As of August 2015, the city had an estimated population of 17,727 and a population density of 47.4 persons per km2. The total area was 373.35 square kilometres.
Kumano is located near the southern tip of the Kii Peninsula, in southern Mie Prefecture, facing the Pacific Ocean. Parts of the city are within the limits of the Yoshino-Kumano National Park.
The city of Kumano was established on November 3, 1954 by the merger of the town of Kinomoto with the surrounding villages of Isato, Kamikawa, Arii, Atashika, Arasaki and Tomari (all from Minamimuro District).
On November 15, 2005, the town of Kiwa (also from Minamimuro District) was also merged into Kumano.
The economy of Kumano is centered on commercial fishing, forestry and horticulture (oranges).
Kumano has nine elementary schools, seven middle schools and one high school, along with one special education school.
A portion of the Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range, a UNESCO World Heritage Site is located within Kumano.