Ollantaytambo is one of the most spectacular archeological remains of Peru, for its multiplicity of archeological and the singularity of each one of them, they still haven’t come to a conclusion in the techniques that were used for the construction of the enormous walls made out of rock. Each rock is elaborated in an independent form in relation to all the other rocks, angles and different volumes.
The town was divided into rectangular blocks with in a well plan geometric design made by modern architects. The narrow streets are directed to the Urubamba River. Each block is composed by houses that share the same door to the central patio. In the town there is a distribution of rectilinear streets and very narrow streets that are inhabited since Inka times.
Sacsayhuaman is an archeological group located to the north of the main square of Cusco, and also north to the neighborhood of Qollqanpata that through a median street that is about one block of longitude, that unites the both. Sacsayhuaman is not that far from the city, is only 1km from the chapel of San Cristobal.
Is located only 2km to the north from the downtown through a road with asphalt. Its altitude is of 3600 meters over the level sea.
I was in Cuzco in August, 2009. Great neat little town, very colonial with beautiful churches and cobbled streets. Like a little town you see in a story book. You will have alot of fun there. All kinds of night clubs, bars, food joints. The altitude is pretty high, about 11500 feet or so, kind of tough walking around. You can have mata de coca tea, which helps alot of people cope with altitude sickness. That Inca trail looks like murder. You better be in half decent shape to do this. Lots of climbing around. Just climing around Machu Pichu is rough even without doing the Inca trail. Town of Aguas Calientes before you get to Machu Pichu is pretty neat, its gotten kind of built up, lots of bars, food joints, tourist. Lots of tourist from Eurpope. Not a cheap trip. Train ride to MP round trip is roughly 96 dollars, plus other fares. You need to take a van to the railroad stations. Total package for a visit to MP for me and wife ran us almost 400 bucks. Its expensive to visit MP. Kind of dangerous going up the road to the ruins. It goes up a steep climb with very little room for mistakes. Buses can fall and kill everyone if the driver messes up. Its a definate adventure and once in a lifetime deal. But be ready for alot of tourist. Take a hat, sun tan lotion, some water with you and some food because there are little to no facilities up there in the ruins. It's sun blazing up there, but a little cool. The rays are intense at those elevations, though lesser elevation than in Cuzco. Cuzco is cold at night, maybe in the 30's.
Am I gay? Nah, the Judy Garland flicks just don't do it for me. Broke Butt Mountain on the other hand.....
Take pics of flowers since Kim like to frame some and hang them in the house..makes her happy, must be some female thing. I am smart enough to realize that if she is happy I am happy or at least not sleeping on the sofa.
Don't ask me what the species is....don't know and don't care. I press buttons on the camera and that is it.
Sorry no cool pics of the place. Headed up here because we got to MP around 1pm and there was a mob of people in the acutal site and I did not want to be one of them. The trail up to the Sun Gate takes about an hour to walk each way (you could run it a bit faster). It is a gradual grade so nothing too bad. We made it half way up before Kim put the brakes on my side trip. Others that made it all the way up said it was well worth it. Give it a try..you are supposed to pay to head up the trail. We did not nor did we see anyone collecting $$ to do so.
Here are my pics. Sorry if you want the history on the site buy a guide book. You can hire a guide at the entrance but think it is a bit of a waste since they are probably not going to tell you anything you cannot read on your own.
At the entrance to the park you can check your bag for 3 soles or so but take a rancho during rainy season and I got a tad bit wet in March.
Get there when it opens in the am and avoid the crowds...
Food at the snack shop near the entrance is double/triple what you will pay anywhere else in Peru.
There is a hotel there also that I was told is the most expensive in Peru.
Anyway, here are a few pics
Even if you don't stay in one of the many small inns up here it is worth a few hours to get lost looking for a great place to take a photo of Cuzco. Narrow streets/alleys mean few cars so it is quiet up here. We stomped around up here the day we arrived an kinda over did it or at least I felt it later at night but no regrets. You won't see the guided mobs up here so it is a great place to relax and recall your trip so far.
Local Inca history museum. You will see most of the tour groups here just like you will in P Armas. It's the place to see what remains of the acient Inca civilizations. The visitor pass that you can purchase to get into the sacred valley etc will get you in here.
Saqsaywaman Cuzco or with a little mnemonics help is pronounced sexy woman, is a good place to identify with a bit of Cuzquenian culture and lore. To get there take a taxi up to this ancient stone temple that is located right above the city and this will also double in giving you a spectacular view of the city of Cuzco itself. History books will tell you that it is a fortress of some sort destroyed by the Spaniards when they conquered Cuzco in the 16th century but the locals will do their best to convince you that it was not a fortress but a temple. The locals will tell you that it even has a much richer history then that and is actually the eye of the puma temple with the rest of the puma body actually part of the city of Cuzco itself. There are some nice markers that help to verify the locals' beliefs. These markers include a bizarre circular designed area that was explained to me as the pupil of the puma eye and a number of various stone arrangements resembling animals in the outer walls that are still standing today. Animals such as llamas, birds, and snakes can be seen hidden inside the rocks are consistent with the belief that this was once a temple. A Festival called Inti Rami, or Festival of the Sun, is still celebrated in the amphitheater beneath the terraces each year. The event occurs on the morning of the Winter Solstice and actors recreate the original celebration complete with costumes and processions. The event draws many people from around the world.
The Cuzco market is about 6 blocks southwest of the Plaza Armas. It has about everything you can imagine. You can buy fresh juices, craft stuff, fruit, food, clothes, etc...
It seems to be more for the citizens of Cuzco, so those are the things you'll find here. It takes up a good block or so.
I bought a wooden spoon, a pineapple/orange juice, and some fruit.
High up in the elevation, it is important to get your daily vitamins and nutrition. It is always advisable to eat fresh fruits.
No better place is there to find the freshest fruits and the best variety than the large enclosed market near the town square
Sacsayhuaman was a big fortress located on the top of a hill near Cusco. What you see today is only a small part of the fortress because the spanish have used most of the stones to build their own churches in Cusco, such as the Cathedral and Compañia de Jesus Church.
What impresses every single visitor is the precisely cut stones and how these huge walls remained undamaged after devastating earthquakes in Cusco.
Another highlight of the visit to Sacsayhuaman is the splendorous view of Cusco. The best I could get.
Nowadays, the Inti Raymi, an inca festival celebrating the winter solstice is held on the large field between the walls of the fortress annually on June 24th.
"Kenko" means "Labyrinth" in qechua. The name was given by the spanish because of the small channels carved in the rocks in a zigzag format.
Nobody knows exactly what this site was and what it meant to incas. However it is believed that it was a sanctuary or a place where important religious cults were held.
As the site is rather small, visiting it doesn´t take more than 30 minutes (being generous).
Next to San Blas Church there is a beautiful and pleasant square. Climbing the stairs at the end of the square, you´ll reach the Belvedere de la Ñusta and some nice restaurants and ateliers. Remember that this is the neighborhood of the artists...
From the Belvedere, you have a nice view of the square, a part of the city and the mountains behind it. Worth going because it´s close to the city center.
San Blas is known as the "neighborhood of the artists" and is also located in the historic city center of Cusco. The church was built in the XVI Century on the site where, in inca times, there was a temple dedicated to "Illapa" God.
Inside this church you will find one of the most precious jewels of the colonial art in America: the pulpit of San Blas, richly detailed in cedar. A must see for sure!!!