Why You Should Visit Ollantaytambo When Traveling in Peru

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The enchanting Sacred Valley village of Ollantaytambo is something every traveler to Peru should experience. There is really no place like it.

Here is what you can expect to find in Ollantaytambo if you go:

1. Choclo

(Photo Credit: Take That Vacation)

Ollantaytambo is synonymous with good walking and maize with cheese (choclo con queso). Its peaceful main square (Plaza de Armas) is the place for sellers of the large-grain variety—appellation of origin—who serve it straight out of the pan alongside lumps of fresh creamy cheese.

2. Humitas

(Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Sometimes you can also get humitas, a sort of tamal made from white maize that is soft and delicate. Biting into one is a taste of heaven and they give you the strength to cope with the hundreds of stairs leading to one of Cusco’s greatest treasures.

3. A Still Intact Inca Town

(Photo Credit: Flickr)

Ollantaytambo is one of the most interesting places in the Sacred Valley, famous for its huge ceremonial center erroneously referred to by many as a “fortress”. But in fact it is the town itself that enchants; it dates from Inca times and retains the original structure and architecture, but it is inhabited. Stone buildings are separated by courtyards and the walls are full of recesses. Its families live a quiet communal routine between perfect 15th Century stone walls. Its streets, aqueducts and small woods make up an ancient landscape transmitting peace and good energy.

The future preservation of Ollantaytambo is assured. The community, the municipality, provincial, regional and national governments and the main actors in the private tourism sector represented by TurismoCuida have united to carry out the Plan Wallata, which will make this district a model of responsible and sustainable development and an exemplary cultural tourism destination.

Stay for a couple of days in Ollantaytambo and lose yourself in a natural idyll that you will not find anywhere else in Peru, let alone the world.

This article was originally published on Ultimate Journeys.
Cover Art: Flickr

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Diego Oliver is a Peruvian writer and author whose work can be found in the travel magazine Ultimate Journeys. He loves to focus on Peruvian culture both modern and classic, traveling the country, as well as social responsibility.