Ollantaytambo Fortress

Trek :  Ollantaytambo Fortress (Temple Hill)

Duration :  1 – 2 Hours

Entry :  Tourist Ticket required (2 day consecutive – S/.70 Soles, 10 day consecutive – S/.150)

Probably the most visited place in Ollantaytambo are the main archaeological ruins that are located 2 minutes from Hearts Cafe.  The site name ‘Fortress’ is a misnomer as it was believed it was built for religious purposes.  During the 15th century, the terraces were created by Inca Pachacutec after he conquered the town of Ollantaytambo and was thereafter used a a ‘Royal Retreat’.

 

PumaMarka

Trek :  Pumamarka

Duration :  5-7 hours round trip

Coming to the sacred valley is sometimes very exhausting specially if you have taken a guided tour, you only have a limited time at each site and most of them take a while to visit, if you are a traveler who is willing to take some time off from the organized tours and just explore by yourself, Pumamarka is a great option.  This site is in the Patacancha valley very near to Ollantaytambo, great for people who love treks.  The landscapes are impressive and you can find many archaeological remains on the way specially massive terraces build by the Incas.

Pinkuylluna

Trek : Pinkuylluna (Granaries)

Duration : 1-2 hours

The granaries (fridges of the Incas) are a great place to enjoy the view of Ollantaytambo without having to hike very much. It is of great significance to native people because Tunupa, an ancient god of thunder is carved into the rock just beside the granaries.  Tunupa’s profiled face is best seen from the other side of Pinkuylluna (i.e nearer the Ollantaytambo Fortress)

INCA Quarries

Trek :  Inca Quarries and Sun Gate

Duration :  2.5 to 3.5 hours to the Quarries and another 1-2 hours to the Sun Gate.

Now if you like a challenge and you are adapted to the altitude this will be a great option because the reward is spectacular.  The quarries are just half of the experience, the real goal is Intiwatana (a place to tie up the sun) from here you can see an amazing view of Apu Veronica, a huge glacier mountain and the two other valleys that join the sacred valley. Along the way you will see small ruins too. This is recommended for experienced trekkers and people in good physical condition.

Patacancha Valley

If you’re looking to see in depth how native people live and appreciate a valley taken out from a fairy tale story this is the perfect place.  Huilloc and Patacancha are two weaving communities that have a unique perspective in the Andean world meaning that their designs are very different than the ones you find in Cusco or any mayor city or town in the sacred valley. In Huilloc you can find a communal store were you see the items in display and in Patacancha you can visit some of the families who will offer you other weavings in some cases you will even see how they produce them ( To be able to see this I suggest you book an organized tour – we can recommend Awamaki.org – an NGO working with the weaving communities).

The valley is very beautiful especially during the rainy season and you can also see different Inca and Pre Inca settlements like Pumamarka and Markakocha. If you like horseback riding or cycling this is a good option too.

SEMINARIO (Ceramics)

This place is located in Urubamba (1/2 hour from Ollantaytambo) and has been brought up with a lot of hard work and perseverance. The logistics here are very well organized and the display of the history of ceramics in Peru is wonderful. Pablo and Marilu are very loving and if around are willing to show their art if not the guides there will offer you a free tour of the place that is a resume of how to make good quality ceramics.

Website : www.ceramicaseminario.com

Moray / Salineras

Entry :  Tourist Ticket required (2 day consecutive – S/.70 Soles, 10 day consecutive – S/.150)

Moray is an archaeological site located 45 mins from Ollantaytambo by taxi.  This site consists of purpose built concentric circles in a depression in the Earth.  It is presumed the site was a microclimate based agricultural system.  The temperature between the top and bottom terraces can vary as much as 15Deg Celcius.

Salineras is about 10 minutes (taxi) from Moray.  A natural salt spring emerges near the top of this valley and is intricately directed to the many purpose built salt pools, where they are filled and then evaporated from the heat of the intense Sun.  The resulting supersaturated dry salt is then skillfully scooped up and treated/packaged/sold.

These sites are popular places to visit when coming from Cusco to Ollantaytambo (or vice versa).