Ollantaytambo is the best place to stay if you are going to Machu Picchu. You have to take the train or walk the Inca trail, and this is the final stop before the last one where you board buses to climb to Machu Picchu.
The ruins of Patacancha are part of Ollantaytambo town, and vice versa. A tambo is the Inca word for an inn on the Inca trail. The ruins are really worth seeing, and the best way to see them is to stay in Ollantaytambo itself. We stayed at the El Albergue and I must say it was fabulous.
Waking up early, you can almost be alone, exploring the substantial ruins with a great history of their own. In many ways, they are more varied than Machu Pichu, more interesting, and certainly more intimate without the huge crowds! The citidel, temples, water systems, walls and terraces are still intact, and the still-inhabited pueblo below the ruins is part of it: The best preserved Inca town we saw in a month of Peru travel! You can stay in the old town, there are hostels and they look good! The descendants of the Inca live in this town, and the water systems still work, thanks to the archaeologists who helped here!
This was the primary Inca administrative center in the Sacred Valley, a breadbasket of the Inca empire. I could easily recommend skipping the hustle, the crowds, and the cost of Machu Pichu and instead spending the time in this charming little valley.
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