September 1, 2015
If you have time in your Machu Picchu itinerary Ollantaytambo is worth an overnight stop, if not two. It may not be packed with sights, but is a charming Inka stone pueblo that while backpacker friendly doesn’t feel overly touristy.
The big attraction of this small pueblo just an hour and half by train from Aguas Calientes are its scenic Inka ruins perched above town where stone terraces lead up the hill to an ancient ceremonial center. As the site faces east it is best visited in the morning, preferably before noon for the best light. On a Tuesday, we saw various tour buses but never saw the site overrun by tourists.
Visible from the ceremonial center, across the pueblo on the facing hillside are more ruins including an imposing granary. If you are in need of training or other adventure, a short steep hike labeled Pinkuylluna off of Calle Lares leads to these ruins.
Curiously there was a guard just above the granary that prevented us from taking the trail onward around the hill.
In town many of the stone wall lined streets, several of which are flanked with channels of running water, date back to the Inkas.