The Incas have surely made their presence known across their empire with impressive settlements such as Machu Picchu and Ollantaytambo, and even innovative engineering structures like Moray. The legacy left behind by the famous pre-Columbian society is well-rooted in the Cusco region, which is why there is so much to know and discover that one day trip isn’t enough.
For those looking to immerse themselves in the vast lands of the Incas, the Maras and Moray tour offers two attractions that can be easily explored in a half-day tour. If you didn’t know, these locations portray the evolutionary knowledge of the Andean people through time and generations.
Moray, for example, is an archeological complex that functioned as an agricultural laboratory during the Tahuantinsuyo Empire. On the other hand, Maras is composed of thousands of salt pools that are currently operating as one of the economic assets of the region.
Undoubtedly, the tour takes you through the development of the hydraulic engineering knowledge of the region, dating back to the Inca times until our modern era. Are you ready to uncover the other side of the Sacred Valley of the Incas? Keep reading and find out!
As aforementioned, the Archeological Site of Moray comprehends several circular terraces built up in a way to optimize the cultivation of plant species thanks to the different microclimates generated by its composition.
It is believed that over 250 plants and vegetable species were cultivated in these platforms, which is why archeologists point it out as an “agricultural laboratory center.” Likewise, each group of terraces are perfectly irrigated by water channels that some of them continue functioning.
The Incas had an advanced agricultural and engineering knowledge that was certainly influenced by previous civilizations and the native communities that they incorporated to their growing empire. However, according to further studies, the site also had ceremonial purposes though it is unclear to confirm this theory.
The commonly known Salineras de Maras are a group of over 3,000 wells used for the extraction of salt. According to historians, these salt mines were previously exploited by pre-Inca civilizations, though it was during Inca times that they were intensively operated.
Archeologists say that some of them could date back to the 200 B.C. and 700 A.D. due to the finding of tools and other artifacts in the site. However, there is no actual record that confirms the theory, which is why the salt mines are usually attributed to the Inca culture.
Impressively, the Maras Salt Mines have been worked until the current date, and its owners have been the same families since colonial times. Each family has a certain quantity of pools and are worked by their members only, it has been a tradition passed from generation to generation, making it an entire family business.
The salt extraction process is carried out during the dry season, a natural salted water spring fills the pools, these are later blocked so the water can evaporate. The procedure is done every three days for around a month. Later they extract the salt and sell it to local companies who then later refine it and give them a percentage of the sales. Each salt mine can make up to 200kg of salt per season.
On this opportunity, you’ll be immersed in a back-in-time journey full of history, natural wonders, and ancestral engineering knowledge. We want you to feel comfortable, so we have prepared an authentic itinerary where you’ll get to visit each site calmly so you can fully appreciate everything:
07:30h - 08:00h | Pick up at the hotel
We’ll pick you up at your accommodation. Before departure, our guide will give a brief explanation about the tour and hand the box lunch to every passenger. Don’t forget to bring your Cusco Tourist Ticket!
08:00h - 09:15h | Cusco to Moray
We’ll travel across the Sacred Valley of the Incas, surrounded by a visually striking scenery with towering snow-capped mountains and an evergreen valley.
09:30h - 10:30h | Moray Archeological Site
Our first stop will be in Moray, an ancient agricultural laboratory where over 250 plant species were cultivated during the Inca era.
10:30h - 11:00h | Maras Town
Once we’ve finished our excursion, we’ll head towards Maras, a small town with colonial and Inca characteristics.
11:00h - 12:00h | Maras Salt Mines
The next stop will be in the Salineras, a group of over 3,000 salt mines currently used by the locals for the extraction of salt since Inca times.
12:00h - 13:00h | Break for lunch
After a whole day of history, we’ll have a short break for lunch before continuing with our adventure.
13:00h - 13:30h | Maras to Chinchero
On the way back to Cusco, we’ll make a stop in a Textile Center in Chinchero, here we’ll learn about the woven process of the famous traditional textiles of the area, as well as the extraction of the alpaca wool, and more. Then, we’ll be privileged with a view to the ancient Chinchero Archeological Site.
13:45h - 14:15h | Return to Cusco
Once we’ve finished with all the activities, we’ll return to Cusco. Drop off will be at your accommodation or Plaza de Armas if requested.
- This is a group service offered by Viagens Machu Picchu for about 15 passengers.
- You can include the Chinchero Archeological Site in this experience if taking a private tour.
If you wish to experience this tour at its fullest, we have the perfect adventure for you. Keep in mind that you can organize your trip according to your interests, we are here to help you with any inquiry you may have, including assistance during your travel planning process.
The Maras and Moray Tour is included in some of our travel experiences. However, if you want to include it in your customized travel itinerary, please contact us. Our local expert team will make sure to optimize your time and adventure with a tailored-made travel plan for you.
Likewise, we care to provide the best experience to each and every one of our passengers, which is why we count with certified drivers, professional guides, and an all-time monitored car fleet with GPS tracking.
- Duration: 6 hours.
- Entrance: All entrance fees are included in our travel packages.
- Included: Transport, entrance fees, english speaking guide, pick up at the hotel.
Viagens Machu Picchu cares to provide everything you need to have an authentic adventure through our country. Get to know all the special offers we have in Peru travel packages and start planning the trip of your life!
Cusco has many adventures for you and we'd love to show you everything about them! If you're planning the perfect itinerary through this magical region, don't miss this blog about the best 10 day trips from Cusco so you can make the most of your experience.