The archaeological site of Ollantaytambo


Ollantaytambo is one of the most important villages in the Sacred Valley of the Incas in Cusco. It is the only place that retains its ancient Inca urban design. Because it is a must before arriving at Machu Picchu it is very visited. However, ‘Ollanta’ has its own charms. The main of all are its Inca archaeological remains.

Ollantaytambo is the only Inca town that remains inhabited. Its stone streets preserve the Inca architecture combined with temples and colonial squares.                                  It is presumed that it was the Inca Pachacutec (1438-1471) who had Ollantaytambo built. Today, this picturesque town is a must for tourists visiting Machu Picchu.                                  Ollantaytambo is known as the Inca Living Inca City ’. Its inhabitants maintain some of the traditions inherited by their Inca ancestors. Its main tourist attraction is the archaeological site (also called fortress) located next to the town.                                  Currently the town is conditioned to receive tourism. Around the Plaza de Armas de Ollantaytambo and in the village there are restaurants, hotels, bars, cafes and other services that invite the visitor.

Where is Ollantaytambo?

Ollantaytambo is at the opposite end of the town of Pisac (80 kilometers from the city of Cusco). It is reached by the Chinchero - Urubamba road or by train (km. 68). The town is 2,700 meters above sea level (m.s.n.m.) and houses some of the most amazing Inca buildings in Peru.

What does Ollantaytambo mean?

The word Ollantaytambo derives from the Quechua word ‘Ulla-nta-wi’ which means “place to look down”. According to Quechua culture, the name comes from ‘Ollanta’, the name of an Inca captain protagonist of the Quechua drama ‘Ollantay’.                                  The Spanish derivation of the Quechua word "Tambo" means "City that provides accommodation, food or comfort for travelers."

Archaeological complex of Ollantaytambo

El complejo arqueológico de Ollantaytambo fue un centro militar, religioso y agrícola. Este fabuloso escenario arquitectónico es interesante por el tamaño, la originalidad y el detalle de sus estructuras.

What to see in the archaeological site of Ollantaytambo?

Ollantaytambo has beautiful Inca lithic structures. Because it was the scene of hard battles between rebel and Spanish Incas in 1537, many of its buildings are damaged or destroyed. Even so, the site still retains the magic and history of many centuries ago.

  • Acchapata Platform Group
  • Only 200 meters up from the town square of Pisac stands a beautiful set of platforms. This group is made up of 40 platforms forming a kind of triangle with a vertex down, that is, the smallest platform is the first one that the visitor can see when he begins to ascend.

  • The Royal House of the Sun
  • The Royal House of the Sun is formed by 17 superimposed terraces very wide and oriented towards the main town square.

  • The strong Choqana
  • Choqana is a Quechua word that means "where it is derived or thrown". It is located 2 kilometers from Ollantaytambo. It served as an administrative center, checkpoint and strong.

  • Mañay Raqay Square or "K'uychi Punku"
  • Its name means in Quechua "Square of the petitions". It is located on the right side of the Patakancha stream next to the entrance door of the archaeological site. Its walls have many openings that, it is believed, would be doors.

  • The temple of the Sun
  • This impressive 6-piece monolith is almost completely destroyed. However, it remains one of the most beautiful pieces of Ollantaytambo. The 6 huge rocks that make up the western wall are coupled with incredible accuracy.

  • The Monumental Cover and the 10 Niche Enclosure
  • This construction is located at the end of the upper group of platforms. Its walls consist of two polished stone canvases with great precision. This enclosure was damaged during the Spanish conquest. It is one of the most popular in "Ollanta".

  • The Ñusta Bath
  • It is a beautiful fountain with 3 outlets of sculpted waters inside. They are known as liturgical sources and could be found in the main cities of the Inca Empire.

  • The platforms
  • In Ollantaytambo we find groups of parallel platforms. They have parameters inclined towards the hill with steps that come embedded in its walls. They can be seen a long distance.


    Office hours ‘Ollantaytambo archeological site’: from 7 a.m. at 6 p.m. (Every day of the week).

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