Over the hill and through the sacred valley there is a little four-block town called Ollantaytambo, or Ollanta in local short hand. Most people pass through here on their way to Machu Picchu, but just passing through is a mistake as this is a quaint and charming town is yet another little escape from the chaos of Cusco.
Stores and restaurants cater to tourists, and yes it is a bit touristy, but not oppressively so. To test this theory, I sat one day in the main plaza for over an hour without one single offer of goods and or services – try doing that at La Plaza De Armas, Cusco.
Practically anywhere in Ollantaytambo is at the town center and although it is not necessarily planned walkability is high. Another thing I love about Ollanta is the palpable presence of the Incas. The side streets and over half of all the buildings are made of partially of Incan stone. Lain over 500 years ago, it is an impressive venture enough to see, touch and walk upon them. Nevertheless two sets of Inca ruins ascend up each side of the valley adding to the grandeur of their ubiquity.