The Urubamba province is located north of the city of Cusco, on the shore of the Vilcanota River, in an area known as "Valle Sagrado" (The Sacred Valley) due to its temperate climate, fertile land, and abundant climate, making this one of the most beautiful valleys on the planet.
Along the banks of the river you can find towns founded by the Spanish that seem as though time there stood still, as well as numerous Pre-Columbian temple ruins, forts, aqueduct systems, and palaces, some easily accessible requiring only a short walk to get there, while others, because of distance, demand that you hike several hours on trails that are sketched into the mountains.
On both sides of the Vilcanota River (or Urubamba, as it is called beginning at Pisaq) you can appreciate the impressive mountain range, combined with the fertile valleys of the region that stretch for 43 kilometers (26.7 miles).
Among the main places to visit is Pisaq, a town founded by the viceroy of Toledo in 1572, where skilled artisans put their high-quality products on display for the Pisaq fair every Sunday. Equally interesting are the Pre-Columbian ruins located to the right of the Vilcanota river, including an impressive archaeological group of fortified walkways, walls, and large military towers.
Another interesting place to visit is the city of Calca ("Place of Stones"), located on a flat open field in the middle of the challenging Andes. The valley is irrigated by the thawing waters of the snow-capped Piturisay peak. Preferred by the Incas (and later by the Spanish) for a place of relaxation, the Valley of Yucay is perhaps the most preferred place in the region.
River region of the Urubamba River to the north of Cusco
When to go
Year round. Preferential months are April to October.
Archaeology, ecology, and culture
How to get there
By bus and on the route of the Sacred Valley of the Incas
Walking/Hiking, observing, camping, rafting, and kayaking
Not available. You can find tourist services in Cusco.