Two of the most famous tourist attractions in the Sacred Valley of the Incas are the salt mines of Maras and the circular platforms of Moray. Both are part of the famous half-day ‘Maras-Moray’ tour. In addition, there are services that offer this tour but adding an ATV or bicycle adventure. All tours can be purchased through a tourism agency, either online or in the city of Cusco.
- The salt wells of Maras
- Tour map
- The circular platforms of Moray
- How is the tour?
- How much does it cost?
- How do I go on my own?
- Adventure tours to Maras and Moray
- Where to buy the tour?
- Gallery – Maras Moray Tour
- More information
Salineras of Maras
The city of Cusco offers various tours to almost all the tourist attractions in the region. Some of the most popular are: a) the Cusco City Tour for half a day, b) the Sacred Valley tour for 1 day, c) the Machu Picchu tour for 1 day, d) the Rainbow Mountain tour for 1 day and e) the tour Maras-Moray half day. The latter offers two of the best landscapes in Cusco: Maras and Moray.
The salt wells of Maras
- The Salineras of Maras, located 9.3 kilometers from the town of Maras, is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Cusco .
- It is a set of salt wells that were formed millions of years ago as a result of a natural process of salinization in the streams and rivers near this Andean region.
- Salt was used by the Incas and the cultures that were predecessors to the Incas for agriculture and livestock.
- Currently, the more than 3,000 salt wells belong to the Maras community, who sell it to the different supply points of the Cusco region.
- The Salineras of Maras is one of the few places in the world where the famous ‘pink salt’ is produced.
- The entire set of salt wells offer one of the most beautiful landscapes in the Cusco region. There are many tourists who like to be photographed there.
- To visit this place you must hire a tour of ‘Maras and Moray’. Otherwise, you must go on your own and pay the entrance ticket (cost of 3 US dollars, approximately).
The circular platforms of Moray
- The circular platforms of Moray, located 8 kilometers from the town of Maras, is another of the most important tourist attractions in Cusco and the Sacred Valley of the Incas.
- It is a group of 3 circular platforms built by the Incas as an agricultural laboratory. That is, there they experimented with different products such as potatoes, quinoa, goose, corn and even the coca leaf.
- Each group of platforms presents a microclimate that varies as one ascends or descends through the concentric circles. It is estimated that in total there are a little more than 20 different microclimates in Moray.
- Currently, Moray resembles a group of immense amphitheaters. Tourists like to be photographed there because it is one of the best landscapes of the trip to Cusco.
- The way more visitors get to know Moray is through the ‘Maras-Moray’ tour. However, it is also possible to go on your own. For this, tourists must buy the ‘Cusco Tourist Ticket’ (cost of 22 dollars, approximately), which also includes the entrance to Pisac, Ollantaytambo and Chinchero.
How is the tour?
- The tour to Maras-Moray lasts approximately 5 hours. Includes everything the tourist needs for the visit: complete transportation, entrance to all sites as well as tour guide service.
This is the itinerary of a tour to Maras and Moray:
|Tour Maras – Moray||Itinerary|
|(8 am) Pick up from the city of Cusco|
The tours include the pick-up of tourists at the door of their hotels located in the historic center of the city of Cusco (there are the vast majority of hotels and tourist lodgings in the city) .
|(8 am – 9.30 am) Trip to the village of Maras|
The first trip goes through the towns of the Sacred Valley of the Incas until arriving at the town of Maras (also called the Maras community). During the route, some tours make a stop in the town of Chinchero to get to know a little about this picturesque place.
|(9.30 am – 10.30 am) Tour of the town|
In the company of a tour guide, visitors will learn about the history of the town of Maras, which was an important commercial point during colonial times. Thus, the tourist will know its square, its church and more.
|(10.30 – 11 am) Transfer to the Salineras|
Once again on board the tourist transport we will travel a few kilometers towards the Salineras de Maras, one of the most tourist attractions of Cusco.
|(11 am – 11.30 am) Tour of the Salineras|
Once in the Salineras de Maras, always in the company of a tour guide, we will learn more about the history of the thousands of salt wells that make up this beautiful natural landscape. We will have time to take the respective photos in their viewpoints.
|(11.30 am. – 12 pm) Transfer to Moray|
Once again we will board the tourist transport to head towards the circular platforms of Moray, one of the most impressive works of the Incas. Along the way we will observe the fields and beautiful landscapes of the Andes Mountains.
|(12 pm. – 1 pm) Moray tour|
In Moray, together with the tour guide, we will travel the route enabled to appreciate the impressive circular platforms built by the Incas more than 500 years ago. Of course, we will have time to take photos from the best viewpoints in the place.
|(1 pm. 2 pm) Return to Cusco|
Finally, we will board the transport that will return us to the city of Cusco. The tour ends in one of the central squares, located a few steps from the main square and most of the hotels and restaurants in the area.
* Example itinerary that may vary depending on the tourism agency you hire.
How much does it cost?
- The half-day ‘Maras-Moray’ tour has an approximate cost of 30 to 50 US dollars per person (the price may vary depending on the tourism agency you choose).
- Tours include everything: transportation, entrance fees, and tour guides. The vast majority do not include food.
- Likewise, most tourism agencies do not include discounts for university students or minors.
How do I go on my own?
- The first step to go to Maras and Moray on your own is to take public transport in the city of Cusco. The bus stop on ‘Pavitos’ street offers minivans that, after approximately 45 minutes of travel, will leave you at the ‘Desvío de Maras’ bus stop. The cost of the trip is 5 Peruvian soles (2 dollars on average).
- Once at the ‘Desvío de Maras’ stop, you must take a ‘collective taxi’ (shared service with other people) to the town of Maras. The journey takes approximately 30 minutes and costs an average of $ 1.
- The town of Maras is the midpoint from where you can leave for the ‘Salineras’ or ‘Moray’. As there is no public transport, the best option here is to take a taxi. The cost to go to each site is approximately 10 dollars (take into account that you will need to make round trips).
- Due to the difficult organization required to go to Maras and Moray on your own (especially getting transportation), it is best to go with an all-inclusive tour.
Adventure tours to Maras and Moray
- The classic tour of ‘Maras-Moray’ offers some variations in its itineraries by including a route by ATV or bicycle. These adventurous routes are a great way to add adrenaline to your trip.
- Tours to these destinations by ATV or bicycle have a duration of 7 or 8 hours as they require more time. In addition to everything offered, they include lunch as well as implements such as helmets, bicycles, ATVs, gloves, etc.
- These tours have slightly more expensive prices compared to the classic Maras and Moray service. These vary from 40 to 70 dollars per tourist.
Where to buy the tour?
- You can get a tour to Maras-Moray in two different ways: a) at a tourism agency located in the city of Cusco or b) on the website of a tourism agency.
- To properly choose the tourism agency I tried to verify that it has all the necessary permits. An excellent idea is to observe the comments of other tourists on internet forums such as TripAdvisor, for example.
- In addition to the visit to Salineras de Maras and the circular platforms of Moray, all tours They include a tour of the town of Maras, a place with a lot of history where its colonial church and its façades stand out.
- If you are looking to go to these destinations on your own, keep in mind that you will have to take public transport in three sections to reach both Maras and Moray. Due to the difficulty of the route, most tourists prefer to go with a tour, which already includes transportation service to all places.
- In addition to Maras and Moray, the Sacred Valley of the Incas offers other incredible destinations such as Pisac, Ollantaytambo and Chinchero. The visit to these three Inca sites is done through the famous ‘Sacred Valley of the Incas 1 day’ tour.
By Ticket Machu Picchu – Last updated, August 2, 2021