Urubamba travel guide

Urubamba Tourism | Urubamba Guide

You're Going to Love Urubamba

Journey into the Sacred Valley city of Urubamba when visiting the Peruvian Andes mountains. Due to its central location, the city is a popular base camp for many visitors coming to explore the nearby salt mines, tropical rainforest, Inca ruins, and famous Machu Picchu citadel.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Urubamba

1. Chichubamba

A tour of this village demonstrates traditional life in the Andes and facilitates sustainable social and economic development in the region.

2. Moray

These stone depressions are believed to be an agricultural experiment carried out during the Inca Civilization.

3. Machu Picchu

Visit Peru's most iconic citadel nestled atop a mountainous ridge, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983.

4. Hacienda del Chalán

Horseback through the Andes mountains and along the Urubamba River for an unforgettable Peruvian experience.

5. Maras Salt Mines

Take a hike outside of the city to visit the thousands of salt pools nestled in the Sacred Valley of southeastern Peru.

What to do in Urubamba

1. The "Heart Of Urubamba"

Marvel at the Pisonay trees residing on the snowy mountains framing Plaza de Armas, Urubamba's town center. The Plaza de Armas is a hub that connects the regions of the Sacred Valley and is known as the heart of Urumbamba. Hail a "mototaxi" (a three-wheeled rickshaw), negotiate the fee and set off to explore the town. Visit Iglesia de San Pedro, a colonial church made of red stone. The church sits facing the steep mountains that surround the Plaza and lead to the Sacred Valley. After exploring the small town, stop at one of the many neighboring restaurants and try the Peruvian cuisine.

2. The Sacred Valley

Get a boleto turistico (tourist pass) and explore the Sacred Valley formed by the Urubamba River. This river was once the epicenter of Inca culture before the Spanish Conquistadores took over. The Valley expands to the Calca and Cusco, Piquillaqta, and Ollantaytambo ruins. Visit the thermal baths of Calca; hike up to Piquillaqta and observe the pre-Inca aristocratic villas scattered across the high region and the lakes of Wakarpay; and travel to Ollantaytambo and examine the incomplete temples left behind by the Spanish Conquistadores.

3. Capital Of The Inca Empire

Twelve miles from Urubamba, take a guided tour of Machu Picchu, the capital of the once royal Inca Empire. Encompassed by Incan ruins, you'll be mesmerized by the vibrant green hills overlooking the Andes. Explore Machu Picchu's Sacsayhuaman ruins, fortresses, labyrinth, and amazing architecture. You'll lose yourself among the remaining wondrous ruins of the Inca's Quechua culture. Learn the town's architectural construction, history and the life of these amazing people. Make sure to drink plenty of coca leaf tea before you ascend the mountain. The coca leaf is a highly concentrated herb recommended by the native people to neutralize altitude sickness.

4. Authentic, Handmade Ceramics

Located in avenida Berriozabal, the Ceramicas Seminario shop sells authentic Peruvian artifacts created from ceramic. Prior to starting the tour, you'll be taken to a garden where you'll enjoy a movie about the Incan people's traditional pottery. Afterwards, follow your guide to see the owners and artists, Pablo Seminario and Merilú, operate their shop. Seminario's authentic and unique techniques continue the traditional Andes style. Seminario's and Merilú's work has been exhibited at Chicago's Field Museum and at Cusco's Museo de Arte Precolombiano (Cusco's Pre-Colombian Art Museum).

5. An Archaeological Site

Comprised of man-made terraces, Moray is an agricultural complex created by the Incas long ago. The outer appearance of these terraces is similar in design to the Greek and Roman amphitheaters. However, the interior is formed of craters that descend 492 feet underground. Stand in the center of the deepest terrace and marvel at the irrigation canal systems once used by the Incas to grow potatoes, wheat, quinoa, panti, and other harvests.

1. The "Heart Of Urubamba"

Marvel at the Pisonay trees residing on the snowy mountains framing Plaza de Armas, Urubamba's town center. The Plaza de Armas is a hub that connects the regions of the Sacred Valley and is known as the heart of Urumbamba. Hail a "mototaxi" (a three-wheeled rickshaw), negotiate the fee and set off to explore the town. Visit Iglesia de San Pedro, a colonial church made of red stone. The church sits facing the steep mountains that surround the Plaza and lead to the Sacred Valley. After exploring the small town, stop at one of the many neighboring restaurants and try the Peruvian cuisine.

2. The Sacred Valley

Get a boleto turistico (tourist pass) and explore the Sacred Valley formed by the Urubamba River. This river was once the epicenter of Inca culture before the Spanish Conquistadores took over. The Valley expands to the Calca and Cusco, Piquillaqta, and Ollantaytambo ruins. Visit the thermal baths of Calca; hike up to Piquillaqta and observe the pre-Inca aristocratic villas scattered across the high region and the lakes of Wakarpay; and travel to Ollantaytambo and examine the incomplete temples left behind by the Spanish Conquistadores.

3. Capital Of The Inca Empire

Twelve miles from Urubamba, take a guided tour of Machu Picchu, the capital of the once royal Inca Empire. Encompassed by Incan ruins, you'll be mesmerized by the vibrant green hills overlooking the Andes. Explore Machu Picchu's Sacsayhuaman ruins, fortresses, labyrinth, and amazing architecture. You'll lose yourself among the remaining wondrous ruins of the Inca's Quechua culture. Learn the town's architectural construction, history and the life of these amazing people. Make sure to drink plenty of coca leaf tea before you ascend the mountain. The coca leaf is a highly concentrated herb recommended by the native people to neutralize altitude sickness.

4. Authentic, Handmade Ceramics

Located in avenida Berriozabal, the Ceramicas Seminario shop sells authentic Peruvian artifacts created from ceramic. Prior to starting the tour, you'll be taken to a garden where you'll enjoy a movie about the Incan people's traditional pottery. Afterwards, follow your guide to see the owners and artists, Pablo Seminario and Merilú, operate their shop. Seminario's authentic and unique techniques continue the traditional Andes style. Seminario's and Merilú's work has been exhibited at Chicago's Field Museum and at Cusco's Museo de Arte Precolombiano (Cusco's Pre-Colombian Art Museum).

5. An Archaeological Site

Comprised of man-made terraces, Moray is an agricultural complex created by the Incas long ago. The outer appearance of these terraces is similar in design to the Greek and Roman amphitheaters. However, the interior is formed of craters that descend 492 feet underground. Stand in the center of the deepest terrace and marvel at the irrigation canal systems once used by the Incas to grow potatoes, wheat, quinoa, panti, and other harvests.

Where to Eat in Urubamba

Alhambra Hacienda Restaurant serves traditional Peruvian food from thatched gazebos alongside roaming llamas and macaws. A typical meal costs around S/60 for two people.

When to visit Urubamba

Urubamba in July
Estimated hotel price
$19
1 night at 3-star hotel
Urubamba in July
Estimated hotel price
$19
1 night at 3-star hotel

The dry season from May-September is the best time to visit and hike around the Andes mountain range.

Data provided by weatherbase
Temperatures
Temperatures
Average
Celcius (°C)
Data provided by weatherbase

How to Get to Urubamba

Plane

The nearest and most popular airport is located in Peru's capital of Cusco, 35 miles south of Urubamba. From there you can connect by train or private taxi to Urubamba.

Train

There is no direct train to Urubamba, however you can take a train from Cusco to nearby Ollantaytambo and then make a transfer by bus. Tickets cost S/2,300.

Car

From Cusco, take route 3S to reach Urubamba in a little over one hour.

Bus

Take a local bus from Cusco bus station to Urubamba for S/3.50.

Airports near Urubamba

Airlines serving Urubamba

Delta
Excellent (3,090 reviews)
Iberia
Good (932 reviews)
LATAM Airlines
Good (800 reviews)
Aeromexico
Good (819 reviews)
Sky Airline
Good (32 reviews)
Viva Air Peru
Okay (19 reviews)

Where to stay in Urubamba

Ollantaytambo - many guided tours are based out of this nearby city along the Urubamba River. The central train station of Sacred Valley is also located here.

Popular Neighborhoods in Urubamba

Pisac - visit this area to pick up some handicrafts and explore the ancient temples of Pisac Archaeological Park.

Central Urubamba - this transportation hub is popular for its connections throughout the Sacred Valley region and for many outdoor sports activities including hang gliding, paragliding, and rafting along the Urubamba River.

Where to stay in popular areas of Urubamba

Most booked hotels in Urubamba

Tambo del Inka, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Valle Sagrado
Excellent (9.5, Excellent reviews)
$612+
Aranwa Sacred Valley Hotel & Wellness
Excellent (9.2, Excellent reviews)
$281+
Amaru Valle Hotel
Excellent (8.7, Excellent reviews)
$55+
Casa Andina Premium Valle Sagrado Hotel & Villas
Excellent (8.6, Excellent reviews)
$188+
San Agustin Monasterio De La Recoleta
Excellent (8.2, Excellent reviews)
$99+
See all hotels

How to Get Around Urubamba

Public Transportation

Buses and colectivos (shared taxis) are common within Urubamba and around the Sacred Valley region. A standard fare costs S/10.

Taxi

Due to its location, taxis are often pre-arranged for intercity travel. A trip from Urubamba to Cusco or Machu Picchu will cost S/100.

Car

Daily rental car prices start at S/150 PEN and vehicles can be picked up from the airport or other downtown locations in nearby Cusco.

The Cost of Living in Urubamba

Shopping Streets

Most shopping is done at small markets within the city. Cerámicas Seminario is a great place to shop for local souvenirs, such as alpaca clothing.

Groceries and Other

Mercado de Urubamba and Frank's Market are the two main food shopping markets. A dozen eggs costs S/5.