The city of Maras: Located 4 km from the salt mines, it is also worth visiting. This city was founded in 1556 by the Spaniards who also made great use of the ponds. It has a baroque church of the seventeenth century. Their houses that have preserved the portals and stone lintels characteristic of the colony.
Surprising Maras place or Salt mines story:
The first shallow salt ponds in Maras were probably built by the Wari civilization between 500 and 1100 AD. C. Most of these pools, built along the steep slope of the Qoripujio mountain, were no more than 15 square feet (5 square meters) and 30 centimeters deep.
During the 12th century and the middle of the 14th century, the Inca Empire took over the operation of Maras. The Incas seasoned and preserved their food with salt. They may also have used the mineral for mummification and other religious ceremonies. Ownership and management of the individual salt mines were given to families living in the nearby community of Maras. The same salt extraction process used by these families during Inca times has been transmitted from generation to generation and is still practiced today.
But where does Maras salt come from?
The salt comes from an underground saltwater flow that bubbles from the source of the Qoripujio mountain, near an upper section of the valley. Therefore, an intricate network of narrow channels was built to direct the flow of this salt water to each pond. When the water evaporates, the remaining crystallized salt is carefully extracted with wooden shovels and rakes.
Many experts recommend the pink salt of Maras for people suffering from hypertension because it has low levels of sodium chloride. Maras salt also contains calcium, iron, zinc and magnesium, making it a perfect medicinal option for skin conditions and to treat swelling.
Moray: Was possibly an Inca agricultural research center where crop experiments were carried out at different heights, the layout of its platforms produces a gradient of microclimates with the center of concentric circular platforms having a higher temperature and gradually decreasing towards the outside lower temperatures, thus being able to simulate up to 20 different types of microclimates. It is believed that Moray could have served as a model for the calculation of agricultural production not only from the Urubamba Valley but also from different parts of Tahuantinsuyo.
Various theories explain the use of Moray in the Inca period. According to the historian Edward Ranney, the Incas used the terraces of Moray as a place for special agriculture, perhaps for the development of their most precious crop, the coca leaf. John Earls claims to have discovered vertical stones on the terraces, the same ones that would mark the limits of the shadows of sunset during the equinoxes and solstices.
Day 01: Maras – Moray – Salt mines (Salt Flats)
8:00 am. We pick you up from your hotel or our office in Cusco with our Mini Van transportattion and we start this great experience.
The first place we will visit in our tour of the Sacred Valley of the Incas is Maras town here we can experience a return to the colonial past thanks to the constructions that still exist, also from Maras we will also have within our reach the view of the Urubamba mountain range and the summits of the Snowy La Verónica and Chicón.
Afterwards we will go to the archaeological center of Moray here we can observe the platforms as concentric rings and these have terraces that gradually expand.
To finish our tour in the Sacred Valley we will visit the salt flats or salt mines, where we can appreciate the large number of pools that exist here and it has an average of 5 thousand square meters of territory.
In the afternoon we will return to the city of Cusco.
- Packed snacks for the way back to Cusco
- Parcial turist ticket S/ 70.00 PEN
- Entrance to the Salt mines S/10.00 PEN
What should you bring:
- Cap, sunscreen, rain poncho
Offer price per person!! $ 30.00 USD Group service of 20 people in Mini Van.
- 01 person $ 249.00 USD
- 02 persons $ 139.00 USD (Per person)
- 03 persons $ 99.00 USD (Per person)
- 04 persons $ 79.00 USD (Per person)
- 05 persons to more!! $ 59.00 USD (Per person)
Private Service Included:
- Pick up from the airport to the hotel/hostal in our private Mini Van or H1
- Professional Private Guide for Moray and Salt Mines
Private Service Not Included:
- Partial tourist ticket to visit the archaeological sites of Moray ($ 22.00 USD)
- Salt Mines ($ 3.00 USD)
- Breakfast, lunch and dinner