Ollantaytambo is often referred to as "The Last Living Inca City" due to its remarkable state of preservation and the fact that its original Inca urban planning is still intact. Located in the Sacred Valley of the Incas in southern Peru, the town serves as a window into the past, offering visitors a unique opportunity to experience the layout and architecture of an authentic Inca settlement.


The town's streets are characterized by narrow cobblestone pathways and the presence of the original Inca canchas (blocks of buildings surrounding a central courtyard), which have been continuously inhabited since the time of the Incas. Many of the houses in Ollantaytambo are built on top of the original Inca foundations, and some even maintain their original walls and doorways. This combination of ancient and modern living gives Ollantaytambo its "living Inca city" reputation.

Additionally, the town still uses the ancient Inca agricultural terraces and an intricate network of irrigation channels that once supplied water to the entire settlement. These features, along with the surrounding mountains and the Urubamba River, make Ollantaytambo a living example of Inca engineering and agricultural practices.

The archaeological site of Ollantaytambo, situated on a hillside overlooking the town, consists of various temples, terraces, and other structures that reflect the site's religious, ceremonial, and military importance during the time of the Incas. Ollantaytambo played a critical role as a stronghold during the Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire, with the Inca leader Manco Inca Yupanqui successfully defending the site against Spanish forces in 1536.

Today, Ollantaytambo is a popular destination for tourists visiting the Sacred Valley. It serves as a starting point for the Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu or as a stopover on the train journey from Cusco to Aguas Calientes, the town at the base of Machu Picchu. Visitors to Ollantaytambo can experience the living history of the Inca civilization and appreciate the unique opportunity to explore a town that has maintained its ancient roots while adapting to the modern world.