The Valley’s largest town
Urubamba is the largest town in the Sacred Valley, though it doesn’t have an archeological site like Pisac or Ollantaytambo. There is a small Inca palace that belonged to the Inca Huayna Capac (below). Urubamba has very little tourism infrastructure such as hotels and restaurants, but that’s slowly changing. There is a great market and a growing number of shops that sell everything from locally made coffee and chocolate to authentic textiles made from alpaca wool.
If you like butterflies and hummingbirds, plan on a day at Ensifera Camp, about a half hour outside Urubamba. There is information in Spanish about the birds at the camp on the website Perubirds.org.
If you are traveling through the Sacred Valley in May or June, check to see what day the local Lord of Torrechayoc festival begins. It is the most important festival of the year in Urubamba and an impressive sight.
If you join a tour of the Sacred Valley, you’re likely to have lunch in Urubamba. If you would like to get there on your own, there are many colectivos and taxis in Cusco at Puente Grau. It’s the same place as transportation to Ollantaytambo, but as everybody will ask you where you’re going, so it’s difficult to get in a van going to the wrong place. A spot in a van is around s/10 and in a taxi it’s usually s/15.