Since ancient times, Ollantaytambo was a gateway to different places, and even today is the main entrance to the wonder of Machupicchu.
This town is unique at the international level, due to this town has streets and houses of Inca manufacture that could survive the passage of time, and that is why today it is still one of the most important places for all people who is interested in traveling to Machupicchu and learn more about the origins of our Andean culture.
Additionally, Ollantaytambo has an altitude of 9,160 ft. and is the connection area between sacred valley located at the Quechua region, the Patacancha (15,308 ft.) valley which corresponds to the Suni region and the high jungle region where Machupicchu is located, at 7200 ft.
Cusco transport wants to share in this blog the importance of this magnificent town, its history and tradition that comes from ancient times and it is still known until today. As well, Ollantaytambo is a mandatory stop before going to Machupicchu or after visiting it. Additionally, this ancient town is the last stop in our services of airport shuttle from cusco to Ollantaytambo. Additionally, if you want a shuttle car with stops to Ollantaytambo, just contact us!
According to new interdisciplinary studies, the history of the Tampus (first settlers of Ollantaytambo) is much older than that one of the Incas.
According to Waldemar Espinoza, at the time of the abandon of the Tiawanako´s settlement located close to Titicaca lake due to the abrupt invasion of the Aymara culture, these Tiahuanaco populations began to look around for suitable places to live, until they reached Cusco and Urubamba valleys.
When these populations arrived to Cusco, they decided to divide all the group into two parts, one led by Manco Capac, who decided to stay in the valley of Huatanay, where today is Cusco. While the other group decided to continue walking to the Urubamba valley, until reaching Tampu, today known as Ollantayrtambo.
Additionally, according to archaeological studies developed by Brian Bauer; during the XIV century the plantations that were previously developed over 81000 ft began to grow on lower altitudes which allowed to ease the human life in these valleys and throughout Cusco. Owling to this abundance of food in this period, the Inca state that lived in Cusco, began to need a wider expansion, thus the main leader of the Inca empire, Pachacuteq decided to conquer the people of the Tampus and consequently the Inca culture could take the power of these lands in the sixteenth century.
During the Inca period, Ollantaytambo changed its importance of being a small town to become a tambo (resting place) for all the people who came or went out through the three valleys of this place. From this moment on, Ollantaytambo functioned as the gateway to several destinations in ancient Peru. It was not only a spot of passage and control, also after becoming a tambo, part of the Inca economy of the state was located here and therefore a better urban planning was needed in this town, including palaces, terraces, storages (possibly the largest corn storage of the Inca empire was built here), agricultural terraces, Inca temples, water channels and endless constructions that survive until these days as an example of the great Inca architecture.
After the arrival of the Spaniards to Cusco, Manco Inca decided to make the rebellion of 1536; resulting in an unsuccessful attack against the Spaniards in Cusco, then he decided to retreat and stay in Ollantaytambo where he ordered to edit some old buildings to build with them a fortress and improve the walls to try to defeat the Spanish. But he could beat the Spaniards and decided to escape again immersing into the jungle of Vilcabamba (the last Inca refuge).
As we read before, Ollantaytambo has a privileged location to penetrate deeply into distant places, despite the conquest and destruction of almost all the inca settlements, this town is still a resting place (tambo) for people from Cusco, transporters, traders and of course for tourists.
According to the book “Machupicchu and the Inca Trail” written by Victor Anglers Vargas, the first work to enable a railway from Ollantaytambo to Quillabamba began to take place in the late nineteenth century, after the private investment of coffee and fruit farmers from the valley of Quillabamba.
After Hiram Bingham exposed the existence of Machu Picchu worldwide, the local people decided to implement train cars and touristic services throughout this train route that came from Cusco to Ollantaytambo and then keep going to Aguas Calientes. Due to this touristic importance Ollantaytambo is always a popular stop for travelers who come to Peru for visiting Machupicchu.
Today Ollantaytambo has a wide range of touristic services, in this charming town you can find hotels, restaurants, archaeological centers, hiking roads, museums, craft centers, ATMs, colonial buildings and many more places, besides the important train station, that take us to the wonder of the world: Machupicchu.
This route is not too long. Firstly, the car traffic inside cusco’s city is currently heavy, but almost all the time we can go from the airport to the suburbs in 20 minutes approx. then, we will continue the car or bus ride until Ollantaytambo, this distance is done in 1 hour and 30 minutes. In total, going by car or bus from the airport of Cusco to Ollantaytambo takes 2 hours approx.
The price of our transfer service is up to the type of car you want:
There are two options for going to Ollantaytambo, the first one is taking our services of transfer from Cusco to Ollantaytambo, and the other option is getting the sacred valley tour or another tour within the sacred valley of the Incas.
As we could see, Ollantaytambo is still an important gateway nowadays, if you leave Cusco to visit Machupicchu or if you are already on your way back to Cusco, you always have to make a stop in this beautiful place and us, Cusco transport, will take care of taking you to Ollantaytambo or taking you back to Cusco in a safe way with high quality services. Contact us