[oo-roo-vahm-bah; Eng. oor-uh-bahm-buh]
Urubamba, river, c.450 mi (720 km) long, rising in the Andes Mts., S Peru, and flowing generally north to join the Apurímac River to form the Ucayali. The Urubamba is extensively used for irrigation, and its valley is heavily populated; Cuzco, Peru, is located there. High above the Urubamba's gorge are the ruins of the terraced Inca city of Machu Picchu.

Urubamba (which means "Flat land of Spiders" in Quechua) is a small town in Peru, located near the Urubamba River under the snow-capped mountain of Chicon. The town is located near a number of significant ruins of the Inca Empire, and frequently houses tourists visiting those sites.


Located one hour from Cusco, Urubamba is the largest town in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. It is frequently visited by tourists on their way to Machu Picchu.

Urubamba has the look of a more 'functional' town than its neighbours Ollantaytambo and Pisac, but it is not without charm. There are a number of cafes and bars situated around the main plaza de armas, with one in particular; La Esquina, offering live music on certain nights.

Internet cafes exist throughout the town and are cheap to use.

There is a popular market selling fresh fruit and vegetables and also pots, pans and other essential items. The market does not really cater for tourists and doesn't include the locally produced alpaca garments/ornaments. However Urubamba is the home of the workshop of Pablo Seminario, who creates quality ceramics which can be purchased from the workshop or the store in Cusco.

There is a large sporting field used for local football (soccer) matches and also for festivals, including the festival of El Señor de Torrechayoc. During the first week of June the town swells with dancers and visitors from local towns who perform through the streets whilst the church bells ring. The festivities don't seem to stop as the local towns people celebrate well into the early hours. The dancing culminates with group performances on the local football pitch whilst crowds look on from the stands.

Urubamba is home to the Andean theater company Kusiwasi, which uses theater and dance to revive Andean culture and traditions. Kusiwasi, which means "House of Joy" in Quechua, was formed by Débora Correa, member of the Lima-based theatre company Yuyachkani.

The palace of Huayna Capac is located in Chichubamba which is the agricultural community right next to Urubamba.

Urubamba has periods throughout the day where the water supply is turned off for a few hours.

A bus station service Urubamba with routes to Cusco, Pisac, Ollantaytambo and Calca. A taxi rank can be found at the local filling station with taxis to the same places.


Sources consulted Endnotes

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