Maras and Moray are two fascinating Inca sites located near the town of Maras in the Sacred Valley of Peru. Each site offers unique features and provides insights into the advanced agricultural and architectural practices of the Inca civilization. Here’s more information about Maras and Moray:
- Maras Salt Mines: The Maras Salt Mines (Salineras de Maras) are a network of thousands of salt pans or pools that have been in use since pre-Inca times. The salt pans are located on a steep mountainside, and salty spring water flows into the pans, which evaporates under the sun, leaving behind salt deposits. The local community continues to maintain and harvest salt from these pans using traditional methods. The panoramic view of the salt pans against the surrounding Andean landscape is truly stunning.
- Moray Terraces: Moray is an archaeological site featuring a series of concentric terraces in the form of agricultural experimental platforms. The terraces resemble a natural amphitheater, with the largest terrace measuring approximately 150 meters (490 feet) in diameter and 30 meters (98 feet) deep. Each terrace has a slightly different microclimate, creating varying temperature and humidity conditions. It is believed that the Incas used these terraces to study and experiment with different crop varieties, adapting to different elevations and climates.
Visiting Maras and Moray:
- Accessibility: Maras and Moray are located approximately 7 kilometers (4.3 miles) apart, and both sites can be visited on the same day. They are accessible by road from Cusco or the nearby town of Ollantaytambo.
- Transportation: You can hire a taxi, join a guided tour, or arrange for a private driver to take you to Maras and Moray. Alternatively, some tour operators offer organized day trips that include these sites along with other attractions in the Sacred Valley.
- Admission: As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, a separate admission fee is required for each site. Make sure to check the current ticket prices and availability at the entrances or with local tourism authorities.
- Guided Tours: To gain a deeper understanding of the historical and cultural significance of Maras and Moray, consider hiring a local guide. They can provide informative commentary and share fascinating stories about the sites.
When visiting Maras and Moray, wear comfortable walking shoes, bring sunscreen and a hat for sun protection, and carry sufficient water. Remember to be respectful of the sites, follow any designated paths or rules, and refrain from touching or removing any artifacts or natural elements.
Exploring Maras and Moray offers a unique opportunity to witness the ingenuity and agricultural expertise of the Inca civilization, while enjoying the natural beauty of the Sacred Valley.