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Ways to Experience Archaeological Park Ollantaytambo
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All reviews sacred valley sun temple boleto turistico archaeological park tourist ticket worth the climb take your time great site beautiful ruins stone work the main square inca sites local guide surrounding mountains train station early in the morning incas
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Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Our bus bumped and jiggled north on semi paved roads through the fertile Sacred Valley passing more farms, and mountain views until we began the steep switchback descent into the town of Ollantaytambo, or “Ollanta” which at 9,160’ elevation, is “the city dedicated to corn”. Our Kaypi Peru Tour group gathered with Franco at the base of the ruins and we listened as he spoke about the design and history of Ollantaytambo pointing to photos of the ruins built in the shape of the sacred Inca llama. From where we stood we could see the image of Tunupa the creator god, etched by nature on the side of Pinkuylluna mountain across from the ruins of Ollantaytambo.

Next to Tunupa, high up on an impossibly steep slope is a series of storehouses for the grain and corn that were grown on the numerous terraces on Ollantaytambo’s steep slopes. The terraces provided a variety of different environmental growing zones created by a variation in altitude. In addition, the terraces were protected from the wind by lateral walls which also absorbed solar radiation during the day, then released the collected heat at night resulting in a unique microclimate that would be several degrees warmer than the surrounding area.

I had read that the Spanish conquistadores, in their 40 year campaign against the Incas, launched an attack on Emperor Manco Inca’s town of Ollantaytambo in 1537. The formidable ruins are perched high on a cliffside and considered part temple and part military fortress. It was here that the Incas won their greatest military victory against the Spanish conquistadors, albeit one of very few battles against the invaders.

I, after much deliberation, belatedly attempted to climb the steep stairs, and, breathing very slowly, reached a height of 9,450’, with the rest of our group. My climb was rewarded with an incredible view looking back over the steep terraces to the base of the ruin and the town below. That climb also afforded me an opportunity to see first hand the amazing Wall of the Six Monoliths at the Temple of the Sun. Typical of the genius of Inca engineers, these structures were designed with a combination of fieldstones and cut and fitted multisided, monolithic pink granite stones to last through all that the millennia could throw at them, including earthquakes. When I finally reached the Temple of the Sun I was able to see first hand why this structure is one of the great mysteries of the Andes. Six massive stones approximately 36’ wide by 14’ high, and each weighing 50 to 100 tons each, were dragged 2 1/2 miles from the quarry of Chachiqata on the other side of a 1,000’ deep valley to be pulled and rolled up this incredibly steep mountain to ultimately be lined up together so tightly that a credit card could not pass through. Littered around the base of the temple are even larger stone blocks that locals call “tired stones” because the stones were too tired to reach their final destination. I understood. I was tired too. Work was abandoned here for reasons yet unknown; could have been altered weather conditions, sickness, or maybe everyone was just plain exhausted.

Date of experience: September 2018
2  Thank Kelleygirl2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

If you have a chance, you must take a tour. Very impressive Inca structure and history. It's windy and the sun is strong so wear sunblock. As with other Inca ruins there are a lot of stairs, so take your time.

Date of experience: November 2018
Thank Emily C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

enormous and impressive place, many terrasses and you still can imagine how it loked like in the 16th century. You can see the ramp where the huge rocks for the sun temple were transported up to the top.

Date of experience: October 2018
Thank Werner W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

So many aspects of Inka culture represented here. This site should be given World Heritage recognition.

Date of experience: October 2018
Thank LaPalomaLasFlores
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

Fascinating Inca Tambo. We went with a taxi tours, and we regretted it, because the time to visit was not enough. Allow at least a couple of hours to hike up and explore the complete circuit. More time if you want to hike up even more. The cafés and restaurants around the ruin are very nice. Good for a 1 night stay on the way to/from Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu.

Date of experience: November 2018
Thank rogotad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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