Maras and Moray Tour: A visit to the Inca Salt Mines and the botanical laboratory

Reading : 4 min January 23 2023

Maras and Moray are not the same place, they are two different beautiful places in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, both full of history and significance for the people of Cusco.

The salt mines of Maras is a truly incredible place to visit once you are in Cusco. Located in the Sacred Valley of Peru, the ancient terraced mines have been around since Incan times and are still used to this day. There's over two thousand pools that are filled with natural salty water. These pools have been used for centuries to produce salt for the local communities. The unique landscape of the area has been formed by centuries of salt production and continues to be an incredible natural wonder. Travelers have the opportunity to explore the fascinating salt mines, learn about its history and know more about the ancient techniques of salt production, while taking pictures of the stunning views of the Andes Mountains.

The Moray Ruins

Moray is also located in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. According to experts, this enigmatic place hhasbeen used as an agricultural laboratory by the Incan people. Moray has a series of concentric circular terraces dug into the ground. These were intended to simulate different altitudes to determine what type of food could be grown on each terrace due to its temperature.

It's believed that Moray was built around the year 1000, during the height of the Incan Empire. Each terrace was designed to be a different temperature, with the topmost being the warmest and the bottom being the coolest. This enabled the Incas to cultivate a variety of crops in the different climate zones without having to move them from place to place.

It is also believed that the ruins of Moray were used to hold religious ceremonies. The terraces were arranged in a circular pattern that could represent the cosmos, and the Incas may have used the site to honor the sun god, Inti.

The purpose of Moray, however, is still surrounded by mystery. Some experts believe that it was used as an agricultural research center, while others suggest that it was a place of spiritual significance. Whatever its purpose, Moray was a very important part of Inca culture. Today, the ruins of Moray are a popular tourist destination. Visitors can explore the terraces and take in the breathtaking views of the Sacred Valley. The ruins are also open to interpretation, allowing visitors to use their own imagination to discover the secrets of the ancient Incan site.

No matter what the original purpose of Moray was, one thing is certain: it is an incredible piece of Inca history that should be admired and appreciated. With its beautiful views and mysterious past, the ruins of Moray are sure to captivate any visitor.

Maras Salt Mines 

The salt mines of Maras, located in the Sacred Valley of the Incas in Cusco, Peru, are an incredible sight to behold. The salt mines existed long before the Incas did, and are still used today by local villagers to extract salt.

The salt mines of Maras are formed by a unique geological phenomenon in the region. The area is located on the edge of two mountain ranges, the Andes and the Vilcanota, composed of sedimentary rocks. The rocks contain a high concentration of minerals, including salt, which filters through the rocks and accumulates in a subway pool. The surface pools are fed by a series of natural springs, creating a system of salty waterways.

The salt-rich water is then directed into shallow, rectangular pools that have been cut into the side of the mountain. The pools are connected to each other and are arranged in a series of terraces, creating a stepped pattern. Each pool is about 3 feet deep and is filled with the salty mineral-rich water. As the water evaporates, salt crystals form and can be harvested.

The salt mines of Maras are an example of a sustainable resource management system. Local villagers are able to extract salt from the pools in a sustainable way, without damaging the landscape. Then the salt is used for different purposes, including seasoning for food, a preservation technique for meat and fish, and a medicinal treatment for wounds.

The salt mines of Maras are a beautiful reminder of the ingenuity of the Incas and their ability to use nature to their advantage. They are a testament to the power of sustainable resource management and the importance of preserving the environment.

Maras Salt Mines and Moray Tour

The Maras Salts Mines and Moray Tour is an incredible experience that you can live once you are in Cusco. It will take you to explore two fascinating ancient sites. The tour begins in Maras, a community located in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Here, you will explore the salt mines, where salt has been harvested since pre-Inca times. The local people still use the same ancestral techniques to extract salt as their ancestors did before them. You will learn about the traditional methods of collecting, drying and storing salt, and photograph the incredible salt terraces.

Next, you will visit Moray, an ancient Inca agricultural site with terraced circles built into the ground. This site is thought to have been used as an agricultural laboratory, where the Incas experimented with several plants and crops in order to find out which ones would grow best in the local climate. At Moray, you will learn about the history of this fascinating site and admire the amazing views of the surrounding landscape.

The last stop of the tour is Chinchero, a small town located in the Sacred Valley. Here, you will be able to explore the local market and learn about traditional weaving techniques from the local artisans. You will also have the opportunity to purchase some traditional souvenirs to bring back home.

The Salt Mines of Maras and Moray tour is a great way to learn about the fascinating history of the Inca Empire and experience the beauty of the Sacred Valley of the Incas. This tour is suitable for all ages and will definitely be a memorable experience. 

Explore our tourism packages and choose the best one for you. We will take care of the details, so you can relax and enjoy the true Inca experience.

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