The Sacred Valley of the Incas is a territory full of incredible landscapes and unique archeological sites. One of the most visited are the famous Salineras de Maras. This attraction is made up of thousands of small pools carved into the mountainside. These salt wells have been captured by photography lovers from around the world.
- What are the Salineras de Maras?
- Where are the Salineras de Maras?
- How to get to the Salineras de Maras?
- Map of the Salineras de Maras
- What to do in the Salineras de Maras?
- How to visit the Salineras de Maras?
- What to take to the Salineras de Maras?
- Recommendations to visit the Salineras de Maras
- Image gallery Salineras de Maras
- Frequently asked questions about the Salineras de Maras
You can visit the Salineras de Maras on your own or with an organized tour. The tour includes a visit to the Inca platforms of Moray. If you travel without a tour you can buy your entrance ticket to Maras at the same entrance door.
What are the Salineras de Maras?
- The Salineras de Maras is made up of more than 3 thousand natural salt wells near the town of Maras. Each of the wells has a dimension of 5 square meters.
- The 3,000 pools are fed by an underground hypersaline spring that originated 110 million years ago during the formation of the Andes Mountains.
- Currently, these natural salt pools attract hundreds of tourists. The view you get from this landscape is beautiful.
- The inhabitants of Maras sold this salt, just as the Incas did hundreds of years ago.
Salt mines of Maras
Where are the Salineras de Maras?
- The Salineras de Maras are 46 kilometers from the city of Cusco in the Sacred Valley of the Incas.
- Thousands of shallow pools filled with salt water are excavated on the slope of Qaqawiñay Mountain, 3,380 meters from the sea (11,080 ft).
How to get to the Salineras de Maras?
- The salt mines of Maras are 10 kilometers away from the town of Maras.
- From the city of Cusco to the Salineras de Maras there are approximately 50 kilometers away.
- To get to the Salineras de Maras from the city of Cusco you must take a bus to Urubamba and stop at a detour that leads there, after another trip by collective taxi.
- Most tourists choose to reach the Salineras de Maras through a tour organized by a tourism agency. This service includes full transport.
Map of the Salineras de Maras
- The Salineras de Maras are 26 kilometers away by car from the town of Chinchero.
- The Salineras de Maras are 16 kilometers away by car from the town of Urubamba.
What to do in the Salineras de Maras?
- In the Salineras de Maras you can buy ‘natural salt pink’. This gets its beautiful color from the natural elements of the spring water including: magnesium, calcium, potassium and silicon.
- Another interesting thing about the Salineras de Maras is that you can pick up your own handful of salt or buy a jar at the Maras gift shop.
- You can also take amazing photos of the salt mines, one of the most incredible places in Cusco and Peru.
- Just 10 kilometers from the Salineras de Maras is the archaeological complex of Moray , another of the most incredible tourist attractions of the Sacred Valley.
- Maras has a colonial town famous for its traditional adobe houses and its typical traditions and festivals.
How to visit the Salineras de Maras?
- You can enter the Salineras de Maras paying 7 Peruvian soles (2.5 USD). The site does not need any tickets like many other archeological sites in Cusco.
- Please note that in Maras you will not be able to pay with your credit card, US dollars, euros or any other currency.
- Another option is to buy a tour to Maras, which includes the visit to the archaeological site of Moray.
People working in Las Salinas
What to take to the Salineras de Maras?
During your visit to the Salineras de Maras do not forget to bring the following:
- Rain poncho
- Hat or cap.
- Anti-slip shoes.
- Photographic camera.
Maras salt is formed after a process of filling salty (hot) water from the subsoil. The spring is blocked for a few days, the intense sun causes the water to evaporate leaving crystals of pure salt that is then collected in sacks.
Recommendations to visit the Salineras de Maras
- Most people who come to Cusco to visit Machu Picchu, take time to meet and take some photos of the Salineras de Maras.
- Take advantage of your visit to the Salineras de Maras to know the Inca platforms of Moray, one of the busiest tourist attractions in the Sacred Valley.
- If you choose to visit Maras with an organized tour, dare to do an ATV adventure through Maras and Moray. This is one of the favorite tours for tourists looking for some adventure in the Sacred Valley.
- After visiting the Salineras de Maras you can take advantage of knowing the famous town of Urubamba, in the heart of the Sacred Valley .
Frequently asked questions about the Salineras de Maras
1) Where is Maras?
The Salineras de Maras are 46 kilometers from the city of Cusco in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. It belongs to the district of Maras, province of Urubamba in the department of Cusco.
2) How old are the Maras salt mines?
The Maras salt mines have a natural origin dating back 110 million years.
3) How to go from Cusco to the Salineras de Maras by public transport?
The trip from Cusco to the Salineras de Maras by public transport is complicated. First, you must take a bus on Belenpampa street to the Maras detour. Then you must take a collective taxi to the town of Maras. Finally, you must take another collective taxi to the Salineras.
4) How much does it cost to enter the Maras salt mines?
The entrance to the Salineras de Maras costs 10 Peruvian soles for all tourists.
5) Can I enter the Maras salt wells?
No, currently the entrance to the salt wells of Maras is prohibited.
6) How many salt wells does Maras have?
The Maras salt mines are made up of more than 3,000 salt wells distributed among approximately 400 families.
7) Where to buy Maras salt?
Maras salt can be purchased at the site museum at the Maras salt mines. You can also buy in the main markets of Cusco such as the San Pedro market.
8) How much does a tour to the Maras salt mines cost?
The tour to the salt mines of Maras includes a visit to the circular platforms of Moray and the town of Maras. The service lasts half a day (5 hours) and costs approximately 45 dollars per person.
9) What else to see near Maras?
Just 7 kilometers from the salt mines of Maras, you can visit the circular platforms of Moray, one of the best tourist attractions in the Sacred Valley of the Incas.
10) What is the weather like in the salt mines of Maras?
The climate in the salt mines of Maras is temperate with temperatures that vary from a maximum of 22ºC. up to a minimum of 2ºC. The winds are strong so it is recommended to wear a windbreaker jacket during the visit.
Advice from people who have been there
“A unique place“
“The pink salt is extracted only from 4 places in the world and one is Maras, the more than 3,000 wells are worked by the families of the town. I saw large families who extracted salt from up to 10 wells at a time, they collect and sell their product, but you can also pick up your own salt.“
By Ticket Machu Picchu – Last updated, June 11, 2022