Inca Trail 125 results
Routes 30 results
Information Maras - Moray
Click to rate article
Salt mines of Maras

Maras and Moray have more and more visitors. This is because it allows the visit in many ways and with different activities. Sometimes tourists think that in Cusco they can only visit archaeological sites with conventional tours. However, in the case of Maras and Moray you can combine the trip with various activities. In this blog we will talk about these destinations that quietly, can be an option for you to acclimatize before doing the Inca Trail or also enjoy the days in Cusco before returning home. Let’s start.

Information about Maras and Moray

Cusco is home to a myriad of tourist destinations, being the main point of visit Machu Picchu. Also the hiking trails, emerge as main activities. However, you can find many more destinations and different activities. Most of these can be done in only one day, even with only half a day of travel.

Being a total of 6 hours the average time to do this tour directly. Maras and Moray are positioned as one of the most requested activities. In addition, it is possible to do it on your own and with the alternatives offered by some services during the trip. Before we get into the subject, let’s learn more about Maras and Moray.

The salt mines of Maras

  • There are several legends about this natural resource.
  • There are also records that the Incas and ancient ethnic groups used salt from this place.
  • The salt mines of Maras are approximately 3,000 salt wells.
  • Most of them have their natural forms, but there are also artisanal works.
  • In the salt mines of Maras, you can appreciate the process of solidification of salt.
  • The salt obtained has many properties and minerals.
  • The color of the salt obtained is pink, which is its main characteristic.
  • Only the community of Maras can extract salt from the wells.
  • You can find a beautiful landscape thanks to the presence of the mountains and the wells themselves.

The circular platforms of Moray

  • They are circular platforms that reduce their diameter as they gain depth.
  • They are large constructions. In total there are 3 of them.
  • The circular forms that each one of them presents stand out.
  • The platforms that compose them are higher than two meters.
  • Small floating steps can be found on the platforms. These connect each of the platforms.
  • During the first studies of the area, it was thought that it could be an amphitheater.
  • Later, due to the presence of water channels, it was thought that it could be a botanical laboratory.
  • That is to say, following the previous point, it could be an experimentation with the crops according to the temperature and altitude.
  • There are some studies that deny this activity and laboratory function. There are also some that support it.
  • What is certain is that several water channels can be found, even wells, aqueducts and more constructions.
  • It is estimated that all Moray, was an important agricultural center and also required a large amount of water.
Moray circular platforms
Moray circular platforms

Maras – Moray, destination in the Sacred Valley

That’s right, Maras and Moray are located in the always beautiful Sacred Valley of the Incas. That is, it is very close to Cusco. This makes for a short and easy trip.

The Sacred Valley by itself, allows to appreciate beautiful views. All these views can be seen from the vicinity of the Vilcanota River or from the mountains that decorate the entire valley. Also, you can find a beautiful climate, much warmer than Cusco.

To get to Maras and Moray you have to go into this beautiful valley. The average travel time from Cusco to Maras is approximately 1 hour. During the trip, you can take the opportunity to visit the archaeological sites of Pisac and Chinchero.

From Maras you can hike to Moray or take a short trip in a car. The time is only 15 minutes. Although sometimes it can only take 10 minutes. This depends on the road conditions.

Near these destinations you can find different handicraft and textile centers. The option to visit them will depend on the travel agency or independent travelers. In these places you can find beautiful garments and even decorative pieces with the best expression.

How to get to Maras and Moray?

  • The way to get to these destinations is really simple. The first recommendation is to take the small community of Maras as a reference point.
  • From the community of Maras it is easy to go to the salt mines or to the circular platforms of Moray.
  • To get to Maras, you should go to Pavitos street in Cusco. There you will find transportation to Urubamba and Ollantaytambo.
  • You must indicate your desire to get off at the stop “Desvío a Maras”.
  • From this stop, you will be able to board the transport to the community. The travel time will be only 25 minutes.
  • From Maras you can choose the next destination to visit, you can go to Moray or Las Salineras. For both cases there are transports available.
  • In some cases you may not find transportation immediately. These mishaps will be a problem.
  • In case of not knowing the route and similar details, it is recommended to make the trip with a travel agency.
  • Travel agencies, usually solve efficiently the details of transportation. In addition, they will add the guide to have a better experience.
  • The price of this tour can vary between 30 to 50 USD. So you have to take into account all the list included in their services.
Sacred Valley of the Incas
Sacred Valley of the Incas

An incredible adventure option in Cusco

Maras Moray also offers some extra activities, of course, in addition to visiting both destinations. The activities that can be done are linked to adventure tourism. This is because you can make sections of the circuit to these places by bicycle or ATV. Next, let’s learn more about the details.

Bicycle Tour

  • The bicycle tour during the route to Maras and Moray is one of the best alternatives that can be done. Especially if you are interested in adventures with a touch of adrenaline. To begin with, the route that can be done is of the Cross-country type, with some Downhill sections.
  • This activity is safe and does not require much experience in the activity. That is to say, it can be done by people who have basic knowledge about riding a bicycle. It is important to mention that this activity can only be done by contacting travel agencies.
  • Normally you will be provided with the necessary safety equipment such as helmet, gloves, knee pads and more. On the other hand, they must also have well-equipped bicycles that can do the mentioned activities without problems.
  • During the tour you will be able to appreciate not only the beautiful landscapes that make up the Sacred Valley of the Incas, but also the destinations in question. In both cases, you will arrive at the respective viewpoints. There is also a tour and explanation about the importance of the salt mines of Maras and the details of the circular terraces of Moray.

ATV tour

  • The Cuatrimoto route to reach the salt mines of Maras and the circular terraces of Moray, is quite similar to the cycling activities. Except that to achieve this route less steep routes are followed.
  • These routes allow you to appreciate the beautiful landscapes of the valley and the mountain ranges that are formed. The route that follows is from the community of Cruzpata, very close to Chinchero. From this point the route will start from the ATVs.
  • The activity is recommended for all the public. The difficulty of driving this vehicle is not very advanced. The stability and simplicity of riding the ATV, allows people of different ages to do it. We sincerely believe that it is an activity for everyone.
  • As for the safety of the route, it is important that the agency with which you make the trip is responsible for all safety accessories. It is also important to provide you with a vehicle that works properly. In this sense, it is normal that before starting the route, the vehicles are tested and some details are reinforced for a safe trip.
Touring the Sacred Valley on bicycles
Touring the Sacred Valley on bicycles

Is it ideal to do it before or after the Inca Trail?

Now it is our turn to answer this important question. As we mentioned there are many people who decide to make the trip to Cusco – Peru, just to visit Machu Picchu or do the Inca Trail 4 days or any other hiking route.

The trekking routes in Peru are becoming more and more popular and there are more and more people who do it. Especially those that include Machu Picchu as an end point. These people usually need a few days to acclimatize. That is, to let their body get used to the low amount of oxygen.

A good acclimatization requires at least two days of simple activities. That is, without forcing the body to physically intense activities. In this sense, we openly recommend that you perform the activities outlined in this blog.

You can make the classic trips and get to know Maras Moray in a simple way and without many worries. But also, you can do it with the adventure activities that we point out. We do recommend that the ATV activity is done before doing the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.

On the other hand, we believe it would be a better option to leave the bike route to Maras Moray, after returning from Machu Picchu. We think it would be better, as an activity to say goodbye to the Sacred Valley of the Incas and put an end to the vacation. This is because riding the bicycles can cause a physical overexertion that we do not want you to have before arriving to Machu Picchu by the hiking trails you want. Now that you know these alternatives, we hope you are encouraged by any of them.

Runkurakay archaeological site - Inca Trail
Runkurakay archaeological site – Inca Trail


By Inca Trail Machu Picchu - Last updated, 24-05-2024

Interested in the Inca Trail? Know more about Routes!