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MARAS & MORAY

INTRODUCTION

This one day bus tour is organized on accessible area only by a dilapidated dirt road from Cuzco and surrounding towns. Tourist sites in the area include the colonial church and local salt mines in Maras’s town as well as the archeological site of Moray.

MORAY

The site contains unusual old buildings, mostly consisting of several enormous terraced circular depressions, the largest of which is about 30 m (98 ft) deep. The purpose of these depressions is uncertain, but their depth and orientation with respect to wind and sun creates a temperature difference of as much as 15 °C (27 °F) between the top and bottom. This large temperature difference was possibly used by the Inca to study the effects of different climatic conditions on crops. In other words, Moray was perhaps an Inca agricultural experiment station. As many other Inca sites, it also got a sophisticated irrigation system.

MARAS SALT MINES

During pre-Incas time, salt has been obtained in Maras by evaporating of salty water (provided by a nearby subterranean spring) in the sun, leaving the salt behind. The highly salty water has been flowing from this nearby stream for hundreds of years. A main channel flows across the mountain and trickles down to all the pools below. As the salt water becomes supersaturated, salt crystals begin precipitating out of the water. The farmers then scrape the salt to the side and collect it once a sizable amount has been gathered. Some salt is sold at a nearby gift store. The salt mines are available to any person wishing to harvest salt. There are many unused salt pools that are available to be farmed. Any prospective farmer need only find an unoccupied pool to start working. There are more than 3,000 salt-pools; when light is reflected upon the pools, the effect is quite stunning.

IMPORTANT:

To visit the sacred Valley, city tour, southern valley and Moray, you must get the Boleto Turistico. Here's what you find. The sights are divided into three circuits. Each circuit can be purchased separately or all together as a General Ticket. Cost of the general ticket is S/130 soles (or S/70 for students) and is good for ten days. Basically, if you're planning on visiting the sites of the Sacred Valley, you're better off buying the general ticket. The cost of just the ruins circuits is the same as the cost of the general ticket, but you have ten days to do everything instead of three. The ticket gives access to the following sites in Cuzco: Santa Cataline Monastery, Museo Municipal de Arte Contemporáneo, Museo Historico Regional, Museo del Sitio del Qoricancha, Museo de Arte Popular, Centro Qosqo de Arte Nativo Danzas Folklórico, and Monumento Pachacuteq. And around Cuzco: Sacsayhuamán, Qénqo, Pukapukara, Tambomachay, Chinchero and the ruins of Pisac, Ollantaytambo,Moray, Tipón and Pikillacta

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