A rapidly expanding market town, growing fat on profits from coffee, tropical fruits, chocolate and, to a certain extent, the proceeds of cocaine production, QUILLABAMBA is the only Peruvian jungle town that’s easily accessible by road from Cusco: the main attraction here is a quick look at the selva. Coming from Cusco, the initial section of road is a narrow gravel track along precipitous cliffs, notoriously dangerous in the rainy season, but after a few hours, having travelled over the magical Abra Malaga – the main pass on this road – the slow descent towards Chaullay starts. From here on, you’ll see jungle vegetation beginning to cover the valley sides; the weather gets steadily warmer and the plant life thickens as you gradually descend into the Urubamba Valley.Your first sight of the town, which tops a high cliff, is of old tin roofs, adobe outskirts and coca leaves drying in the gardens. It’s a pleasant enough place to relax, and you can get all the gear you need for going deeper into the jungle; the market sells all the necessities like machetes, fish-hooks, food and hats. Just ten minutes’ walk from here, the Plaza de Armas, with its shady fountain statue of the town’s little-known benefactor, Don Martín Pio Concha, is the other major landmark. The nearby waterfall of Siete Tinjas is a popular spot with locals during holidays, and a pleasant natural and peaceful setting in which to while away an afternoon.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Peru features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

The best aerial views in the world

The best aerial views in the world

Got a head for heights? If you're craving a new perspective on your travels, the best thing to do is get up high. From mountain-top panoramas to cityscapes, her…

17 Oct 2017 • Olivia Rawes camera_alt Gallery
The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

There's nothing like an amazing view to inspire you to book your next trip, whether you're drawn by rolling countryside, isolated islands or soaring mountain …

30 Aug 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
24 breaks for bookworms

24 breaks for bookworms

1. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas In 1971, fuelled by a cornucopia of drugs, Hunter S. Thompson set off for Las Vegas on his “savage journey to the heart of …

02 Mar 2017 • Eleanor Aldridge camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right

Weekly newsletter

Sign up now for travel inspiration, discounts and competitions

Sign up now and get 20% off any ebook