Ollantayambo is another amazing city in the Sacred Valley, and our last stop before Machu Picchu. It was at this great city that Manco Inca, the last great Incan ruler, made his stand against the Spanish conquistadors. The city itself is built on the ruins of the Incan village, and you can still see the aqueducts built into the streets that the city still uses for its water supply.
The fortress behind the city is made up of terraced farming land, as well as a temple at the top. The stone in the original mountain was not high-enough quality to be used to build this temple, so the Inca went across the valley and up another mountain 6 miles away to find the granite they needed. They then had to divert a river and push the stones up to where they are today to build the temple that is currently there.
In the mountains across the valley, you can also see a building high up away from the town. Here they stored food. The crosswinds that came through the windows created a refrigerator-like room. Midnight snacks, however, became too much work.
That night, we stayed in the small town of Yucay at the Sonesta Posada del Inca. The hotel was great, and it had beautiful gardens, but the highlight was being able to look up at the clear southern sky and see stars I had never seen before, including the Southern Cross constellation.