Completing and outgoing tour in Cusco for you, the Maras Salt mines are in the middle of a dry hillside, their formation comes about as a spring of salty water that runs down the Valley. This water flow is then divided into shallow reservoirs and left to dry, creating the salt flats which the locals will later harvest. The tour will continue with a visit to the town of Moray and the experimental agricultural terraces that are found there. Finally to complete this tour package outside of Cusco, you will also visit Chinchero, a quaint Inca village with a traditional arts and crafts market, as well as an impressive colonial church ushering you into what is believed to be the birthplace of the rainbow.
The tour will include box lunches which will be prepared in the kitchen of our Tika Restaurant at Casa San Blas Boutique Hotel.
The salt mines are located on the slope of the Qaqawiñay mountain, in the Sacred Valley of Cusco. These salt mines are made up of small pools with an average size of 5m² each. During the dry season the locals will irrigate their pools with water from a naturally salty spring high above the complex itself. When the water evaporates, the salt is left behind, and this process will continue until a considerable amount of salt is obtained. Once a pool is ready to be harvested, the salt will be treated with iodine and beaten and granulated, bagged and sent to the local markets for sale. You can also purchase your own salt from these mines at the local stands within the complex, this is a wonderful uncommon activity for you to enjoy in your trip to Cusco.
When you visit Cusco and see The archeological site of Moray you will be even more impressed. Moray consists of some unusual Inca ruins, large depressed circular terraces, the largest being approximately 30 meters deep. What is astounding is that the average annual difference in temperature from the top terrace, to the bottom depression is as much as 15 degrees Celsius (59 degrees F). It is possible that the Incas used these terraces to study how different climatic conditions affected the rate of growth and quality of their crops. Not only was this an agricultural experimental site, it also consists of a sophisticated irrigation system.
Chinchero is a quaint Inca village with an impressive colonial church ushering you into what is believed to be the birthplace of the rainbow for Peruvian Culture. Here you will find another traditional Indian Sunday market, though not as large as that found in Pisaq. In Chinchero you can enjoy beautiful views of the Sacred Valley of Cusco, with the Cordillera Vilcabamba as a background, and the snow-capped peak of Salkantay adding additional glory to this picturesque landscape and your trip to Peru. The village of Chinchero is relatively unchanged from the days of the Incas, with adobe homes (bricks made from clay and straw) dotting the land and the locals going about their business in traditional dress.
For more details on these tours please contact us directly.
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