In the flood planes of the Urubamba river, between Cusco and Machu Picchu the Inca once built Otallantambo to both protect the Sacred village of Machu Picchu and to serve as ‘la puerta de la selva’ or the gateway into the Jungle. The ruins of Ollantaytambo will provide additional insight into the ancient Incan people, and marks the last stop before entering Machu Picchu.

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The city hums with extranjeros and is stocked with stores on stores of traditional gifts and souveniers. The police stand at just about every street corner as visitors are bussed in by the masses to see the first glance of the extensive and marvelous ruins of the Inca Empire.

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The ruins of Ollantaytambo mark a special territory for the Inca. The Templo del Sol, and the reservoir on the mountainside across the valley show Ollantaytambo to have been a storehouse for food, as well an important religious meeting place.

It is an impressive fortress which is bolted to the rocky mountainside. The Inca locked this palace alongside the cliff which rises along the base of the mountainside. The enormous rocks that form the walls of each terrace are of white Granite instead of the sedimentary rock which is what the mountain naturally consists of. This suggests the Inca brought these rocks in from as far north as Machu Picchu to build a more sturdy stronghold. This signifies the city was of great importance to the Inca people.

The mountainside which faces the ruins illustrates the profile of a man. Whats more, the natural phenomenon lies directly in the route of the sun as it rises during the Winter solstice, another indicator that Ollantaytambo was a Sacred and specially placed city within the Inca Empire.

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