We decided to visit Machu Picchu by ourselves, instead of joining a tour and therefore headed out from Cuzco to Ollantaytambo. We took a collectivo from Cuzco to Urubamba for 4 soles each. From Urubamba we took a taxi collectivo to Ollantaytambo for 3 soles each.
Our plan was to take the train to Machu Picchu from Ollantaytambo that evening, leaving us with the whole afternoon to grab lunch, look at the site and book ourselves a hostel for our return.
The collectivo dropped us off at the train station so we left our backpack in storage for free until that evening. Heading up towards the plaza we found a nice hostel called Calicanto and booked ourselves in for our return. We walked a little further up and found a vegetarian restaurant for lunch, so far so good!
After a filling lunch we went and did a full tour of the Ollantaytambo site. The site is built across 2 adjoining mountain sides which offer views across the mountains.
One thing we noticed is that most of the tours that came and went only did a small part of the site, which is a shame because the right hand side has a lovely corridor built into the rock face along with a restored house showing how the area would have looked back in the Inca times.
At the base of the site you can find some ruins including fountains, aqueducts and houses. Also from the entrance you really get an idea of just how large the site must have been.
We were extremely lucky because as we started to head out of the site, after a couple of hours of roaming around, it started to rain! Perfect timing…
We spent the last couple of hours in a cafe waiting for it to stop raining, before heading out through the cobbled streets of the town for a short tour of the town.
We then grabbed dinner and headed off to catch our evening train to Machu Picchu.