Ollantaytambo station, the busiest and most important station in Cusco

Ollantaytambo was and continues to be an important point for the entire population of Cusco. Especially because it maintains among its territories the conservation and urban planning inherited by the Incas. Currently, it is still an important point to continue the trip to Machu Picchu or some Inca constructions found on the eastern slope of Cusco. Its importance also lies in the fact that it maintains the flow of tourists adequately thanks to the train station, and the different hotels and restaurants that can be found just before traveling to Machu Picchu. In this blog, we will be able to learn more about the train station and Ollantaytambo.

Ollantaytambo train station

Important details about Ollantaytambo and the train station

One of the streets of Ollantaytambo

The Ollantaytambo train station is one of the furthest from Cusco but at the same time closest to Machu Picchu. There are several ways to get there and all of them involve an adequate road and a large number of transports that leave from Cusco. As we will see later, we now want to deal with this district and the importance of the train station today. Ollantaytambo houses a large amount of historical legacy, it was also witness to battles during the Inca resistance. After the Spanish took control of the power and domain of almost the entire empire of the Incas.

It is said that Ollantaytambo reached its splendor during the government of the Inca Pachacútec, who was in charge of expanding the Tawantinsuyo. There are many records in chronicles, that in Ollantaytambo and the Urubamba Valley, it was possible to manage corn cultivation in a better way and spread the technique throughout the Sacred Valley. This was ideal so that the tribes or ethnic groups of the place could begin to work for their food and begin to worship the main deities of the Tawantinsuyo. Deities that are closely linked to agriculture and respect for nature. It is for this reason that important temples can be found in the upper area or Hanan of Ollantaytambo.

The houses of Ollantaytambo and a large part of its urban center maintain the layout left by the Incas. This is why you can find streams and narrow streets. It is also possible to find houses with stone walls similar to the streets of Cusco. Something that still amazes thousands of tourists is that you can see some water channels that run through this beautiful town. The Plaza de Armas of Ollantaytambo is surrounded by different restaurants and also hotels and even A&B.

Ollantaytambo at present and as we already mentioned, it continues to be an important point for those who wish to reach the eastern slope of the Peruvian country. Although its importance lies in the fact that it is more linked to the Inca constructions, it can still be considered the last point located in the Andes. The points that follow, whether they are Inca constructions or not, are already in the Cusco jungle a few kilometers from descending the Málaga pass Ollantaytambo is located at 2797 meters above sea level and the climate is slightly warmer than Cusco.

Services offered by the Ollantaytambo Station

The main service offered by the Ollantaytambo station is that it acts as a transfer area for those who make their transportation from Cusco by bus and continue their journey to Aguas Calientes by train. It works the same way when returning. This service is known as bimodal transport since it includes a section of the bus trip and the rest of the trip by train. The travel time of all this transport service reaches in some cases 4 hours or more. To this we must add the time to get to Machu Picchu, which can be one more hour, making a total of 5 hours.

Regarding the location of the train station, it is possible to get there from any point in Ollantaytambo. It is easy to get to because anyone from the place can guide you or indicate the route to follow. From the Plaza de Armas in Ollantaytambo, the station is only a 15-minute walk away. In the train station, you can count on the services of Inca Rail and PeruRail. Being the second, the company in charge of making the train trip possible for locals or Peruvians. This service is much more like the rest of the tickets, but it can only be used by Peruvians. This is one of the main reasons why it is normal to find a lot of people inside the station.

Like the other train stations, you can find among the facilities the sale of different snacks, a cafeteria, sandwiches, empanadas, desserts, and drinks, whether hot or frozen. It is important to mention that it will also be possible to find some VIP waiting rooms, exclusive for customers who reserved premium or First train services. Class. In these places, you can appreciate more personalized attention and in some cases, complimentary drinks or desserts are offered.

¿The archaeological site of Ollantaytambo?
This archaeological site is just 5 minutes from the Plaza de Armas in Ollantaytambo. The construction is in the Inca style and that is why the main or most important temples are located in the highest areas. In this place, you can appreciate a large number of Andenes and remains of constructions of the Templo del Sol, the Baño de la Ñusta, and a large number of ceremonial temples. Visiting this archaeological site must be mandatory for anyone heading to Machu Picchu.

How to get to the Ollantaytambo Station?

Live show by Inca Rail at the Ollantaytambo station

A moment ago we showed one of the most popular ways to get to Ollantaytambo, which would be the bimodal service. This service is offered by train companies as a way to lighten the railway tracks or when maintenance work is carried out on the railway tracks. However, there are other ways to get to the Ollantaytambo train station. This decision can be made by two factors, we will briefly explain both. The first one has to do with the fact that the Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes train ticket is cheaper than those that include the bimodal service. The second factor is that you can have a great day in Ollantaytambo, take adequate time to visit the entire archaeological site, have an exquisite lunch in the different options and why not spend the night. The next day, wake up early and make the long-awaited trip to Machu Picchu with better-recharged energies.

The Ollantaytambo station is only a 15-minute walk from the Plaza de Armas. This is about a kilometer away, so it won’t be too difficult to get there on foot. The archaeological site of Ollantaytambo is located just 5 minutes from the Plaza de Armas, what’s more, from the square you can already see some platforms and buildings. To get to the station from the square, you just have to go down Av. Ferrocarril.

In case you are in Cusco and want to get to the train station in Ollantaytambo, there are two ways to get there. We will present you with two ways to get there that differ in travel time. The first one is the simplest, for this, we have to go to Av. Pavitos in Cusco and take one of the minivan model cars or cars that will leave us in the Plaza de Armas of Ollantaytambo. You can take the next option if you want to know Pisac and Urubamba. This route is 40 minutes longer, approximately. In addition, we will have to find other transportation from Urubamba. In our first option on Pavito Street, the travel time is 1 hour and 30 minutes. While the trip through Chinchero and Urubamba can take 2 hours and 10 minutes.

Recommendations to avoid problems when visiting Machu Picchu

Getting to Machu Picchu is easy and currently, there are different ways to do it. However, there are some details that you should keep in mind before and during your visit to the world wonder of Peru. An important detail to take into account and that the vast majority is obvious is the altitude at which Cusco is located. Remember that the first destination we will arrive at will be Cusco, which is 3,399 meters above sea level. This elevation can cause altitude sickness, which can ruin your first days in Cusco. Therefore, remember proper acclimatization, drinking plenty of fluids, and avoiding strong physical exertion. Once you get past the first day, you will feel better as your body will get used to the altitude. After this, you will only have to be careful not to forget your documents, cards, or cash at the hotel. Here are some other little tips.

  • Have comfortable and warm clothes. The temperatures in the mornings and nights tend to drop considerably.
  • Reserve the Machu Picchu ticket in advance.
  • You can also book a train room and train tickets at the service of your choice.
  • Organize your activities from the moment you arrive in Cusco. Remember to acclimatize.
  • For Machu Picchu you cannot forget mosquito repellent.
  • Take sunscreen, most of the activities in Cusco are done in the open field.
  • To learn more about the archaeological sites, do the visits and tours with a professional guide.
  • When you go out try to have cash. Especially to buy souvenirs, snacks, or drinks.
  • It will be important that you have your identity document or passport at all times. This will serve to validate your reservations and more.


By Imachupicchu – Last updated, June 17, 2023

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