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The Maras and Moray Tour takes you outside of Cusco to the Maras Salt Mines and the Moray Inca Terraces. Both centers were vital resources to the Inca Empire.
One of the best half day tours outside of Cusco is the Maras and Moray Tour. Moray is a place of depressions or natural gigantic holes in the surface of the area that were used to construct in its contours farming terraces or agricultural platforms with their respective irrigation canals. What makes these sites unique is the difference of temperature between the highest areas with the bottom of the depressions, which manages to have an even 15°C in the principal depression of approximately 30 meters of depth.
Moray, for its climatic conditions and other characteristics, was an important center of domestication, acclimatization and hybridization of vegetable, wild plants that were modified or adapted for the human consumption. Their dramatic appearance in the landscape also make these Incan feats of engineering a wonder to see.
Afterwards we will go towards the Salineras located next to the colonial Spanish Village called Maras. Towards the northwest of the village of Maras we can find the famous salineras known by some as ” salt pans” there are constituted by approximately 3000 small pans constructed in a side of the inclination of the mountain of “Qaqawiñay”, which during the epoch of drought “they” fill or “water” every 3 days with salty water that comes from a natural spring located at the top of the pans, once the water gets evaporated, the salt contained on them will gradually get solid.
This process will continue approximately for one month up to obtaining a considerable volume of solid salt, of approximately 10 cms. of height from the floor, which later is struck and this way granulated; the salt will be pocketed later in costal plastic and sent to the markets of the region; today this salt is being iodized for consumption and is not harmful. The Maras and Moray Tour conlcude and you return to Cusco in the afternoon.
The Maras Tour with biking is a similar tour as the one above however it involves biking between the locations, all equipment and bikes are included as well as a safety orientation.