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Maras and Moray: 1/2 Day
These two destinations, within easy reach of Cusco, offer the opportunity to learn about Inca salt production and the enchanting circular terraces built by the Incas.
We will pick you up from your Cusco hotel at 9:00 am and travel by bus about 28 km (17 miles) to the Quechua village of Chinchero. This town is surrounded by patchwork style fields with exquisite natural colours. It is a charming place, with colonial style buildings including a church built in the 17th century atop Inca walls. Chinchero was a major agricultural center during the Inca Empire (or Tawantinsuyo in Quechua, meaning Four Regions).
Here you can appreciate Inca stone walls with their characteristic trapezoidal niches and a traditional market where bartering is the standard practice. The women of Chinchero are easily recognized for their characteristic clothing and braided hair.
We will go on to the town of Maras, 52 km (32 miles) from Cusco. It is located at an altitude of 3,380 m (11,089 ft). This is a small village famous for its salt mines which consist of about 3000 small wells with an average area of about 5m² (54 ft²) from which salt is extracted after a drying process. We will stop for lunch along the way.
The salt mines, better known as “Salineras de Maras”, have been exploited since Inca times as a means of economic exchange.
We then travel 7 km (4 miles) from Maras to the archaeological site of Moray. Moray is a group of circular terraces which were used as an agricultural experimental center. It is believed the Incas used it to study the adaptation of plants to new ecosystems, since the various levels create a range of ecosystems. The overlapping circular stone rings widen as they rise and it has a total depth of 150 m (492 ft).
After a guided tour of Moray, we will take our bus back to Cusco. The whole tour lasts about 5 hours and ends at Plaza Regocijo (a half away block from the Plaza de Armas) at around 2:30 pm. We will transport you back to your hotel.
Included: Professional guide (fluent in English, German, Spanish, Quechua), and transportation as noted above
Not Included: Entry fee (boleto turistico) to Moray and the Salineras (salt mines), meals, discretionary spending, tips
For tips on what to bring, check our Travel Tips page.