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Introducing Ollantaytambo

Dominated by two massive Inca ruins, the quaint village of Ollantaytambo (known to locals and visitors alike as Ollanta) is the best surviving example of Inca city planning, with narrow cobblestone streets that have been continuously inhabited since the 13th century. After the hordes passing through on their way to Machu Picchu die down around late morning, Ollanta is a lovely place to be. It’s perfect for wandering the mazy, narrow byways, past stone buildings and babbling irrigation channels, pretending you’ve stepped back in time. It also offers access to excellent hiking and biking.

Currently, Ollantaytambo suffers for being a thoroughfare between Cuzco and the jungle. Since there are no alternate roads, huge semi trucks and buses barrel through the narrow main street (barely missing pedestrians). Locals question the disruption of town life, along with the effect of excessive exhaust on the ruins, but talk of an alternative road has not materialized in any immediate plans.

There are a couple of internet cafes and ATMs in and around Plaza de Armas. There are no banks, but several places change money.