Maras, Moray and the salt mines are located in Maras, a district of the Urubamba province, reached by a paved road from kilometre 50 on the road Qosqo – Chinchero – Urubamba. It is located towards the west of Qosqo, over a plain that in prehistoric times was a huge plateau; an area from where we see the Urubamba mountain range including the snow capped mountains of Waqay Willka (today “La Veronica”, 5682 m/18641ft) & ” Chicon” (5530 m/18143ft).
Transfer from hotel and drive to Maras town where you can see beautiful gateways and narrow streets. Then we’ll continue about 7km to the southwest and reach Moray, a unique archaeological site in the region. Consisting of enormous depressions or hollows in the ground surface that Incas made, it was used as an agriculture experimentation centre. What is surprising is the difference in average annual temperature between the top and the bottom. After visiting Moray we continue towards the northwest of the village and get the famous salt mines. The “salt mines” are made up of about 3000 small pools with an average area of 5m² (53.8ft²), constructed on a slope of the “Qaqawiñay” mountain. People fill up or “irrigate” the pools with salty water emanating from a natural spring located on the top of the complex.
Maras: Located to the West of the Cusco at 3300m. Its important occupation began when the Cusqueño nobles of the Inkario were stripped of their palaces in the Qosqo and had to leave to settle down in other small towns like Maras. It has a church constructed in a style typical of the provincial religious architecture.
Moray: Moray is about 7 km to the southwest of Maras; it is a unique archaeological site in the region. These depressions or gigantic natural holes in the surface of the land that were used to construct agricultural terraces or platforms with their respective channels of irrigation. It was a prototype of conservatory or biological experimental station.
Salt mines: Located to the northwest of the town of Maras, these include about 3000 small wells with an area average of about 5m², during the time of drought they filled them every 3 days with salt water that emanates from a natural spring.
The salt contained in the wells solidified gradually. Later the salt would be struck and thus granulated. Today the salt is packaged in plastic bags and shipped to the markets of the region; that salt is being iodized so that its consumption is not harmful.
Finally we return to Cusco at approximately 3:30 pm.
Schedules: Our private tours leave at 8:40 AM / return 3:30 P.M
Duration: This is a half day tour including the historical center and the surrounding ruins.
Places to Visit: Maras , Moray , Salt Mines and Chinchero
Private Service: VIP Service for organized groups departs any day. Highly recommended.
Tourist Ticket or Boleto Turistico (BTG): Officially known as the Boleto Turistico Unico (BTU) this ticket is valid for 10 days. It is sold at the Instituto Nacional de Cultura (INC).
Pick up from your Hotel
Professional bilingual guide (English / Spanish)
Transport back to your Hotel
What is not included?
Meals and drinks
Entrance fees (Cost approx. 15 Soles per person)
We recommend that you bring:
Wear light shoes or snickers
Waterproof raincoat for the rainy season
Long sleeve T-shirts
Short or Long Pants
Sun Block and hats for the sunny days
Personal medical kit
A light backpack