September 2011 • Canon 40D camera
Before starting the Inca Trail we stopped at the ancient city of Ollantaytambo, just northwest of Cuzco. The ruins here are some of the most well preserved you can find. At the time of the Spanish invasion and eventual conquest of Peru, Ollantaytambo was the last stronghold for the Inca leader of the resistance at the time.
Although mentioned as a fortress against the Spanish conquistadors, it was actually built as a religious site. Silvia was on hand to explain the history of the place as we walked up and through the ruins.
During the Inca Empire, Ollantaytambo was the royal estate of Emperor Pachacuti who conquered the region and built the town and a ceremonial center in the 15th Century
The terraced fortifications that are built to the side of the valleys are impressive and fairly steep and high.
At the top you not only get a good view of the village below but also of the wonderful valley surrounding the place.
At the top, is the unfinished temple—The Sun Temple. Famous for the ‘wall of the six monoliths’ massive, heavy stones that are precisely carved and fitted together.
They beg the question just like at Saqsayhuaman—how did the Inca people carry these gigantic stones all the way up here?!
The Inca civilisation were truly engineering geniuses! It was an interesting ruin to visit and get us in the mood to go on the Inca Trail. You can pay to access the ruins as part of the Boleto Turistico ticket.
It costs around S/.130 for adults and lasts 10 days (correct at the time of visiting September 2011). The ticket also allows you access to other sites in Cuzco and the Sacred valley.
The start of the classic Inca Trail with a gentle hike on a sunny day
Hiking up to the highest and most challenging part of the Inca Trail
Misty forests to ancient ruins along this enchanting part of the Inca Trail
Wandering through the architectual wonder of Angkor Wat
A unique Mosque designed and built like a Chinese temple