Maras and Moray Uncovered: The Enchanting Site in the Sacred Valley

Maras, a quaint town in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, stands as one of the most captivating yet lesser-known destinations in Peru. Located just 40 kilometers from Cusco, Maras offers a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty, making it a must-see for any traveler eager to explore the richness of Peru. At Atika Travel, we take pride in guiding you to places that truly capture the essence of the country, and Maras is one of those special spots you can’t afford to miss.

The Salt Mines of Maras

History and Process

The Salt Mines of Maras are a spectacular network of over 3,000 salt evaporation ponds that have been in use since pre-Inca times. These ponds are fed by a subterranean saltwater spring that flows from the mountains. The process of salt extraction is entirely natural and has been passed down through generations, providing a vital source of income for local families.

Each pond is owned by a different family who maintains and harvests it. During the dry season, locals open the gates to fill the ponds with saltwater. As the water evaporates, the salt is left behind and is harvested by hand. This traditional method is not only fascinating to observe but also offers an opportunity to learn about the sustainable practices of ancient Andean communities.

A Unique Landscape

The salt mines of Maras offer an unparalleled visual spectacle. The salt ponds, arranged in terraces on the mountainsides, create a mosaic of colors ranging from pure white to reddish-brown, depending on the mineral concentration and sunlight. This otherworldly landscape is perfect for photography enthusiasts and those seeking a unique and memorable experience.

Moray: The Incan Agricultural Laboratory

Incan Ingenuity

Just a few kilometers from the salt mines lies Moray, another fascinating archaeological site. Moray is renowned for its concentric circular terraces, believed to have been an agricultural laboratory for the Incas. These terraces were used by the Incas to experiment with different crops and climatic conditions, taking advantage of the temperature variations between the terrace levels.

The terraces of Moray demonstrate the Incas’ advanced engineering and adaptability. The various microclimates created by the terraces allowed the Incas to cultivate an incredible diversity of plants, showcasing their deep understanding of agriculture and ecology.

Exploring Moray

A tour of Moray allows you to appreciate the advanced engineering of the Incas while also offering panoramic views of the Sacred Valley. The combination of history and landscape makes Moray an ideal place to reflect on the innovations of ancient Peruvians and their relationship with nature.

Cultural Experience

Connecting with the Local Community

Visiting Maras and Moray is not just about seeing impressive landscapes and learning about Incan history. It’s also an opportunity to connect with the local community. At Atika Travel, we believe in sustainable and responsible tourism, working closely with local families to offer authentic and enriching experiences.

You can participate in salt harvesting workshops, learn about salt production, and enjoy the hospitality of the residents of Maras. These interactions not only enrich your journey but also support local communities, contributing to their economy and preserving their traditions.

Local Cuisine

Gastronomy is an essential part of any trip, and Maras is no exception. Here, you can taste traditional dishes prepared with fresh, local ingredients. From roasted cuy (guinea pig) to native potatoes and products derived from Maras salt, the local cuisine reflects the rich biodiversity and cultural heritage of the region.

Atika Travel Services

At Atika Travel, we ensure that your visit to Maras and Moray is comfortable and memorable. Our tours include:

  • Tourist Transportation: From your hotel in Cusco to the archaeological sites and back.
  • Expert Guides: Bilingual guides who provide detailed information about the history, culture, and nature of the area.
  • Entrance Fees: All entrance fees to the salt mines and Moray are included in our packages.
  • Personalized Experiences: Workshops and activities designed for you to interact with the local community.

Maras is more than a tourist destination; it is a window into the history, culture, and nature of Peru. At Atika Travel, we are committed to offering you an authentic and enriching experience that allows you to discover the magic of Maras and Moray. Whether you are interested in archaeology, nature, or local culture, this tour has something for everyone.

Don’t wait any longer! Join us on an unforgettable adventure through the wonders of the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Discover Maras and Moray with Atika Travel and take home memories that will last a lifetime.


  • Unique experiences that immerse you in the cultural richness and traditions of fascinating destinations