Ollantaytambo – an impressive ruin site that blends seamlessly into the surrounding hills.
Many tourists board and depart the train to Machu Picchu in Ollantaytambo not realising they are a few minutes away from some impressive ruins.
For us, Ollantaytambo was one of the most impressive ruin sites we visited. The ruins seem to blend into the hills naturally and are complete with their own water system, similar to that seen at the Tipon ruins.
Ollantaytambo town thrives on the tourist influx and therefore, you won’t have to look hard to find a place to eat or sleep if you choose. The entrance fee to Ollantaytambo is included in the multi-pass Boleto Turistico Del Cusco (see our Cusco blog for more details).
Unbeknown to us, there is also a second ruin sight northeast of Ollantaytambo called Pinkuyllana. It is visible from the main ruin sight and only a few minutes walk out of town. To get there, follow our directions below. Its well worth taking the extra time to do so. If you take our advice about avoiding crowds below, you will be able to enjoy Pinkuyllana while seeing the main ruins fill up with tour bus after tour bus after tour bus. Pinkuyllana ruins are more rugged with steep paths and few areas fenced off. Above Pinkuyllana is another path that leads up to some less visible ruins. Allow another 15-30 minutes for this.
Tip #1: We very much recommend getting to Ollantaytambo before 1pm. After this the tour buses start rolling in and the ruins become over run with tourists. We visited at 11.15AM and found it relatively unoccupied.
Tip #2: Tour guides will take you around the site for around 50 soles per hour. We didn’t opt for this but found it pretty easy to ears drop on all the other guides. Be careful what you pay for, some guides don’t go right up to the Sun Temple which is kind of the main attraction of the ruins!
Colectivos (10 soles per person, 1 hour 30 minutes) leave from the corner of Pavitos and Grau when full (google maps “Estacion de colectivos para urubamba y ollantaytambo”). Taxis also leave from next door but are more expensive, consider the price if you have 4 people though.
Colectivos also stop at Chinchero on the way if you are wanting to go here.
If going to Ollantaytambo, you will be dropped at the train station which is about a 7 minute walk from the ruins. You will see the ruins as you come into the town so will not be disorientated.
## To get to Pinkuyllana ruins from the main plaza (with Ollantaytambo ruins behind you), head straight out of the plaza on the left hand side. Take the first left and you will shortly see a sign above a gate labelled Pinkuyllana. Free entry.