The town of Ollantaytambo is a living image of a gold rush town. The city sits in the flood planes of the Urubamba River and is a great place to stay the night in making the way through the Sacred Valley towards Machu Picchu.
There are a number of hostels and hotels and a plethora of stores stocked with silver trinkets, and tapestries woven from brightly colored Alpaca wool. Ollantaytambo is a unique town which stretches the length of main street with a few back roads that taper off and climb the mountainside.
And a small river runs through the town which catches way with the Urubamba river and eventually merges with the Sacred and mysterious ruins of Machu Picchu.
The city comes equipped with small bodegas, farmacias, restaurantes and cafes. It provides all the essential amenities if you decide to stay the night. The Plaza de Armas is quaint and just a block away from the base of the Ruins. It is decorated with themes of the Incan People such as the Condor, the Puma and the Serpent. They believed the Puma represented life, the condor represented the heavens and the Serpent represented the underworld.
There are guided mountain biking tours, and a Chocolate Museum for those who still crave cultural stimulation after visiting the Ruins.
If traveling through the city, there are a few ritzy hotels by the train station and more affordable lodging towards the center. To get to the station from the Ruins, take a right off of main street after having crossed the covered bridge. It is a 5 to 10 minute walk and will pass carritos, bodegas, restaurants and internet cafes to provide you with just enough fuel before embarking to Aguas Calientes.
If not planning to stay the night in the city, I suggest to allow enough time to pass through and enjoy the afternoon.