is well worth an extra day of exploration.

Take a tour of the cobblestone streets and find local shops and artisans. You’ll also see the ruins not far from the town center. As you stroll through town, pay attention to the incredible aqueduct work.  Visit the Magic Fountain, where it is said if you swipe your finger across the fountain it will stop the flow of water.

Explore the Ollantaytambo Ruins

Ollantaytambo is surrounded by Incan ruins. Some are completely open to enjoy freely without a ticket. On the Ollantaytambo tour, you will enter the fortress but it does not allow much time to explore the town nor the ruins on the opposite mountain. The opposite side of the valley from the fortress holds ruins no less impressive and without an entrance fee or large crowd. It is a great photo opportunity and a great little hike.

ollantaytambo ruins in peru

There are plenty of ruins to see in the hills. Many look like they could have been used for housing but were in fact designed to store food. Discover Ollantaytambo on our Machu Picchu & Amazon Jungle Tour

Enjoy a Free Day in Ollantaytambo

Enjoy a full free day and overnight stay at Ollantaytambo, as there is more to see than just the ruins. There is a nice artisan market in the plaza in front of the fortress that has beautiful souvenirs.  The area is also quite beautiful and perfect to take a little hike close to town.  Take time to stroll along the cobblestone streets, explore the open ruins, walk along the river, experience the local life, and soak in the incredible energy of the area.

Spend some time there apart from the bustling crowd headed to Machu Picchu.  Wander, explore, and let your plans fall by the wayside for a day. You’ll be very happy about this decision. Want to find out more? Check out our new and improved Peru Travel Guide, with information on restaurants, sightseeing, accommodation, safety, and more.

Weather in Ollantaytambo Peru

The best time to visit Ollantaytambo is from March to May, during Peru’s Fall season. Though, the weather in Peru is in general, great year-round.

Ready to visit Ollantaytambo Peru?

Interested in exploring the mysterious Machu Picchu or the charming town of Ollantaytambo? Our Expert Travel Consultants are happy to help you customize your dream vacation to South America‘s iconic Peru. Contact us today!


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Last updated on March 29th, 2021 at 09:14 am

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