The History of Ollantaytambo

This week we were welcomed into new host families in the small town of Ollantaytambo, which is the jumping off point for many treks to Machu Picchu. We partnered up with Awamaki, a local NGO whose purpose it is to aid and empower women in the area through business endeavors and workshops.

In addition to having homestays, this week marked the final week of Spanish classes for our group. We spent the mornings with local Spanish teachers, learning not only grammar and vocabulary, but also about local culture, cooking, and even a little bit of the indigenous language, Quechua.

In the afternoons our group took advantage of the beautiful mountains and rich Incan history of Ollantaytambo by embarking on a number of short hikes to the ruins scattered around the area. We also took some time to learn about traditional weaving from some of the women partnered with Awamaki. We even traveled to the nearby town of Urubumba to attend a big carnival, which was the celebration of the town’s anniversary.

Learning traditional weaving techniques.
Ladies hike to one of thousands of Inkan terraces.
Sunshine to the top! Mini group hike to ancient food store houses just above Ollantaytambo.
Group hike to the Mara Salt Mine. Great views and very salty water.