Peru is home to some of the world’s best whitewater rivers, and the Urubamba River is one fine example of this. Rising out of the high Andean ranges in South Peru, the 450 miles Urubamba River is one of the headwaters of the Amazon River. The magnificent river flows through Cuzco down through the famous Sacred Valley of the Incas where the waters of the river snakes and carves its way through the landscape of lush pastures that line the banks of the valley.
Along this section of the Urubamba River, you can enjoy the beautiful scenery as the Andes steep down to merge with the lush canyons. The spectacular scenery of Sacred Valley with its colorful birds and lush vegetation in the surrounding area is another beauty that can be enjoyed along the river. The Urubamba River continues to carve its way towards the north of Peru until it merges with two other rivers, the Apurímac River and the Ucayali River, to form the great Amazon.
Urubamba River is divided into two sections; these are the upper and lower Urubamba. The upper section is known as the Vilcanota River which flows through the towns of Sicuani and Urcos. In the Upper Urubamba Valley, there are extensive irrigation works and numerous Inca Empire ruins. The lower section of the river is the Wilcamayu or sacred river, and this section slithers its way through Sacred Valley and continues between Písac and Ollantaytambo until it plunges from 11,000 to 8,000 feet in the Gorge of Torontoy. The dividing feature of the upper and lower Urubamba is the whitewater canyon called Pongo de Mainique.