Since moving to the Cusco region approximately a year ago, we have had the opportunity to make numerous visits to all most all of the sites in and around Cusco. During these visits we are often within close proximity to tour groups and can often hear what the guides are saying.
One of the interesting things that we have noticed is the variety of explanations given by different guides. For example, in Ollantaytambo there are two faces that are often pointed out on the mountain across from the main site. While the largest of these that is near the storehouses, or qollqas in Quechua, seems to always be referred to as the Inca god Wiracocha. The other face (profile) near the top left of the mountains seems to be attributed to a few different people including the Inca Pachacuti.
We have herd that these faces are natural formations as well as manmade, and we have herd several accounts as to what some of the buildings and fountains were used for. While the overall information relayed by the guides seems to agree, there are those bits that I believe they just don’t have answers for, and rather than saying “we don’t know” or offering up a few theories, they tend to offer up one theory as if it were fact.
Don’t get me wrong, I do think the guides at the sites have a lot of valuable information to offer, and I don’t mean this to be a guide bashing post. I just think that those that do hire a guide while visiting the sites, should take what the guide says with a grain of salt, and consider that some of what is being offered may be more opinion than fact.