Choose your Sacred Valley Tour
At a glance
Flanked by lofty Andean peaks, the charming town of Ollantaytambo is some 35 miles from Cusco in the heart of the Sacred Valley. Life here moves at a slower pace and prominent displays of Inca architecture draws you into a more intimate look at the region’s cultural and historic highlights.
Marvel at the work of ancient stonemasons at Temple Hill as you ascend an imposing set of terraces. Hints of Ollantaytambo’s past are revealed around every turn, from the Inca-built canals running through its cobbled streets to locals dressed in traditional Quechua attire. After exploring the town gems and your fill of its beautiful landscapes, hop on the train to Machu Picchu.
The Sacred Valley was occupied by a number of pre-Inca cultures, including the Wari (500 to 1100 AD) and the Killki (900 to 1420 AD). Thereafter, the Inca Empire reigned over the region from their capital city of Cusco until the 1530s when the Spanish arrived.
Ollantaytambo was established in the mid-14th century by Pachacutec, the 9th Inca king whose stronghold of the Cusco Kingdom catapulted expansion into present-day Ecuador, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, and Colombia. The town of Ollantaytambo is commonly referred to as a retreat for Inca nobility, but it simultaneously served as a strategic military, religious and agriculture center.
The town’s urban sector was laid out on the level valley floor, while agricultural terraces and temples were built along the adjoining hillside. The Incas also forged a long canal to bring water from the Yanacocha Lagoon 9 mi (14 km) away for town use. See Inca Ruins in Attractions section for more details.
Between 1531-1533 AD, Francisco Pizarro and his Spanish troops had overthrown the Inca Empire. As written records of the conquest detail, Manco Inca was installed as the new puppet king, but he secretly organized a rebel force to try to overthrow the Spanish rule.
In 1536, Manco Inca escaped from Cusco and established his headquarters for the Inca resistance in Ollantaytambo.
In 1537, Hernando Pizarro (Francisco Pizarro’s brother) led a force of 70 Spanish cavalry and foot soldiers to capture Manco Inca. The Inca resistance had joined forces with neighboring jungle tribes and together they shot arrows and spears at the approaching Spanish troops. Manco Inca had anticipated the attack and ordered the construction of a river dam. In an ingenious move, Manco and his allies used the agricultural terraces as higher ground and released the buildup of water from the dam to flood the valley below. Hernando ordered a hasty retreat. The infamous battle at Ollantaytambo was the only time the Spanish were defeated by the Inca resistance movement.
Shortly thereafter, the Spanish returned to Ollantaytambo with more force and Manco Inca retreated to the jungle-based city of Vilcabamba for safety. The last Inca king, Tupac Amaru I, was captured in Vilcabamba in 1572 and taken to Cusco where he was beheaded in the city’s main plaza.
Read more about the region’s past, from the Inca Empire to modern times, in the Cusco history section.
Ollantaytambo is located halfway between Cusco and Machu Picchu. Andean mountains envelope this narrow western section of valley and give the town its picturesque backdrop. The town and Inca ruins of Ollantaytambo lie at the meeting point of the Patacancha and Urubamba rivers, which provide ample water for crop varieties harvested in the region’s fertile soils.
Ollantaytambo is located at an average altitude of 2,800 m (9,200 ft) above sea level. This is about 600 m (1,920 ft) lower than Cusco.
The Ollantaytambo has two distinct seasons: dry and wet. Temperatures are warmer during the day and drop at night; a characteristic common throughout Peru’s Andean region. See Seasonal Information for details.
Will I get altitude sickness in Ollantaytambo?
Going from sea level to a higher altitude destination like Ollantaytambo (2,800 m/9,200 ft) affects every person differently. Common symptoms include shortness of breath, headache, loss of appetite, and nausea. To help you acclimatize, drink a lot of water, eat light meals, avoid alcohol, and don’t overexert yourself for the first 48 hours. Severe reactions to altitude are rare and hard to predict. Talk with your health professional about your concerns before you travel to Peru. Diamox is a prescription drug that helps reduce altitude sickness symptoms.
Instead of staying in Cusco, you may consider spending your first couple of nights at a hotel in Ollantaytambo or Urubamba. The lower elevation of the Sacred Valley region makes it easier for your body to adjust to the altitude.
Ollantaytambo stands out as one of the most ingenious examples of Inca constructions. Three principal areas highlight its marvelous architecture and engineering: the town, the Fortress, and its agricultural terraces.
Ollantaytambo is quite literally a living ancient town. In contrast to similar urban sites that were “abandoned” after the Spanish conquest, the town of Ollantaytambo has been continuously inhabited since its Inca construction. Water flows through original street canals just as it has for centuries. Some buildings have been modified and now appear colonial, but the design of Ollantaytambo remains at large unchanged.
The town retains its distinct grid-like format common in Inca design. Many buildings in the southern part of town were constructed with polished rocks stacked skillfully together. This high quality stonework suggests the town was (among many purposes) a resting place for royal families transiting through the Sacred Valley, possibly following the trails from Cusco to Machu Picchu. Original structures in the northern section of Ollantaytambo are largely residential homes, one-room dwellings that open onto communal courtyards, which are still used by local families and businesses.
A massive stone citadel, known as “The Fortress,” resides along the mountainside ascending behind Ollantaytambo. It’s an elaborate layout of terraces, platforms, and stone structures; all part of the Inca archaeological complex you can visit today (Tourist Ticket required). The vantage point over the valley made the complex an important site from which the Inca could spot and organize military defense against warring jungle tribes seeking advances at the entrance of the lower valley region. Later, the fortress served as a stronghold during the Spanish conquest.
Imposing terraces go up to a series stone structures known collectively as Temple Hill. Scholars believe this complex was a place of Inca worship and astronomic observation. A section of the site, called Temple of the Sun, is made from boulders of polished pink granite that were extracted and transported from quarries across the river. Only six enormous monolith walls of this rose-colored granite survive in place. Construction of the Sun Temple was never finished, likely interrupted by the arrival of the Spanish conquerors.
The Temple of Water (Templo del Agua) is located at the base of the archaeological complex, opposite the entrance. Four walls and an open roof have been reconstructed around these Inca-built fountains which pull water from the Patacancha River running through Ollantaytambo.
- Location: At the end of Calle Principal (About a 10-minute walk from the Ollantaytambo train station)
- Visiting Hours: Daily, 7:00 to 17:30 hrs
- Admission: Tourist Ticket required
The Inca transformed inhospitable mountainsides in the Sacred Valley into agrarian masterpieces with terraces. In Ollantaytambo, these agricultural terraces are a standout feature as you approach town from Cusco. Separated by high stonewalls, each terrace averages 2,300 ft long, 190 ft wide, and 50 ft deep. They are positioned relative to the sun to absorb solar heat during the daytime and retain warmth at night when temperatures drop.
Plaza de Armas
The town’s main plaza hums with activity when the first tourist buses arrive around noon. Restaurants, souvenir shops, and hotels line its border, and the Inca archaeological complex is only four blocks away down Calle Principal.
Plaza Mañay Raquy
Plaza Mañay Raquy resides in the western side of town where the archaeological complex entrance is located. Santiago Apostol Church (Iglesia de Santiago Apostol), built in 1620, lines its eastern border. Stalls from the town’s artisanal market fill this cobbled plaza during the day.
Awamaki Fair Trade Store
A gorgeous selection of knit and woven clothing and accessories are available at the Fair Trade store operated by Awamaki, a nonprofit cooperative working with artisan cooperatives in Ollantaytambo. Every item for sale is made by the local women and proceeds go back to them. Browse colorful purses, shawls, leg warmers, gloves, baby booties, and much more.
- Location: Plaza Mañay Raquy, Calle Principal, Ollantaytambo
- Hours: Daily, 11:00 to 18:00 hrs
- Awamaki Nonprofit Website: http://awamaki.org/
Artisanal Market (Mercado de Artesania)
The town’s artisanal market is located in Plaza Mañay Raquy just outside the entrance of the archaeological complex. Locals sell brightly colored scarves, hats, sweaters, and tapestries typical at many Sacred Valley markets. Others peddle ceramics, precious stones, and Andean instruments. It’s a popular spot in town to pick up souvenirs, but prices are generally a bit higher than Cusco markets.
Choco Museum Ollantaytambo (ChocoMuseo)
Sample tasty chocolate treats made from organic Peruvian cacao beans at ChocoMuseo, and then buy some to take back home. To learn more about the chocolate-making process, check out the museum room with videos, photographs, and written explanations. Sign up for a truffle or bean-to-bar workshop or tour a cocoa bean plantation with a ChocoMuseo representative.
- Location: Plaza Mañay Raquy (1 block from Ollantaytambo ruins)
- Hours: Daily, 9:00 to 18:30 hrs
* If you miss out on ChocoMuseo Ollantaytambo, there are also locations in Cusco and Lima.
Founded in 1997, CATCCO Museum is a small ethnographic museum. The archaeology, farming and religious displays shed light on the traditional culture and arts in Ollantaytambo and neighboring indigenous communities.
- Location: Calle Patacalle (w/o number)
- Hours: Daily, 9:00 to 18:00 hrs
- Fee: Free, recommended donation
Spanish is the language for day-to-day business in Ollantaytambo, though residents of surrounding indigenous communities often speak Quechua. Travel representatives and guides generally speak English (sometimes German or French).
It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with some basic Spanish greetings and phrases before traveling to Peru. Patience and a little nonverbal communication (pointing for direction, facial expressions, and writing down the name or address of a specific destination) can help get your point across.
As with many celebrations in the Andean region, those in Ollantaytambo are a vibrant mix of Inca and Catholic religious beliefs. The resulting festivities are unique compilations of dancing, food and rituals derived from the town’s layered history.
Bajada de Reyes
Bajada de Reyes Magos is one of the biggest celebrations in Ollantaytambo. Each year there is a religious procession on January 5th and then the main festivities unfold the next day on January 6th.
Bajada de Reyes Magos is the Latin American celebration of the Epiphany in the Christian calendar. The day commemorates the visit of the three wise men to the birthplace of baby Jesus. During pre-Spanish times in the Andean region, January was a joyous month marking the height of the rainy season which watered and gave life to their crops. Native tradition blended with colonial custom upon the arrival of the Spanish and evolved over time. Today the Bajada de Reyes celebration in Ollantaytambo is one with both Christian and Andean roots.
On January 5th, residents from the nearby villages of Paracancha and Huilloq carry the baby Jesus statue from the church of Maracocha in procession down the valley to the chapel of the Niño Samachina in Ollantaytambo. The following day, January 6th, is full of overall merriment and feasting, offering tourist a look at traditional dances and costumes. On January 8, a ritual known as cacharpari marks the departure of the Baby Jesus of Marcacocha and the end of the festival.
Pentecost Festival Señor de Choquekillka
The Pentecost Festival Señor de Choquekillka in Ollantaytambo is a brilliant integration of Inca religious beliefs with the Catholic observation of the Pentecost, marking the end of Easter season. The vibrant 4-day Pentecost celebration is a non-stop festival and honors the town’s patron saint, Señor de Choquekillka. For travelers, the festival is an exciting showcase of traditional Andean dances, bright costumes, and ample opportunities to try local food and drink. The May/June dates of the celebration vary each year. In 2016, it begins on Sunday, May 16.
In the Sacred Valley, average day temperatures (68-72 F) and night temperatures (35-45 F) don’t vary much throughout the year. The region experiences overall warmer temperatures than Cusco, since its towns are located at a lower elevation. Ollantaytambo is some 600 m (2,000 ft) lower than Cusco.
Dry Season Vs Rainy Season
The Sacred Valley region experiences a distinct dry season and rainy season.
The dry season spans from April to October. Sunshine is typical during these months with a minimal chance of rain. Temperatures really drop at night and (with no cloud coverage) the warmth of the day quickly dissipates when the sun goes down. Pack a warm jacket because it can get surprisingly chilly at night in Ollantaytambo during this time of the year!
The rainy season is from November to March. Clouds dominate the sky during these months. Light morning showers are typical and the afternoon and evening hours may bring heavier downpours. Heaviest rainfall is usually in January and February.
When is the best time to visit Ollantaytambo?
Peak season to visit Ollantaytambo is June, July, and August. It’s almost always nice and sunny and this time also coincides with the summer months in the northern hemisphere. December holiday season and the beginning of January for New Years are also busy times. Talk with your travel advisor about booking your hotels and Machu Picchu tickets early because availability for services are limited.
Low season is during the rainy season (November-March). Unpredictable storms during this time result in more flight and transportation delays during these months. The Inca Trail is closed for the month of February. But on the flip side, the Inca sites are less crowded.
To experience unique cultural festivities in Ollantaytambo, plan your trip to coincide with these festival dates:
- January (5-8) – Bajada de Reyes
- May/June (moveable dates) – Pentecost Festival Señor de Choquekillka
The omission of Ollantaytambo from your travel itinerary is hard to justify since the train to Machu Picchu stops at the town’s station. In addition to the impressive hillside archaeological complex, there are many outdoor and cultural activities to keep you entertained.
Tour the Inca Archaeological Complex
If you have a full day in Ollantaytambo, you can can tour the archaeological complex with your guide and then spend the rest of the day at your leisure. Having a guide to point out special stone features and give you insight about the history of Ollantaytambo definitely enhances the overall experience.
A full-day tour of the Sacred Valley is a great way to experience the region’s various highlights in a short period of time. Typically, the tour first goes to the Pisac market and ruins, stops in Urubamba for lunch, and wraps up with an afternoon visit to the Ollantaytambo archaeological complex.
Take A Day Hike
Pinkuylluna, Inca storehouses
The Pinkuylluna ruins reside along a mountainside (opposite Temple Hill), which you can hike up to and visit for free. These stone structures were likely used by the Incas as storehouses for their grain. It’s about a 30-minute to 1-hour hike up a steep trail to Pinkuylluna. To get there, walk east on Calle Principal and make a left on to Lari Calle. About halfway down the street, on the righthand side, is a narrow set of stairs where the train begins.
Inca Quarries & Inti Punku
It’s a full-day hike up to the Inca quarries and then on to the lookout point at Inti Punku. The round trip journey generally takes between 8-9 hours. Starting on the opposite side of the Urubamba River from Ollantaytambo, the trail leads up to the rock quarries where the Inca chipped away huge blocks of pink granite (rose rhyolite). Today only six large monoliths from these quarries exist in their original spot on display at the archaeological complex. How the Inca were able to transport these enormous granite stones weighing several tons across the river and up the hill is a topic still debated among scholars.
From the quarries, the trail goes up to Inti Punku. The Inca built Sun Gates throughout the Sacred Valley and called each one Inti Punku. The most well known sun gate, or Inti Punku, serves as the entrance to Machu Picchu hikers doing the Inca Trail pass through. The Inti Punku that you visit on this day hike from Ollantaytambo sits on a mountaintop surrounded by breathtaking views of the valley.
The rushing river through the Sacred Valley and surrounding Andean peaks make the region a playground for outdoor lovers. Adrenaline pumped activities in and around Ollantaytambo can be enjoyed year round. River rafting is a great activity for families and travelers of all ages. Sign up for a full day rafting adventure from Urubamba to Ollantaytambo, or other routes along the river. For some breathtaking views, speed down a mountain to the valley floor on a full-day ziplining tour. Ask your travel advisor about staying at the Skylodge Adventure Suites. Space-like in design, each module suite hangs high over the Sacred Valley, offering guests a safe and pleasant night’s sleep unlike one they’ve ever experienced!
Awamaki is a nonprofit organization based in Ollantaytambo at the forefront of responsible travel in the Sacred Valley. They organize a wide range of excursions, from full-day Peruvian cooking and woodcarving classes to weekend long excursions.
Spent three days and two nights in a traditional Andean village and hike to glacial lakes. You’ll stay with a Quechua family and visit their farm. Learn about their ancient weaving traditions during a lesson taught by a local weaver and then test out your new skills. It’s a truly rich cultural experience, and one you’ll talk about for years to come. Ask your travel advisor for more information about incorporating responsible travel into your Sacred Valley itinerary.
Where to eat
Food options in Ollantaytambo mirror the traveling crowd passing through; on-the-go and international. The town is one the few places in the Sacred Valley where you’ll see a to-go coffee sign. Local cafes line the main street and town plaza, offering yummy sandwiches and pastries for a quick meal. Restaurant feature varied menus, from traditional and Peruvian-fusion options to pizzas, Mexican food, and vegetarian plates. The following are some of our recommended eateries in town:
El Alburgue Restaurant (nono-Andina cuisine)
The restaurant at El Alburgue Bed & Breakfast is one of the best places to enjoy a nice sit-down meal in Ollantaytambo. It’s hard to top a tasty meal made with freshly picked vegetables, friendly service, and its unique setting at the local train station. A mix of Peruvian and European flavors make up the menu. Folks rave about the alpaca steaks and burgers! The delicious veggie-packed and quinoa stew is a great meatless option.
El Alburgue restaurant is a small venue and reservations are recommended. To get there, walk to the Ollantaytambo train station and let the ticket guard know you’re going to the restaurant and they’ll let you pass. The restaurant’s sister cafe, Cafe Mayu, is a good place to grab a coffee or quick snack nextdoor. Location: Albergue Hotel, Ollantaytambo Train Station
Puka Rumi (Mexican fusion cuisine)
Generous portions of Mexican-inspired food are dished up at the locally owned Puka Rumi restaurant. Just a few blocks from the entrance to the Inca ruins, it’s a convenient place to curb your hunger en route to the train station or your hotel. After a soup starter, chow down on a hearty burrito accompanied with a plateful of different toppings, including guacamole. Address: Ventiderio (w/o number)
Blue Puppy (Peruvian fusion cuisine)
Blue Puppy restaurant features a Peruvian-Italian-Mexican fusion menu. Options are plentiful, so this is a great place for larger groups or folks with dietary restrictions to come. Start off with cheese fries or nachos as an appetizer. If you’re craving something more healthy, order the pumpkin carrot cream soup or a salad topped with fresh veggies. The restaurant’s main courses range from sandwiches, quesadillas, pizzas, and vegetarian options. Ask for a table on the second floor for the best views of the town and mountain scenery. Address: Plaza de Armas, Calle del Horno, http://www.cuzcodining.com
This Ollantaytambo-based pizzeria borders the main plaza, and you may sit inside or ask for a table outside to watch daily movement. The thin crust pizzas are baked-to-order in a wood-stove oven. Pachamama’s Italian menu also features meat dishes, pastas, and salads. Stop by for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
The menu at this quaint cafe ranges from American-style breakfast plates to sandwiches and small snacks. Sip on a cappuccino or espresso and enjoy the free WiFi. A longtime favorite in Ollantaytambo, this cafe is run by a local nonprofit to help support indigenous communities in the region. Address: Avenida Ventiderio
La Esquina Cafe & Bakery
The bright walls and splashes of Andean design at La Esquina compliment its laid atmosphere. This popular cafe and bakery serves soups, sandwiches, burgers and international dishes. Try their carrot-ginger soup; BLT or tomato pesto grilled cheese sandwiches; and/or delicious cinnamon rolls. To compliment your meal, order a fresh juice, coffee, or some beer brewed in the Sacred Valley. Address: Plaza de Armas, Ollantaytambo
Small corner stores, called bodegas in Peru, are a great place to pick up crackers, cookies, or nuts to snack on during tours and independent exploration. Don’t forget to buy bottled water too! In Ollantaytambo, bodegas are concentrated around the plazas and principal streets running through town.
How do you pronounce Ollantaytambo?
The town’s name is notoriously difficult to say. Here’s a breakdown: “Oh-yahn-tai-tam-boh.” If the mouthful of syllables is still too much, you can always shorten the name to “Ollanta,” as locals often do.
The Peruvian Nuevo Sol (or Soles for short) are used for transactions at most restaurants, shops and markets. Coins (1 Sole, 2 Soles, 5 Soles) are convenient for smaller purchases since vendors in Ollantaytambo don’t always have change for larger notes (50 or 100 Sole bills). Some businesses accept US money with no blemishes or rips.
There’s an ATM in the main Ollantaytambo plaza that dispenses local and US currency. Check with your bank about what foreign transaction fees apply to your bank card in Peru and put a travel alert on your account.
Health & Safety
A little common sense can go a long way to keep you healthy while traveling. In Peru, buy bottled water to drink. Never drink the water from the tap in Ollantaytambo, or anywhere in the country for that matter. Street food is another temptation. It may look and taste good, but tap water is often used for cleaning and bacteria you’re not immune to may linger, leading to stomach aches.
Ollantaytambo is a hub for travelers going to Machu Picchu and petty theft sometimes happens. Keep a watchful eye over your daypack, camera and smartphone. Leave excess cash and other valuables in the safety box at your hotel when possible.
Ollantaytambo is a destination whose highlights focus on the outdoors. A comfortable pair of hiking boots or athletic shoes with good traction are a must for going up the stone steps at the Inca ruins and around town. Dressing in layers is the best way to prepare for temperatures that vary greatly between daytime and nighttime hours. Pack lighter t-shirts and add warmth with long sleeves and a heavy coat. The sun in very strong at Ollantaytambo’s high altitude, so bring glasses, a hat, and sunblock. If you’re visiting the Sacred Valley region during the rainy season, don’t forget a poncho and/or a travel size umbrella.
Daily flights and buses go through Cusco. Ollantaytambo is a 60 km (37 mi) ride northwest of Cusco. To drive there (without renting a car), you can take a private transport, hire a taxi, or ride a bus. The paved, two-way road passes through the town of Chinchero before dropping into the Sacred Valley and follows the path of the Urubamba River all the way to Ollantaytambo. Private transport or hiring a taxi are the quickest and most convenient way to travel because your driver won’t make frequent stops. Taking a bus (shared van or local collectivo) is the most economic mode of transport.
Riding the train from Cusco (Poroy Station) to the Ollantaytambo station is another option.
How to get around Ollantaytambo
The town of Ollantaytambo is easily navigated on foot. Restaurants, hotels, and Inca ruins are concentrated along the principal street through town and main plaza. From the train station, the Inca archaeological complex is a 10-minute walk away.
From Ollantaytambo, other towns in the Sacred Valley can be reached via taxi or local bus. Average distances are:
- Ollantaytambo-Urubamba, 12 mi (20 km)
- Ollantaytambo-Chinchero, 23 mi (37 km)
- Ollantaytambo-Pisac, 36 mi (58 km)
How to get to Machu Picchu from Ollantaytambo
The road in the Sacred Valley ends in Ollantaytambo. From town, you have two options for continuing on to Machu Picchu: by train or hiking the Inca Trail.
Many hotels offer free luggage storage, so you can just take what you need for this leg of the trip and recollect excess items upon your return. Ask your travel advisor what bag storage options you’ll have on your personalized itinerary.
Train to Machu Picchu
Train service between Ollantaytambo and Machu Picchu (Aguas Calientes Station) runs daily. It’s a beautiful stretch of track through a narrow section of the valley covered in lush green vegetation. The ride takes about 2 hours. Train tickets book up quickly during peak dry season months (June, July, August) and advanced booking is highly recommended to secure the specific dates you want. Don’t forget to buy your Machu Picchu entrance tickets too!
The Ollantaytambo Train Station is located a 10-minute walk from the town’s archaeological complex. There are restroom facilities and a free luggage storage facility where you can check your bags until it’s time for your train ride. Arrive to the station at least 30 minutes before your train departs. Cafe Mayu a convenient place to pick up coffee and snacks while you wait.
Some travelers board an early train in Ollantaytambo, ride to Aguas Calientes, and visit Machu Picchu on the same day. Another option is to take the train from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes the day before, spend the night at the base of Machu Picchu, and wake up early the next morning to take the bus (a 20-minute ride) to the entrance of the famous ruins.
Hike the Inca Trail
The classic 4-day Inca Trail goes all the way to the Sun Gate at Machu Picchu. Many trekking groups meet in Ollantaytambo and continue to the trailhead by car in Piscacucho (KM 82 of the railway). Demand for the Inca Trail is high and permits are limited, so book it in advance! The Inca Trail closes each year in February for maintenance.
Salkantay, Lares, and Choquequirao treks are alternative treks to Machu Picchu. But each one begins in various spots in the Sacred Valley, not in Ollantaytambo.
How much should I tip my Ollantaytambo guide?
Tipping your tour guide is a nice way to show your appreciation.
- Half Day Tour: 10-30 Soles per person.
- Full Day Tour: 20-60 Soles per person.
These suggested tip ranges represent a total amount that varies on the number of people in your tour and can be divided amongst everyone. As always, it’s always up to your own discretion how much you leave as a tip.
Where should I stay in the Sacred Valley? Ollantaytambo or Urubamba?
Hotels in the Sacred Valley are concentrated in Ollantaytambo and Urubamba. Hotels in Ollantaytambo cater to travelers in transit to Machu Picchu. All of our recommended hotels are a short distance from the town’s train station, offer free luggage storage, and an easy walk to the ruins and restaurants. Hotels in Urubamba at large are more comfortable and luxurious. If you want to spend a few days soaking in the beauty of the valley and really “get away”, then Urubamba is the place to do it. There is a train station in Urubamba with service to Machu Picchu, but the schedule it limited.
How long should I stay in Ollantaytambo?
How long you stay in Ollantaytambo depends on your interests and the number of days you have to stay the region. The town’s train station is a hub for travel from Cusco to Machu Picchu, so adding Ollantaytambo to you trip itinerary is very convenient.
A full-day tour of the Sacred Valley is a popular way to see the towns and ruins in the region (with stops in Pisac, Urubamba, and Ollantaytambo). After the tour, you can spend the night and take the train to Machu Picchu the next day. If you have more flexibility, explore Ollantaytambo for a full day. Visit the archaeological site in the morning when the site is less crowded and then check out the town or sign up for an adventure sport.
What is a Cusco Tourist Ticket? Can I use it in Ollantaytambo?
A Tourist Ticket (or boleto turistico) is an official paper document which gives you access to a variety of museums and Inca ruins in Cusco and the surrounding Sacred Valley. You need a tourist ticket to enter the archaeological complex in Ollantaytambo.
Each tourist ticket is assigned to one person (your name is on it) and gives you one time access to each attraction. This ticket is often included in the prices of tours that visit sites. If you visit the site independently, you can ask you travel advisor to buy it for you in advance or you’ll need to buy it at the site entrance (with Soles).