SACRED VALLEY EXTENSIVE TOUR—MARAS MORAY-THE SALT MINES
This tour is for visitors who do not have a lot of time to spend in the city of Cusco but still want to take full advantage of visiting archeological sites and the beautiful landscapes of the Sacred Valley.
Our departures are daily but a little early at 06:50 hrs, and they end at 18:30 hrs.
The following places are visited:
1.- ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE OF CHINCHERO.
Chinchero is known as “the City of the Rainbow” because this is a place where this marvelous optical phenomenon is seen the majority of the time.
Also known for the use of the very colorful traditional costumes worn by its inhabitants, this place is also very special because it has retained the entire ancient process from beginning to end of creating these garments by using the ancient Incan technique which focuses on the delicate details.
Chinchero, as an archaeological site, was an agricultural production center in the Inca era where we can still appreciate its terraces. The Temple of Our Lady of Monserrat was built on the palace of the Inca, Tupac Yupanqui.
2.- ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE OF MORAY.
The Moray archaeological site is the only one of its kind in the region. It was built with terraces and agricultural platforms with depressions or gigantic natural holes. Each terrace or platform has its own irrigation channel and microclimate that allowed for the cultivation of more than 250 plant species. These platforms also served as an Inca agricultural laboratory to experiment with their crops.
3.- TOWN OF MARAS.
It was an important town once populated by noble Cuscanians of the Incan empire that were stripped of their palaces in Qosqo and had to settle in different towns—among them was Maras.
During the colonial period, Maras was the main supplier of salt. The town is characterized by a unique style in the construction of its houses. This can be seen in the large houses that have preserved the shields of the indigenous nobility in their facades. The scriptures or some kind of iconography that represented each family were carved in the stone of the lintels.
4.- THE SALT MINES.
Also known as “the Salinas de Maras in Cusco”, this mine is located on the slope of the hill. It is formed by approximately 5,000 wells that exist in the form of terraces that were designed exclusively by the Incas. This salty liquid emanates naturally from underground and flows to the top of the wells. The water seeps into the pools, and it evaporates because of the intense heat from the sun, causing coarse crystals to form.
The locals demonstrate to visitors their ancient techniques for salt extraction.
5.-ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE OF OLLANTAYTAMBO.
Our next visited place is the only town denoted as the “City of the Living Inca” because its inhabitants still live according to the uses and customs inherited by their ancestors.
This place was constructed for military, agricultural, and religious uses as well as to control the management of travelers along the Sacred Valley of the Incas.
We can appreciate the ramparts and watchtowers that were used by the military, the massive terraces that were used for agriculture, and the religiously worshipped sources of water.
After this, we will return to Cusco, or if you need to, you can stay in order to take the train to the city of Aguas Calientes – Machupicchu.
6.-ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE OF PISAC.
One of the most important places in the Sacred Valley, the Pisac National Archaeological Park is made up of groups of archaeological remains, including platforms, aqueducts, paths next to walls and doorways, canalized water channels, cemeteries, bridges, etc. The area covered by this group is 4 square km in area. On this area are the ruins occupying the hills, they appear forming groups of complicated disposition, while in others isolated constructions are noticed. It was one of the main centers of agriculture in Inca times.
- 06:30 am. Pick up from the Hotel
- 07:00 am. Tour start.
- Places to Visit: Chinchero, Moray, Salt Mines, Urubamba (Lunch), Ollantaytambo and Pisac.
- 18:30 p.m. End of tour
Includes/ Not Included
- Tour bus
- Lunch buffet
- Tourist Ticket and entrance fee to the salt mines
- Wear the mask and face shield at all times
- Bring a small backpack
- Bring sunscreen and hats and/or caps, etc.
- Bring rain ponchos
- Carry water at all times