Ollantaytambo – the last city in the Sacred Valley of the Incas
About 72 km from Cusco is Ollantaytambo, often called Ollanta by the locals. At an altitude of about 2792 m, the city is located on the Urubamba River and has a special feature that makes it unique in Peru: parts of the old town are still from the Inca period and have survived the centuries relatively undamaged here.
When the Spaniards expelled the Incas from Cuzco, they moved back here. And not only the old town, but also the huge Inca complex, which is located on the mountain side of Ollataytambo, testify to that.
Sightseeing in the city
Ollantaytambo is the only city where you can still admire the city planning from Inca times. The narrow streets and alleys frame 15 square blocks that lead to a courtyard lined with houses. Many of them are made with the typical dark pink stone, which was withheld from high nobility and priests. Strolling through the city (which takes no more than half an hour), you can admire the beautiful architecture and stop by one of the many restaurants.
The ruins of Ollantaytambo
Only two minutes walk from the center is the temple complex of the Inca era and numerous other buildings. Due to its thick walls, many made in the typical pink sandstone, it is often called Fortaleza. To reach the fortress, you will have to climb a series of steep stairs that lead through the terraces of Pumatallis. At the heart of the fortress is the Temple of the Sun, a building that has never been completed, but with the wall of the Six Monoliths it is clearly the most impressive of Ollantaytambo. The fort includes many other buildings, some even two stories, and water supply systems that still work well.
The area of the temple is the only one made of blocks of carved stone, the rest uses natural stones.