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Urubamba: A paradise in the heart of the Sacred Valley

  • Published on Aug 24, 2016 Destinations
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The city of Urubamba, also known as the Pearl of the Vilcanota, was one of the main agricultural centers in the time of the Incas because of its fertile land. It is located at the foot of the snow-capped mountains Chicón and Pumahuanca at 2.871 m.a.s.l., and 78 km from the city of Cusco. The marvelous landscape with various ecological zones and pleasant climate emphasizes the beauty of Urubamba.

Urubamba which means “One day journey of pampa to the trail” in English, is located in the heart of the Sacred Valley, in a stunning area for extreme sports such as hiking, zip-lining or flying fox, mountain biking, paragliding, canoeing, balloon flights, etc.

You will also visit mystical places with lots of history and culture that are still outstanding despite the years.

Learn more about the interesting sightings you will find in the heart of Urubamba:

  • Iglesia Santiago Apóstol (St. James the Apostle Church): It was built in 1650 by the local priest, Juan Arias de la Lira, with the assistance of the Bishop Manuel Molinedo. On December 28th, 1972, the church was declared Cultural Heritage of the Nation, being considered as the first Church in the Sacred Valley. Its architecture still retains colonial artworks, for example, it has a gothic style cross, and the altar is plated with gold leaves and silver plates. You can also find the image of an Inca with a mascaipacha (royal crown) in his head.
  • La casa of Martín Pio Concha (Martin Pío Concha House): It was the last Spanish who ruled Cusco in the 19th century. In this place, there are 360 archaeological pieces, found in Machu Picchu by the American archaeologist Hiram Bingham, which were returned by Yale University. Here you will see skeletal remains, metal parts, ceramics, and stone pieces.
  • Urubamba Main Square: It is surrounded by a range of green hills; the square is the central point of the whole city. In front, you can see the church San Francisco, built on Inca’s foundations. You will also find restaurants dedicated to the typical Cusco’s cuisine, and tour and travel agencies that will guide you to learn more about the Inca culture.
  • Urubamba River: Also known as Wilcamayu (Sacred River), it is one of the major rivers in Peru that starts in the Nudo de Vilcanota about 4,314 m.a.s.l., its name in English means “flat land of spiders” and it is the perfect place for canoeing. It is recommended to practice this sport as from December to March because of different degrees of difficulty (I, II, II).


How to get to Urubamba

Urubamba borders the provinces of La Convención, Anta, and Calca, and is located just 78 km from the city of Cusco, about 1 hour and a half away by bus or car. The tourist will have two options to get to this place, north, with direction to Chincheros and northeast, with direction to Pisac Calca.

There is a train station in the city of Urubamba. From this station, the train PeruRail Vistadome, the only train to Machu Picchu station, departs.

Learn more about the ancient Inca culture, a place that still keeps its fertile lands for the best corn production. Enjoy and experience the combination of ancient culture and adventure of Urubamba!

Sources: Mincetur,, Origen andino.

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