Do you like to discover new places, take photos of unpublished landscapes and enjoy architecture in all its forms? If you feel identified with one or more of these points, the Maras salt mines are the perfect place for you.
Within the Sacred Valley of the Incas, there is this magical place with more than 4,000 wells of different sizes filled with salt, where you feel like you are a giant walking in the middle of the city. Each of these wells has a minimum size of 5 square meters and 30 centimeters deep. The colors that this view gives you vary between white and brown tones.
The best part is that they are within a ravine in the middle of the Qaqawiñay hill that allows you to have a spectacular view of the Sacred Valley.
The salt mines of Maras, also considered a salt mine, has its origins from pre-Inca times, as several of tourist sites within Cusco. Later, they were left in charge of the Inca empire, who used the wells to obtain salt for their food, and it is said that they were also used for mummification and other religious ceremonies.
Each one of the salt mines was given to different families from the Maras community so that they could work with them. Today, work continues in the same way, each family owns one or more of these wells, and they work together from production to commercialization.
It is very easy to get to the salt mines, as it is a well-known touristic site in Cusco and it’s located just 4 km from the town of Maras. The most common and easiest ways to get there are by bus or private car.
If you want to enjoy more the road and take advantage of the incredible surroundings that this place gives us, we recommend you join our bicycle tours designed by our team of experts in Terra Explorer.
On the way, you have to be vigilant, since once you reach the highest point before going down towards the salt mines, you are in for a great surprise with a panoramic view that will leave you breathless.
You can be interested in: Moray’s mistery, an impressive archeological site located in Cusco
There are very few salts in the world that have the high quality of Maras salt (pink salt), which is found only in 4 places in the world. This salt has 3 different qualities that allows it to be used for different purposes. The so-called fleur de sel is the finest, which makes it the most expensive salt to acquire. Then comes the first salt, the one that is consumed in a massive way; and finally, the third salt, used for industrial purposes.
This salt has become very special throughout the world, due to its health properties. Some of them are that it is healing, anti-inflammatory, lowers blood pressure, among others. The best thing is that when you go to visit the salt mines, you will find a wide variety of products that contain this salt, such as different types of chocolate, salts flavored with herbs for culinary use and personal care products.
The Maras salt mines are fed by saltwater that springs from the Qaqawiñay mountain subsoil. The water that reaches them is evaporated by the intense sun that is there almost all year round, thus making the crystals of coarse salt sprout. Just after one month, the salt is ready to be harvested when it has reached 10 cm in height.
This harvesting method was never changed throughout history; that means, that the production is communal and they do not have any type of external participation, which makes it much more interesting and valuable.
A mountain bike tour through one of the most beautiful places in the Andes of Cusco: The Maras area. Our adventure begins in the town of Cruzpata, from where we will ride a bicycle to the salt mines of Maras. On the way, we will go through fields of crops, and we will have a spectacular view of the snowy Verónica and Chicón.
To make the most of the beautiful nature that surrounds us, we will enjoy a delicious picnic outdoors.
If you are into adventure tourism or you rather prefer to take a family bike ride, we adapt the tour and its duration to provide the perfect experience for everyone.
Now that you know a little more about the archaeological center of Moray, do you want to visit this incredible place? At Terra Explorer, we have various itineraries for you. If you want to get to know Peru in an authentic and spectacular way, get in touch with us, and we will help you design the trip of your dreams!
To ensure the well-being and safety of our travelers and staff throughout our operational chain, Terra Explorer will comply with the health and safety measures and protocols established by the Peruvian Association of Adventure Tourism and Ecotourism (APTAE), and implement the Covid-19 health and safety guidelines for adventure tourism developed by the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA).
Our experiences are designed considering the least possible exposure, where the final destinations are usually remote places. By their very nature, our adventure activities are considered to be low risk, mainly because they are performed outdoors where ventilation is constant and making it easy to achieve social distancing.
During these times we are working together with a small staff of honorable people who have been part of the Terra Explorer family for many years. They and their families are aligned with the established health and safety measures. Employing these staff members also seeks to reactivate the local economy.
We guarantee a safe, soul-fulfilling trip to all our travelers for whom we make these adventures possible.
Terra Explorer will strictly comply with the safety, cleaning, and hygiene protocols during our internal processes, third parties, and throughout your trip. This involves:
Follow the instructions related to health and safety given by the Terra Explorer team and your guide, before and during your trip.
Stay home if:
With the intention of delivering the most flexibility at the time of confirming your trip, we will determine the amount of the initial deposit individually and according to your itinerary characteristics.
Secure your trip with a deposit and pay the rest in one or more payments, at a time that suits you best. Please make sure you adhere to our policy and pay in full at least 31 days prior to your trip date.
If you need to cancel your trip, we will apply the following flexible policies.
For more detailed information on our terms and conditions and Covid-19 policies, please contact us at [email protected]