Advice for visiting Inca ruins: Combine Moray and Maras (and add a hike)

We hired a taxi to transport us for the day. What would be an unthinkable expense in many countries cost only $17/each, since we shared the expense with our cousins, Susie and Tom. Our driver dropped us at our first stop, the Inca ruin, Moray.

We’d had time to read up about Moray before our visit. Otherwise we never would have understood what was laid out before us: most likely an Inca agricultural research station at 3,444 meters (11,300’).

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The circular terraces provided varying conditions for sun, wind, water, and temperature. The depth from the top to the bottom terrace was 30 m (98’), with a difference in air temperature of up to 6.6 degrees C (20 degrees F).

The Inca Empire extended out over a huge geographic range, and they strived to master agriculture in all areas.   Pollen studies of the area indicate that the Inca brought soil from different areas as fill to test how the large variety of vegetables did in different soil conditions.

After exploring Moray, we started our hike to the old town of Maras, where our taxi driver would be waiting for us at the town square

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As we left the Inca ruin at Moray, we could see the land is still used for agriculture.  We passed fields being cultivated and saw women and children keeping watch over their farm animals.

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The scenery on this hike through the high Andes rivaled our strolls through Tuscany.

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Our walk eventually brought us to the town of Maras, where almost every door in the old town had decoration from the colonial era on the door lintel.

Our taxi driver was waiting for us in the main square, just as planned. He drove us to the nearby Maras salt pans, one of the most amazing sites to photograph!

The salt pans have been in use since before the Incas came to power. Each local family can ask for their own salt pool. At some distance we watched one family raking their pool.

The salt pans have been in use since before the Incas came to power. Each local family can ask for their own salt pool. At some distance we watched one family raking their pool.

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Salt is piled up and some sold at shops near the entrance. The salt color varies from white to tan to reddish.

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As we walked along the pools, we thought the white, saline crust looked like newly fallen snow.

The visits to Moray and Maras, with a stunning hike in between, seemed a perfect way to spend a day in the Sacred Valley of Peru.

 

 

August 2016

About simpletravelourway

Beth and Joe enjoy simple travel.
This entry was posted in Peru, South America - 2016 and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Advice for visiting Inca ruins: Combine Moray and Maras (and add a hike)

  1. Oh, my. Such a great and memorable trip. Are you using your Spanish much?

    • Joe’s spoken Spanish is so bad that when he told a waiter, “No, carne, por favor,” the waiter replied, “Lo siento, I no speak English.” We read better than we speak. Watching movies in Spanish in hopes of training our ears. It’s been downhill since language school in Ecuador, but we practice everyday.

      • I am having a great belly-laugh right now, thanks to Joe. We are leaving on Thursday to Spain, and I have this idea that our 30-year-old Spanish is going to be challenged (or that everyone will speak English) …still laughing, with the greatest empathy. 🙂

  2. Cliff Mail says:

    That looked like a great day and great hike.

  3. Annette Davey says:

    fantastic info thankyou and great pictures.

  4. plaidcamper says:

    Wonderful variety of photographs, and all beautiful (love the shade of blue on the door)

  5. leggypeggy says:

    We loved these two sites. So glad you had the chance to visit both.

  6. icelandpenny says:

    Thoughtful and entertaining. You wear your knowledge lightly — the best possible combination!

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