At first sight, Moray looks like an amphitheatre of sorts, composed of multiple circular terraces. Actually, this emblematic demonstration of Inca landscaping is an ancient center for agricultural research. Next to Moray we have an impressive salt exploitation complex. From the town of Maras, we will make our way to the salt mines using a horse trail, where we will see pack animals carrying sacks of salt.
MARAS AND MORAY
08:30 – 09:00 a.m. We will go through the hotels of our clients to start this great cultural visit, we will visit the following places:
Moray: Situated at 3,450 meters above sea level, these Inca archeological place is a testament of pre Hispanic settlements. Moray was discovered in 1930 and consists of several terraced circular depressions, once used for agriculture, which relied on a complex irrigation system that reached all terraces. This area is known by the Quechua people as “muyus”. The largest depression is approximately 150 meters deep, with each terrace having an average height of 1.80 meters. The ruins of Moray date from the Inca era, when they were a center for agricultural research with several microclimates, which were achieved thanks to the height difference between terraces.
Town of Maras: This picturesque little town still preserves some of its beautiful colonial architecture. Here, we will admire extraordinary buildings adorned with sculptured reliefs, as well as meticulously carved stone fronts.
Salt pans of Maras: The salt pans are shallow evaporation pools fed by a salt-rich stream, where local “Maras” and “Pichigotos” have harvested salt since the Inca era, using rudimentary tools. These archeological remains reveal that salt was already a known and valuable resource during pre-hispanic times. The current salt extraction technique is very similar to the one used by the Incas, over 900 years ago. This technology, which is a momentous feat of hydraulic engineering, has been preserved throughout the centuries and used on a small scale due to the dimensions of the evaporation pools. These pools are built on terraces on the slopes of the mountain and are passed down as inheritance. The salt extraction is seasonal and only occurs during the dry season, from May through November, or early December.
- Tourist transport.
- Official tour guide(English-Spanish).
DOES NOT INCLUDE
- Entrance ticket to Maras and Salineras (US $5.00, not included in the Cusco Tourist Ticket).
- Entry to Moray, which is included in the Cusco Tourist Ticket. You may choose between two options: Either a Partial Tourist Ticket, which includes City Tour tickets (US $25.00), and is valid for 2 days; or a Full Tourist Ticket, which includes tickets for 16 tourist attractions (US $50.00) and is valid for 10 days.
- Food and drinks.
WE RECOMMEND TO BRING:
- Passport or ID.
- Camera and/or video camera.
- Light clothing and comfortable shoes.
- A small backpack.
- Sunglasses and plastic bag.
- Reusable or disposable water bottle.
- First aid kit.
- Carrying low denomination coins in dollars and/or soles.