After two full days at Machu Picchu, we took the train to Ollantaytambo (often called “Ollanta”). We had read advice (somewhere?) to pick up a good guidebook since the information in it was what the guides would tell us anyway. How did we get into the archaeological site and only THEN remember that we should have purchased the guidebook? Well, too late now.
We spotted terraces on many nearby mountainsides. Why, we wondered? We later read that these were carefully placed to take advantage of different microclimates for agriculture.
Perhaps the easiest area to explore was at the base of Temple Hill where a small canal flows. The bath area was easy to identify and reminded us of a bathhouse we’d seen in Ephesus, Greece.
The Incas developed the site in the late 15th century. Ollantaytambo was not yet finished when the Spanish unsuccessfully assaulted it in 1536 and lost partly because the Inca were able to flood the plain. A year later, Manu Inka moved to the safer area of Vilcabamba, and, within a few years, the Spaniards took over Ollantaytambo.
Without a good guidebook to consult while we visited the site, we did our explorations that day and later. Using good wifi and more time, we “revisted” the site and started to piece together all that we’d seen. Needless to say, it would have been easier with the guidebook in hand!