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Moray - Activity Info. Urubamba - Peru


(Entrance: With the Boleto Turístico or $3.75) Located about 38 kilometers (23 mi) from Cusco, Moray is an intriguing archaeological site. Discovered in 1932, it consists of a series of three circular terraced depressions which at first glance appear to be some sort of amphitheatre or coliseum. The terraces are finely made and have stood up very well over time. It is believed that the terraces are a sort of agricultural laboratory, as each terrace represents a different microclimate suitable for different sorts of crops and plants. The locals call it the “Inca Laboratory.” The site is very serene and located amidst much natural beauty. That, and the otherworldly appearance of the terraces and circles, have resulted in Moray gaining a reputation as a bit of a mystical hotspot. In any event, the site is well worth a visit for ruins buffs, history fanatics and anyone interested in a low-key yet beautiful visit to a part of the Sacred Valley that is somewhat less frequented by tourists. Moray is close to the salt pools of Salinas and the two can easily be combined into a good day trip.


(Entrance: $3.75). For centuries, native Andeans living in the highlands made their own salt by diverting a salt water hot spring into thousands of small pools and pans, which are then dried out. Today, there are more than 5,000 such salineras still in use, creating a dazzling patchwork of white rectangles on the hillside. The pools are topped off every three days or so, and after a month a few inches of solid salt accumulate. It is then broken up and carted off in sacks. Nearby, a small mill processes the salt; iodine is added and the salt is graded and sold. The sight of many terraces of salt pools cascading down the side of the steep mountain is guaranteed to leave an impression. The only drawback to visiting Salinas is that modern-day tourism has definitely discovered this timeless, traditional practice, and sometimes there are tour groups at the site. Nevertheless, it is well worth a visit. Be sure to bring some water—it can get quite warm in the area around Salinas.

The colonial town of Maras is above the salineras; also nearby is tiny Pichingoto, a scenic little spot carved right into the mountain. The best way of getting to Moray and/or Salinas is to take an Urubamba-bound bus from Cusco, or a Cusco-bound bus from Urubamba. Ask to be let off at the Moray/Maras turn-off (it's well-known) where taxis wait. A taxi to Moray and back to the turn-off (where you can then flag down a bus back to Cusco or Urubamba) will cost around $11 round-trip (30 soles), or, if you want to combine it with a visit to Maras, it will set you back around $18.50 round-trip (50 soles). Alternatively, many tour agencies run day trips to both Moray and Maras.

Urubamba, Peru

Activity Info. Types:

Price Description:

Moray: included in the Boleto Turístico or $5. Salinas: $2

Relative price: Budget

Currencies accepted
Peruvian nuevo sol

By Martha Crowley

I work as an Editor/Writer at Viva Travel Guides in Quito, Ecuador. I first came to Latin America five years ago to escape rainy...

13 Mar 2012

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