Sometimes we can sense problems appearing on the horizon. So it went with our hike to the Pumamarca ruins, but don’t worry, there’s a happy ending.
We’d read that the hike to Pumamarca and back to Ollantaytambo offered splendid views as well as a chance to see some Inca ruins. The directions seemed a little sketchy to us. We agreed with our cousins to take a taxi up to a point on the road close to the ruins, allowing us time to explore before starting the long scenic hike back downhill.
Our wonderful driver actually managed to finally get us to the drop off point. He got out of the car and waved his arm in the direction we should walk. Gracias! Off and up we headed. After a steep climb, a long stonewall appeared. Structures were inside with a closed gate. The property seemed well maintained so we continued our search for the Inca ruins. How were we to know this was Pumamarca or that we should just open the closed gate?
When it was time to start back, we studied the trail map on map.me, our first time using the app. We were puzzled. We started off in the right direction but were going through tall weeds, then farmer’s empty fields. Clearly we needed a little experience using this app! After 45 frustrating minutes (which seemed a lot longer) we figured out, and the map confirmed, we WERE on the right trail.
We periodically checked the map when we wanted to be sure we were still going in the right direction. Did the path continue for some way down a creek bed? Map.me showed it did.
By 4pm we arrived back in Ollantaytambo, happy for the beautiful hike and the chance to see the ruins (but maybe a little wiser about having a good map on hand that we knew how to use).