Peru – Day 3

Day 3, Wednesday – Ollantaytambo

We completed 5 miles today hiking the ruins and walking around the town of Ollantaytambo. We did not hire a tour guide and decided to just creep in on other paid tours. That worked out just fine as a very nice tour guide invited us to follow his group along. We did for a short time to hear the history of the stone carvings but we trekked up the ruins on our own. It was an awesome day!

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Taxi ride into the town center of Ollantaytambo and got dropped off at 11am
  • Bought train tickets for our Machu Picchu adventure for Friday and trip to Cusco on Sunday
  • Hiked up the ruins and walked around the area for 1.5 hours
  • Shopped in the little market area
  • Had a snack at El Abuelo Cafe and used their WiFi
  • Walked around the town center
  • Waited for our taxi to pick us up at 4:30pm to bring us back to the hotel
  • Massage time at the hotel spa
  • Dinner at the hotel restaurant

After we finally rolled out of bed today, we headed downstairs for the breakfast buffet. It was a nice big breakfast of fruit, bacon, and eggs. They had cheese and ham as well as French Toast and other things I couldn’t eat. But nonetheless, it was a hearty enough breakfast that kept me going for most of the day. We said goodbye to the cute alpacas on our way out of the hotel and hopped into the taxi (30 Sols) the front desk reserved for us.

The taxi driver was like little speed racer, driving across the double yellow lines, passing other taxis, and other taxis passing us along the way too. We drove on a paved road for about 25 minutes and then onto a cobblestone road that took us toward the town of Ollantaytambo. On the drive, we passed many touristy restaurants such as a Vegan one and others that were clearly targeting Americans. It makes sense since there are just so many tourists coming from America plus all around the world. After maneuvering us through the cobblestone road, we entered a plaza area where the taxi dropped us off next to the train station. We took a look at the schedule and the train station agent helped us a great deal with planning out the trip we intend to take to see Machu Picchu and Cusco later this week.


  • Take your passport with you or have a copy of it saved on your phone. They will ask for it whenever you book a tour or transportation.
  • Also, don’t flush your toilet paper in the toilet. Instead, you’re to place the soiled toilet paper in the little trash bin next to the toilet. They have old plumbing and it saves the environment according to all the signs.
  • Lastly, many of the restrooms cost 1 Sol to use it but there are free restrooms inside the entrance of the ruins and you can use them if you buy a ticket (boleto) to enter.

After purchasing our train tickets, we made our way to the entrance of the ruins and bought a General Ticket (130 Sols each) that includes entrance into the ruins as well as other attractions in Cusco, Tipon, and Pikillaqta, and is good for 10 days.

The stone work of the Incas is pretty cool but the stone work that was done before the time of the Incas is absolutely amazing. We followed a tour guide that some other group paid for, to listen in and I learned that they still don’t know how or who made all these smooth stone hedges. Luckily the tour guide didn’t mind us listening and he actually invited us to follow them along as he explained the history of the stones. The surface of the stones are perfectly flat and smooth. It’s incredible how much detail went into carving out the stones and with what tools, they do not know. My friend was mesmerized by the flat stones but not so much with the Incas stone work. She especially loved the hugeness of the stones and wondered how they even made it up the hills. We had a hard enough time as it was hiking up at times. Some of the steps were narrow and didn’t allow for even my small little feet unless I walked sideways. We didn’t go up to the vista Inca Watana because it got too windy near the top of the peak so we walked back down. Then I decided to climb a different area to the top of the peak but after getting stuck too many times with cactus needles, I settled for resting and taking pictures of the beautiful landscape from a smaller peak above the carved out hut in the mountain side.

Once we got back onto solid ground, we walked around the Inca Misana which had water fountains and small stone hedges. The area looked what their version of a spa would be with little rooms and stones stacked around what appeared to be bathtubs. We’re likely wrong but that’s just what we thought.

We then did some shopping for goods made out of alpacas and baby alpacas and haggled before each purchase. The baby alpaca items are double or three times that of the regular alpaca items but the baby alpaca fabric is SO SOFT!!! Just walking around and looking at the colorful souvenirs was cool. We even got to see a lady hand making a tapestry when we went to a cafe for a snack. The El Abuelo Cafe was a nice little quiet spot for a Milkshake, Agua con Gas, Sopa de Lentil, and Guacamole con Tequenos. Plus, we were able to log onto their WiFi and catch up on emails while we waited for our taxi.

We ended the night with a massage and resting in the jacuzzi at our hotel and then a nice light dinner of Trout Ceviche, Trout Tartare, and Lomo Saltado (medium rare beef with onions over fried potatoes and a side of rice).