Inca street and town planning at its finest is preserved in the village of Ollantaytambo, surrounded by neatly terraced hills.
Soaring above the town’s cobbled streets, which have been lived in since the 13th century, is the massive Inca fortress and the monolithic stones of the Temple of the Sun. Built by Pachacuti in the 1400s, the huge complex features fine stonework and a ceremonial temple hill area topping the stepped, fortified terrace.
Climb more than 200 steps to the top for fabulous views and an up-close look at the impressively hewn masonry. You’ll also see the remains of several temples and ceremonial fountains.
To see where the huge blocks of stone were quarried from the mountainside, follow the 6km (3.5 mile) trail to the quarry on the other side of the river - the water was diverted to flush the stones down to the construction site.
Ollantaytambo was the site of a rare Inca victory over the conquistador forces in 1536, led by Manco Inca, the leader of Inca resistance. The museum here will tell you more about the incident and the eventual repercussions.
Ollantaytambo is in the Sacred Valley, 25 minutes from Urubamba by road. Cusco is 60km (37 miles) away, 2.5 hours by road.
Trains running between Cusco and Aguas Calientes (for Machu Picchu) stop at Ollantaytambo, the halfway mark along the route. The town is a starting point for the four-day Inca Trail hike to Machu Picchu.