We will pick you up from your hotel at 8:30 am to 9 am. Forty kilometers from Cuzco, in the Cuzco Region of Peru, is the town of Maras, found in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Tourist sites in the area include the colonial church and local salt mines, the scenery of which is interesting to observe and photograph. Since pre-Inca times, salt has been obtained in Maras by evaporating salty water (provided by a nearby subterranean stream) in the sun, leaving the salt behind. In the mines there are thousands of salt-pools; when light is reflected there the effect is said to be quite stunning. Moray, seeing this Inca green-house is spectacular!! This tour will take you to the magnificent series of terrace circles set into the ground that were once used by the Incas for experimentation with crops. You will also visit the nearby salt mines and enjoy the tranquil farms and atmosphere of the area, you will be back by 3 or 2 pm in the afternoon.
Salt Mines, Moray and Maras Half Day Tour
We pick you up at 8:30am or 1:00pm in our private van and you begin your trip to the village of Chinchero, where you will see in the plaza an adobe colonial church, dating from the early seventeenth century, has been built upon the foundations of an Inca temple or palace. The ceiling and walls are covered in beautiful floral and religious designs. Also you’ll discover Inca archeological ruins and agricultural terraces which are attributed to Inca Tupac Yupanqui who possibly used Chinchero as a kind of country resort. We continue on to the village of Maras, where its colonial architectural beauty is still preserved. You’ll see the building are made of thin stone, and images of lintels with sculptures in bas-relief. Then we move on to Salineras, the salt mine consists of 3,000 small pools roughly 5 square metres (53.8 ft²) in size. Every three days, during the dry season, workers fill the pools with salt water that comes from a natural hot spring at the top of the Maras complex. When the water evaporates from the pool, the salt is left for collection. This process is carried out over a one month period until the pools reach an approximate volume of solid salt that is 10 centimetres (4 inches) in height. The salt is ground up, treated with iodine packaged and sent to various markets in the region. Then we are on our way to the Moray ruins, located at (3,450m/11,318ft), where we find the agricultural terraces of Moray with their complex system of irrigation and terraces. Different levels of terraces are carved into a huge bowl, part of which was further excavated by the Incas. The terraces have varied microclimates depending on how deep into the bowl they are located. It is thought they were used by the Incas to discover the optimal growing conditions for their crops. These terraces served as a natural green house to grow an extraordinary variety of crops at an altitude normally not conducive for the crops. It has also been suggested that the terraces had a cosmological meaning. The Incas were very advanced in the knowledge of creating specific sub-climates. Then we return to your hotel in Cusco.
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