Salt Mines Maras – Moray – Cusco
An off-the-beaten track tour to the circular agricultural terraces of Moray with their complex system of irrigation and terraces as well as the ancient saltworks of Salineras. A great addition to your trip!
The Sacred Valley is true to its name, a stunning area that combines all the natural beauty of the Andes with the incredible ingenuity of Incan industry. The Famous Valley is home to the town of Ollantaytambo with its imposing Inca fortress, and Pisac for its quaint market and impressive ruins, two of the most visited tourist sites in Peru and a must-see for most tourists.
However, equally worthy of marvel, although far less explored are the two small towns that lie in the middle of the Valley, between Pisac and Ollantaytambo – Maras and Moray. Passed over in favor of the more renowned beauties in the Sacred Valley, these two places provide the perfect chance to get off the beaten track and get more intimate with the Incan history.
Moray or (Muray, in Quechua) is an archaeological site approximately 50 km (31 mi) northwest of Cuzco on a high plateau at about 3,500 m (11,500 ft) and just west of the village of Maras. The site contains unusual Inca ruins, mostly consisting of several enormous terraced circular depressions, the largest of which is approximately 30 m (98 ft) deep. As with many other Inca sites, it also has a sophisticated irrigation system.
The purpose of these depressions is uncertain, but their depth, design, and orientation with respect to wind and sun creates a temperature difference of as much as 15 °C (27 °F) between the top and the bottom. It is possible that this large temperature difference was used by the Inca to study the effects of different climatic conditions on crops. Speculation about the site has led to discussion about Moray as an Inca agricultural experiment station. Its microclimatic conditions and other significant characteristics led to the use of the site as a center for the ancient study of domestication, acclimatization, and hybridization of wild vegetable species that were modified or adapted for human consumption.
We will also be visiting the salt flats of Maras – a true hidden beauty of the Sacred Valley. Passing through green mountain after green mountain of rugged Andean terrain, you’d be forgiven for never seeing them coming. Lying in the middle of inconspicuous mountains, with sun reflecting on it as though they were snow, the salt flats will stun you with their beauty, shining out like white gold. Depending on what season you travel you can see pools of water in each section of the salt fields, shining like shimmering mirrors in the sunlight. Pass through and admire the white salt rocks against the background of green mountains, which provides you with as great a natural contrast you are likely to see anywhere in the world. Bringing your camera is a must for this trip, and you will have ample opportunity for a great photo.
- A breathtaking 20 km drive with a view of the beautiful snow-capped Chicon and Veronica mountains in the Cordillera Vilcanota as a backdrop we continue through to Moray. In Moray, we will visit “ the Inca agricultural greenhouse or laboratory”, consisting of four platforms amphitheater style or. Has a depth of 150 meters, the overlapping concentric circular stone rings widen as they rise. It was an experimental place to study the adaptation of plants to new ecosystems.
MARAS / SALINERAS ( Salt mines )
- Located 7 miles from Moray at altitude of 3, 380 m is a small village, as a model of a miniature city. Famous for its salt mines, made up of about 3000 small wells with an area average size of about 5 ms ². These were already exploited since Inca times as a means of economic exchange and securities. Very interesting to see how the salt is recovered from these mines and the lives of those who work here.
- Private bus / Transport.
- Tour guide in English.
- Lunch. (optional if requested at least 1 day in advance $7)
- Cusco Tourist Ticket. (This ticket is required for the entrance to Moray)
- Maras entrance additional 8 soles.
- If you do not already have a tourist ticket, it can be purchased at Moray.
What to bring
- Water bottle, camera, suncream, hat.
- Rain jacket or rain poncho.
- Money for lunch and souveniers.
- Comfortable sturdy walking shoes or runners.
- Cusco Tourist Ticket.
- Warm clothes to return to Cusco.
|Number of persons||Price per person|
Private Service – Standard Tour :
- US$ 190 in total for 2-6 persons. (7+ persons – please enquire)
Add-ons and Upgrades Available:
Prices depend on the type of service you choose from the following:
- Type of accommodation, single room, double, hotels can be classical or standard amenities, suites or boutique.
- Type of transport to choose for the tours that can be shared or private car.
- Tour guide or driver, all the way from the first day until the last day or only on the tours.
- All meals in each of the cities or just breakfast.
Your choice of these features will make determine the price of your tour.