Continuation Of The Sacred Valley Tour . . .
Maras Salt Mines
Tired from visiting Machu Picchu the day before, we weren’t that excited for the journey to Maras Salt Mines!
We started the day with a nice breakfast and kept on pushing since it was our last day in Cusco and boy am I glad we did!!
The bus ride to Maras Salt Mines was scary as hell and not easy by any means. Only the adventurous will be rewarded with the breath-taking view from atop these mountains. Giant trucks full of salt and buses full of people crossing on a one lane road with no guardrails and a steep drop to oblivion will get your heart racing. It was, however, worth the trip.
I Learned Some Incredible Facts About These Salt Mines:
- The Moray Mines have been in operation since at least the Inca period.
- Today there are about 3,000 pools that are still harvested by a community of local families.
- The salt mining rights for each section of land are passed down from generation to generation.
- Each pond measures roughly 4 to 10 square meters, with a depth of around 10 to 30 centimeters.
Water comes down from the mountain where it is heated and channeled into the land reservoirs. It is then packed and left to dry until it’s ready for the final mining process of both white and pink salt.
They also have a cool shopping area where I found a unique pair of hiking boots. It was fun to look at all the bath salts and salt products in general. I didn’t know you could use salt in so many ways. What an interesting place and well worth the time in your travel agenda.
Have you been to Maras Salt Mines? Share your visit with me in the comments below!
High in the Andes Mountains, our next stop was the Moray Ruins and boy are they spectacular! The big question is – What was this place used for? An amphitheater, an extraterrestrial landing, food growing terraces? At first, you are not sure exactly what this place was. Our guide explained, Moray was likely used as an agricultural laboratory to cultivate plants.
The depth and orientation with regard to the sun are all clues that these ruins had a specific agricultural purpose. Because of the difference in temperature at each level, it is thought that the Incas used the terraces to test and experiment with species of plants. What I can’t figure out is how the humongous hole in the valley doesn’t fill up with water when it rains – amazing.
Have you been to Moray Ruins? Share your visit with me in the comments below!