We flew from Guayaquil Ecuador to Cusco Peru using airline miles. From there we took a bus to Ollantaytambo.

Ollantaytambo is a small, sleepy town that is less than 2 hours by bus from Cusco and a more reasonable altitude of 9,074 feet above sea level, it has lodging, restaurants, a few tour guide businesses, and not much else. It is level in most of the town although 5 minutes away you can start a climb to some ruins.

We stayed in a relatively recently remodeled hostel with a lovely courtyard. The room itself was in good condition except the floor wasn’t level (interesting in the middle of the night) and the entrance door is about 5’ high. I didn’t have to duck to go in and out but Dan did.

As with most towns, there is a river that runs through Ollantaytambo. The difference in this river is that it goes through a series of open culverts which are less than a foot wide/deep. This makes it quite rapid. The water is crystal clear and safe for bathing but not drinking.

We started up one path and ran into a guide who was hoping to run into someone like us who would like to hire him. We did and walked up a fairly steep path to some ruins that had been a lookout in times past. From this point you could see the start of the Inca Trail and we actually saw some horses coming back from the trail (I think it is 2 days by horseback but 4 days hiking).

We enjoyed the town enough to return to it after we went to Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu.

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