In the mid-15th century the Inca Emperor Pachacuti conquered the town of Ollantaytambo and re-built it as a religious, political and military complex as well as a resting place for the Inca nobility.
During the Spanish conquest of Peru, Ollantaytambo served as headquarters for Manco Inca the resistance leader who retreated to Ollantaytambo following his defeat in the siege of Cusco in 1536. He then subsequently successfully defeated the Spanish in a battle at Ollantaytambo by flooding the valley below. The Spanish led by Hernando Pizarro subsequently returned with a far greater army and eventually took control of Ollantaytambo while Manco Inca fled to the city of Vilcabamba.
The fortress is located on the western side in the area known as Aracma Ayllu and is made up of a series of imposing, terraces, temples, platforms, paths and walls and offers excellent views of the surrounding countryside, the town of Ollantaytambo itself and the Incan storehouses or ‘Qollqa’ built on the Pincuylluna mountain opposite the ruins.
Best of Peru Travel Recommends:
- Try and get to the ruins early in the morning as tour groups start to arrive from about 11am and the ruins get very busy.
- With over 200 large steps to climb to reach the top, this is not for the faint of heart or for those with bad knees or backs!