Thursday – March 24, 2011 – Ollantaytambo
After lunch, we drove to the Inca ruins at Ollantaytambo. This was our first opportunity to see a site prior to getting to Machu Picchu, where we will be heading tomorrow.
Ollantaytambo is a town and an Inca archaeological site in southern Peru some 60 kilometers northwest of the city of Cusco. It is located at an altitude of 2,792 meters (9,160 feet) above sea level in the district of Ollantaytambo, province of Urubamba, Cusco region. During the Inca Empire, Ollantaytambo was the royal estate of Emperor Pachacuti who conquered the region, built the town and a ceremonial center. At the time of the Spanish conquest of Peru it served as a stronghold for Manco Inca Yupanqui,
The town of Ollantaytambo is located along the Patakancha River, close to the point where it joins the Urubamba River. The main settlement is located on the left margin of the Patakancha with a smaller compound called ‘Araqhama on the right margin. The main Inca ceremonial center is located beyond ‘Araqhama on a hill called Cerro Bandolista.
The climb to the top was not that difficult, and the view of the valley on the opposite side was awesome!