Maras and Moray – Location and attractions
Two of the most important tourist centers of the city of Cusco are Maras and Moray. In these places you can appreciate part of our ancient culture in its different stages such as pre-Inca, Inca, colonial and republican. We invite you to learn a little more about these tourist attractions and to start planning your next vacation with visits to these places, Maras and Moray are waiting for you!
Location of the district of Maras
Maras is located at an altitude of 3,380 meters above sea level. Maras is located at a distance via Izcuchaqa – Chequerec of 48.10 Km. via Cusco – Chinchero of 48.88 Km. (this is the most recommendable because it is an asphalt highway).
In the town of Maras, you can appreciate the snow-capped mountain ranges of the Sacred Valley of the Incas and Vilcabamba. The district of Maras has tourist attractions from the pre-Hispanic, colonial and republican period; in the town, the main highlights are its colonial façades with the coats of arms of the nobles and chieftains of the 16th and 20th centuries.
Maras was the forced passage for the muleteers and their mules that transported tropical products and especially coca leaves from the high jungle of Cusco to satisfy the needs of the city of Cusco and the country. The district of Maras has a church built with adobe bricks, a typical construction of the religious architecture of the village, in whose atrium is a cross carved in granite; inside the church can be seen canvases of the Cusco school in which the apostles are represented; the author of these paintings is the Quechua painter, Don Antonio Sinchi Roqa Inka, a native of the district of Maras who is said to have painted with great care for his church.
From the town of Maras there are two routes, one to the archaeological complex of Moray and the other to the saltworks of Maras, both of which are approximately 4 km away.
Salt mines of Maras
The Salineras de Maras has an impressive salt mining complex, located in the area called Qoripujio, at a distance of approximately 4 km from the town of Maras. It has salt mines, which have been exploited since the Incas (time of the Incas) as a means of economic exchange and values. From Maras, you can visit the salt mines by a bridle path; it is very common to find mules that carry the sacks of salt extracted from the natural salt mines.
How to get to Maras?
To get to Maras you must take a Private Tour offered by our Tourist Agencies, you will surely spend a great experience and also enrich your knowledge about the Inca culture.
Location of the archaeological group of Moray
Moray is located 53 km. from Cusco, has an altitude of 3,385 meters above sea level.
Approximately 7 km southwest of Maras is Moray, a unique archaeological group in the region. Moray is a center of depressions or gigantic natural holes which were used to build (in their contours) terraces or agricultural platforms with their respective irrigation channels. What is important in the place and therefore very striking is the average annual temperature difference between the top and bottom of the depressions, this difference can reach up to 15°C.
The largest hole has a depth of 150 m. and the average height of the platforms is 1.80 m. between them.
The structures found in Moray are typically Inca, however, some suggest that they are older structures; this can be seen mainly on the lower terraces. It is also estimated that the Moray bottom is on a very porous natural rocky formation that facilitates the filtration of the water towards the interior of the earth since at the bottom of the depressions there are no floods during the rainy seasons.