This half day tour experience to Chinchero, Moray & Salt Mines, will take you off the beaten track to enjoy the stunning scenery of snow-capped mountains of the Andes in Sacred Valley, Chinchero, with its colonial church & Inca ruins, the incredible “Green Houses” of the Incas in Moray and the impressive pre-Inca Salineras, also called salt mines.
Please note: The Chinchero, Moray, Maras & Salt Mines Tour is only offered to our clients doing a 2, 3, 4 or more days tours or treks to Machu Picchu.
CHINCHERO, MORAY, MARAS & SALT MINES TOUR
We pick you up at 8:00am or 1:00pm in our private van and you begin your trip to the village of Chinchero, where you will see in the plaza an adobe colonial church, dating from the early seventeenth century, has been built upon the foundations of an Inca temple or palace. The ceiling and walls are covered in beautiful floral and religious designs. In addition, you will discover Inca archeological ruins and agricultural terraces, which are attributed to Inca Tupac Yupanqui who possibly used Chinchero as a kind of country resort.
We continue on to the village of Maras, where its colonial architectural beauty is still preserved. You will see the building are made of thin stone, and images on lintels with sculptures in bas-relief. Then, we move on to Salineras, the salt mines consists of 3,000 small pools roughly 5 square meters (53.8 ft²) in size. Every three days, during the dry season, workers fill the pools with salt water that comes from a natural hot spring at the top of the Maras’s complex. When the water evaporates from the pool, the salt is left for collection. This process is carried out over a one-month period until the pools reach an approximate volume of solid salt that is 10 centimeters (4 inches) in height. The salt is ground up, treated with iodine, packaged and sent to various markets in the region.
Then, we are on our way to the fascinating site of Moray, located at (3,450m/11,318ft), where we find the agricultural terraces of Moray with their complex system of irrigation and terraces. Different levels of terraces are carved into a huge basin, part of which was further excavated by the Incas. The terraces have varied microclimates depending on how deep into the bowl they are located. It is thought they were used by the Incas to discover the optimal growing conditions for their crops. These terraces served as a natural greenhouse to grow an extraordinary variety of crops at an altitude normally not conducive for the crops. It has also been suggested that the terraces had a cosmological meaning. The Incas were very advanced in the knowledge of creating specific sub-climates. Then, we return to your hotel in Cusco.
What is Included
- Private group
- Professional and knowledgeable guide fluent in English
- Private comfortable transportation
What is not Included
- Entrance tickets to archeological sites: 70 soles (1 day only) or approximately $22 USD per person, which can only be purchased in soles only at the first archeological site. (See important info for more information)
- Maras Salineras / Salt Mine entrance 10 soles