This full-day excursion includes two fascinating sites located at an altitude of 3380 meters (11,088 feet), on the plains above the Sacred Valley of the Incas. The salt pans of Maras have been exploited since pre-Inca times. The series pools constructed to evaporate the salt water produced by a subterranean stream offer visitors a uniquely photogenic sight, with their flat, white surfaces contrasting with surrounding green, vertical scenery.
The concentric agricultural terraces of Moray are the other attraction on this tour. They were designed and constructed by the Incas as an agricultural laboratory. The circular terraces form a 150 meter deep amphitheater, with each level reproducing the temperatures found in different parts of the empire of Tahuantinsuyo, thus enabling the Incas to develop new crop strains and increase yields.
We will pick you up from your hotel in the morning for the drive from Cusco to the high plains of Chinchero. Great snow-capped peaks dominate the horizon, and every square meter of the high plain is used by local farming communities to grow a variety of Andean crops. At the Inca agricultural terraces of Moray, our guide will explain how the Incas developed complex farming techniques in order to increase their crop yields. After visiting Moray we will continue to Maras. Our guide will explain how these salt pans have been exploited since pre-Inca times, and how they remain important to the local economy. After the tour we will have lunch at a local restaurant, before returning to Cusco in our private vehicle in the late afternoon.
Distances by road:
Visiting times: Chinchero: 1 hour; Moray: 1 hour; Maras: 45 minutes