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Maras Salt Mines

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Maras Salt Mines: Our most recommended tours and activities

From Cusco: Moray and Salt Mines Quad Bike Tour

1. From Cusco: Moray and Salt Mines Quad Bike Tour

Get back to nature in the dramatic landscapes of the Andes Mountains and experience the amazing scenery of the Sacred Valley by Quad Bike. Benefit from pick-up at your hotel in Cusco, and then journey through typical villages to reach the colonial town of Maras. Admire the pretty church and rustic buildings of the pretty town center and watch the locals going about their everyday lives farming the surroundings. Visit the archaeological site of Moray to see the incredible terraced holes that form an amphitheater-like depression on the surface of the land. Learn how the holes were used by the Incas in ancient times to acclimatize seeds from the Andes Mountains. Next, visit the salt ponds that the locals continue to work to obtain salt at the mines, just as their ancestors did in the days of the Inca Empire.

From Cusco: Sacred Valley, Pisac, Moray, & Salt Mines Tour

2. From Cusco: Sacred Valley, Pisac, Moray, & Salt Mines Tour

During this Sacred Valley day tour, go to the must-visit sites of Cusco and have a chance to try traditional Incan beer. Get picked up from your hotel in Cusco's city center and head to your first stop, Mirador Taray.  Take in the spectacular views of the Andes and the Sacred Valley to prepare for your day of discovery.  Continue to the town of Pisac, the site of a popular market. See how locals dye alpaca wool with natural plants of the region. Visit the archaeological site and see its terraces, Incan cemeteries, and royal buildings.  Afterward, move on to Moray to learn about the history of the Incas and wonder at their mysterious circular terraces. Head to the nearby village of Maras and learn about its history as a center for salt production at the Maras Salt Mines. Admire the unique quilt work of over 3,000 salt ponds spilling into the Sacred Valley. From here, go to Urubamba and enjoy a buffet lunch at a local restaurant. Continue with a drive along the Urubamba River towards the town of Ollantaytambo to visit the ruins. Marvel at the remarkable Incan architecture built during the Incan Empire's heyday. In addition to the ruins, see an amazing rock formation that represents the Incan god of Wiracocha. After your time at the ruins, choose to return to Cusco with your guide or to stay in Ollantaytambo so you can continue your personal travels to Machu Picchu.

From Cusco: Sacred Valley and Moray Salt Mines

3. From Cusco: Sacred Valley and Moray Salt Mines

Meet with your group at Plaza de Armas in the historical center of Cusco. Travel first to Chinchero, a small rustic town with a long tradition of textile weaving. See various textiles woven with traditional Incan techniques.  Next, you will visit Moray and see the agricultural terraces built along the hillsides. These terraces were built by the Incas to grow an abundance of crops on less-than-ideal mountain terrain. Right next to this area, at Moras, there are over 5000 salt ponds which were used by the Incas for salt extraction. This helped preserve their foods for long periods. After learning about Incan agricultural techniques, make your way to Urubamba, the capital of the Sacred Valley, for some lunch. After lunch, make your way to two historical towns, Ollantaytambo and Pisaq. At Ollantaytambo, you will climb over 200 steps to reach the top of the ancient terraced fortress that overlooks the town. This was an important defensive location during Incan times. At Pisaq, you can discover the local market selling all sorts of souvenirs and local crafts, before returning to Cusco.

Cusco: Moray, Maras Salt Mines & Chinchero Weavers Half-Day

4. Cusco: Moray, Maras Salt Mines & Chinchero Weavers Half-Day

Travel through the historic Urubamba Valley on an unparalleled half-day tour from Cusco and pass the snow-capped peaks of the Peruvian Andes. Meander through lush yellow fields of wheat and sleepy little villages en route to Moray. Upon arrival, learn about the ingenuity of the Incas in their mysterious circular terraces. Continue to the nearby village of Maras to explore its history as a center for salt production. Take in the spectacular nature and admire the unique quilt work of over 3,000 salt ponds spilling into the Sacred Valley. Finish the day back in Cusco in time to explore more of the magnificent city.

From Cusco: Maras and Moray 5-Hour Tour

5. From Cusco: Maras and Moray 5-Hour Tour

Head out on a drive along the Andean plateau in Chinchero to take in fantastic views of the Chicon Mountain as your 6-hour tour begins. Stop in Moray for a guided visit of the deep circular terraces of Moray. The purpose of the terraces is uncertain, but their depth, design and orientation with respect to wind and sun create a temperature difference of up to 15C/27 F from the top to the bottom. It is thought that the temperature difference was used to study the effects of different climatic conditions on crops. Continue to the Maras salt mines, comprising around 3,000 small wells of about 5 square meters. They have been used since Incan times for economic exchange.

Cusco: Full-Day Sacred Valley and Maras Tour

6. Cusco: Full-Day Sacred Valley and Maras Tour

Discover the best of Cusco's Sacred Valley on this full-day tour. After getting picked up from your hotel in Cusco in the morning, head to an archaeological zone and textile center located in Chinchero. Later, visit the archaeological park of Moray, before passing through the town of Maras and visiting the Salineras salt mines. Stop for lunch in the village of Urubamba before traveling to the archaeological sites of Ollantaytambo. Finally, visit the archaeological park of Pisaq, after which you will visit the nearby town to explore the craft market. At the end of the day, get dropped off in downtown Cusco.

From Cusco: Chinchero, Moray, Ollantaytambo, and Pisac Tour

7. From Cusco: Chinchero, Moray, Ollantaytambo, and Pisac Tour

Explore Cusco's Sacred Valley and see Incan Ruins, salt mines, local markets, and textile production. Make stops in Moray, Chinchero, Ollantaytambo, and Pisac on this full-day tour by van. Be picked up from your hotel in Cusco in the morning before heading to an archaeological zone and textile center located in Chinchero. See how locals dye alpaca wool with natural plants of the region. Visit the archaeological site in Chinchero and see its terraces before moving on to Moray to learn about the history of the Incas and wonder at their mysterious circular terraces. Head to the nearby village of Maras and learn about its history as a center for salt production at the Maras Salt Mines. Admire the unique quilt work of over 3,000 salt ponds spilling into the Sacred Valley. Travel to Urubamba and enjoy a buffet lunch at a local restaurant. Stop at the ruins of Ollantaytambo and marvel at the remarkable Incan architecture built during the Incan Empire's heyday. See an amazing rock formation that represents the Incan god of Wiracocha. Arrive at the last tour stop, the archaeological park of Pisaq, after which you will visit the nearby town to explore the craft market. Return to Cusco and be dropped off in the town center after the tour is over.

Maras Moray Sacred Valley Tour from Cusco

8. Maras Moray Sacred Valley Tour from Cusco

Head out from Cusco in the morning for a visit to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Learn about Incan culture and a bit of the history of emblematic sites, such as the archeological park of Moray and the salt mines of Maras. During this 5-hour Maras Moray tour you’ll gain an insight into the life of the Incas centuries ago and Peru today, and also into the power of nature. Visit Salineras, a collection of watered terraces that produce salt from the evaporation of water from a salty underground stream. The pools and salt embankments are an incredible sight against the stunning mountainous backdrop.

From Cuzco: Salt Mines and Moray Ruins ATV Adventure

9. From Cuzco: Salt Mines and Moray Ruins ATV Adventure

Enjoy a full-day guided tour of the Peruvian countryside on this thrilling ATV adventure. Explore beautiful locations like the Sacred Valley and see ancient wonders like the Salt Mines and the ruins of Moray. Start the day with a pickup from your hotel in Cusco and drive along the scenic Peruvian countryside to basecamp. Mount your ATV and start your thrilling all-day adventure. The first stop is the Salt Mines. Ride for 1.5 hours along dusty trails to the Sacred Valley of Peru. Witness a vast collection of salt mines with water flowing from a spring high on a mountain. Admire the incredible views overlooking the valley and the unusual rectangular pools below. Continue riding for another 1.5 hours until you reach Moray, an Incan archaeological site. Marvel at this archeological wonder built by the ancient Incan people and learn how it was used for farming from your expert guide.

Cusco: Half-Day Maras and Moray Tour

10. Cusco: Half-Day Maras and Moray Tour

After being collected from your accommodations in Cusco at around 8:30AM, you will depart for Moray, which is an archaeological site approximately 50 kilometers northwest of Cusco. This site contains unusual Inca ruins, mostly consisting of several enormous terraced circular depressions, the largest of which is approximately 30 meters deep. As with many other Inca sites, it also has a sophisticated irrigation system. This Inca site exhibits numerous circular agricultural terraces built by the Incas in natural sinkholes on a limestone plateau overlooking the Urubamba Valley. It has been suggested that they had a cosmological meaning, but their function other than for agricultural purposes remains unclear. Next, you will visit the colonial village of Maras, a town in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. The town is well known for its nearby salt evaporation ponds, which have been in use since Inca times. The salt-evaporation ponds are up-slope, less than a kilometer west of the town. This is an important salt mine site, which was exploited during Inca times and then again later during the colonial times up until today. At the conclusion of your tour, you will be returned to Cusco at approximately 3:00PM.

Other Sightseeing Options in Maras Salt Mines

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What people are saying about Maras Salt Mines

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 708 reviews

It was my first time on an ATV, so wasn’t really sure how it’s going to go but it was super fun! Highly recommend it if you’ve never done it before. It’s safe and you quickly figure things out. Bring some clothes that can get dirty because otherwise you’ll be covered in dust head to toe. You’ll visit the salt mine by bus, there’s way too much traffic there to do it on an ATV.

Very beautiful day with breathtaking landscapes and discoveries. Nothing to say about the organization. Our guide Umberto was very pleasant, and taught us a lot of things! He was always accommodating for photo breaks, took his time and also made us laugh. And as a little extra, we ate well at the restaurant du Midi!

If you want to do it all in one day I do recommend this tour. It's a long day BUT you do get to spend enough time in all the places, I've never felt rushed and got enough time to enjoy them all. The guide was very good and also helpful in taking pictures. Very good buffet lunch too, with a lot tasty choices.

Excellent activity! We loved it, it is very well organized, you visit everything that is mentioned in the publication and with enough time at each stop. They picked us up at our hotel very punctually, the guide was very friendly and explained everything very well!

A fantastic experience. Humberto (our guide) was great he explained everything to us in great detail. Buffet lunch included at a local restaurant, variety / quality ratio. An activity to do absolutely.