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Maras Moray & Salt Mines Tour

Maras Moray & Salt Mines Tour

The Sacred Valley of the Incas is a succession of incredible places, each with a special and different charm. In each town and place you will feel a unique and different feeling. And so it is that within this fascinating valley, there are 2 places you must visit and not miss the incredible experience of knowing them, they are unique places in the world and that will completely fill all your senses.We are talking about Maras and Moray. These two places are  the most important tourist centers of the city of Cusco. In these places you can see part of our millenary culture in its different stages such as pre-Inca, Inca, colonial and republican.In addition to the colonial town of Maras,you will go to the Salineras of Maras stands out at a distance of 10 km from the town of Maras (30 minutes by car or 2 hours on foot). They are salt mines whose exploitation is as old as the Tahuantinsuyo. The inhabitants channel the saline water that emanates from the ground from an eye of water called "Qoripujio" to pools where, due to the effects of the sun, it evaporates leaving salt on the surface, which is then treated for sale in the local market . The view of the set of approximately three thousand pools is spectacular. The villagers show visitors their ancestral techniques and allow them to intervene in the collection. On the other hand, Moray is an archaeological zone located  at 53 km northwest of Cusco, in which stands out an admirable system of Inca terraces, made up of huge terraces superimposed concentrically in the manner of a large coliseum, achieving up to 150 meters in difference of height levels. This technology allowed the ancient Inca farmers to create diverse microclimates, experiment and obtain varieties of plants that would improve their crops. Each terrace has retaining walls and is connected by a complex system of artificial irrigation channels, which is a sample of the high hydraulic technology that the Incas also achieved. Considered one of the first genetic laboratories of humanity. The surroundings of Moray are an excellent area for mountain biking and hiking. The access for Moray is between the road that connects Chinchero with Urubamba.We invite you to learn a little more about these tourist attractions and also to start planning your next vacation with visits to these places. Maras and Moray are waiting for you!

Overview
Itinerary
Includes
Before you go

Quick Itinerary 

08:30: We pick you up from Hotel 

09:00: Starting to the Maras, Moray & Salineras Tour 

10:20: Guided tour of Moray 

10:50: Driving to Maras 

11:00: Guided tour of the Maras Colinial small town 

11:20: Driving to Salt Mines 

11:50: Salt Mines guided tour 

12:30: Return to Cusco 

14:30: Cusco

 

MARAS - MORAY TOUR:

This tour will take you to Salineras natural salt flats, through old colonial towns that are located in the Sacred Valley and surrounded by high snow-capped mountains. We will go to the town of Maras, known for its colonial style houses and interesting churches. From Maras we head towards Moray, one of the most interesting Inca constructions, which is believed to be an agricultural experimentation station. Then we will go to Salineras, where the famous salt mines are located.As you can see, this trip has it all: natural beauty, cultural sites and impressive salinas. Do not miss the opportunity to make this trip!


Location of Maras district

 

Maras is located at an altitude of 3,380 meters above sea level. Maras is at a distance of 48.10 Km (Izcuchaqa - Chequerec ), and (Cusco - Chinchero way) of 48.88 Km. (This is the most recommended for being asphalted highway).In the town of Maras, you can appreciate the chain of snow-capped mountains of the Sacred Valley of the Incas and Vilcabamba. The district of Maras has tourist attractions from the pre-Hispanic, colonial and republican period; in the town they emphasize mainly their colonial covers with shields of the nobles and caciques of the XVI and XX centuries.Maras was the obligatory stop for the muleteers and their mule trains that transported tropical products and especially coca leaves from the high Cusco forest to satisfy the needs of the city of Cusco and the country. The district of Maras has a church built with "adobe" (an special material), typical construction of the religious architecture of the town, in whose atrium is a cross carved in granite; Inside the church you can see canvases of the Cusco school in which the apostles are represented; The author of these canvases is the Quechua painter, Don Antonio Sinchi Roqa Inka, a native of the district of Maras, who is said to have painted with great care for his church.

From the town of Maras there are two routes, one to the archaeological complex of Moray and the other to the salt mines of Maras, both roads have an approximate distance of 4 km.


Salineras of Maras

 

The Salineras of Maras has an impressive saline exploitation complex, located in the area called Qoripujio, at a distance of approximately 4 km, compared to the town of Maras. It has salt mines, which were already exploited since the Incas (time of the Incas) as a means of economic exchange and values. From Maras you can get to visit the salt mines by a bridle path; for the place it is very usual to find animals that carry the sacks of salt extracted from the natural salt pans.

 

Location of the archaeological group of Moray

 

Moray is located at 53 km from Cusco, has an altitude of 3,385 meters above sea level.At approximately 7 km. to the southwest of Maras is Moray which is a unique archaeological group within its region. Moray is a center of gigantic natural depressions or holes which were used to build terraces or agricultural platforms with their respective irrigation canals. What is important in the place and therefore draws much attention is the average annual temperature difference between the top and the bottom of the depressions, that difference reaches up to 15 ° C.The biggest hole has a depth of 150 m. and the average height of the platforms is 1.80 m. among them.The structures found in Moray are typically Inca, however, some suggest that they are previous structures; this can be noticed mainly in the lower terraces. It is also estimated that the bottom of Moray is on a very porous natural rocky formation that facilitates the filtration of water into the interior of the earth since at the bottom of the depressions there is no flooding during the rainy season.


MORE TOUR ALTERNATIVES:



 

ITINERARY:

The adventure will begin at 8:30 in the morning picking you up from your Hotel. Then we will star de tour at 9:00 a.m.Our first stop will be in the ruins of Moray. On the way, we went through theChinchero town.After visiting the city of Moray, we went to the salt mines that is in the northwest of the mountain. Then we will return to the city of Cusco.

THE TOUR INCLUDES:

  • Touristic bus.
  • Professional bilingual guide (English / Spanish).
  • Entrance fee to Salt mine (Salineras).

NOT INCLUDED:

  • Water (You can buy during the tour)
  • Meals not details
  • Tips to local staff.

SUGGESTIONS:

Please,don't forget to bring with you:

  • Daily backpack
  • Good shoes
  • Rain jacket 
  • Water bottle
  • Hat  to protect from the sun or cold
  • Sunscreen
  • Snacks 
  • Camera
  • Tourist TicketINTERESTING DETAILS
  • ID


INTERESTING DETAILS OF MARAS - MORAY

  • Maras is a town located 48 km. northwest of the city of Cusco, 12 km from Urubamba and about 3028 meters above sea level. The temperature fluctuates between 1 to 21 degrees centigrade.
  • Maras was an important town during the viceroyalty (it was the main supplier of salt), as shown by the church and the houses that still preserve the shields of indigenous nobility in their facades. The houses are made of "adobe", white walls with roofs and blue windows, the streets are made of stone and mud. In the lintels you can read inscribed in stone the date they were built, their owner or a shield or ornament.
  • Maras was founded by the Spaniards in 1556, and was in charge of Pedro Ortiz de Orue, whose house is located one block from the main square, on the lintel of its door it reads the information of its owner, it was he who establish this custom, which until today is still valid. It is recommended to see the house belonging to the Inca Tupac Sinchi Roca (Jerusalem 249), the Jesuit portal (Jerusalem 233), the cover of Sancho Usca Paucar (Jerusalem 245) which surprises for its work and ornamentation.
  • At present the main economic activity of Maras is agriculture. Among its most visited attractions, its Salineras, located 10 km. of the town. Nearby is the Moray Platforms.
  • Maras and Moray are the places highly recommended for lovers of photography.
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