The Pongo de Mainique is a pongo (canyon) in Peru, being 45 metres (50 yd) wide and 3 kilometres (2 mi) long, with 900 metres (3,000 ft) to 300 metres (1,000 ft) high cliffs. It is the only break in the entire Willkapampa mountain range. It also divides the Urubamba River (a headwater of the Amazon River) between Upper Urubamba and Lower Urubamba. It is considered the most dangerous whitewater pass on the Urubamba; however, many boats traverse it, depending on seasonal river conditions. It is crossed by the Inca Bridge, ancient secret entrance to the Machu Picchu.
It is a global biodiversity hotspot; six square miles of rainforest around the canyon contains more species of life than any other similar-sized area on Earth.
^Stromquist, Tamara (2000). "Paititi (ARA Winter 2000)". Macaw Landing Foundation's Ecotourism. Retrieved 2007-08-18. "Onward we went to Pongo de Mainique, a 50-yard (46 m)-wide, two-mile (3 km)-long canyon through which flows the Urubamba River on its way from Cusco. This canyon is the only break in the entire Vilcabamba Mountain Range. The canyon has 3,000-foot (910 m)-high walls, 30 veil-like waterfalls and is extraordinarily beautiful."
^Llama Travel. "Cusco Tourist Information". Peru Tourist Information. Retrieved 2008-07-18. "The Pongo de Mainique, a long, but beautiful, bus ride from Cusco, is a narrow gorge, with 300 m-high cliffs on either side of the Urubamba River, with waterfalls pouring down into the river."