Tour to Chinchero, Moray & Salt Mines Half Day
CHINCHERO, MORAY, MARAS & SALT MINES TOUR
We pick you up at 8:00am or 1:00pm in our private van and you begin your trip to the village of Chinchero, where you will see in the plaza an adobe colonial church, dating from the early seventeenth century, has been built upon the foundations of an Inca temple or palace. The ceiling and walls are covered in beautiful floral and religious designs. In addition, you will discover Inca archeological ruins and agricultural terraces, which are attributed to Inca Tupac Yupanqui who possibly used Chinchero as a kind of country resort.
We continue on to the village of Maras, where its colonial architectural beauty is still preserved. You will see the building are made of thin stone, and images of lintels with sculptures in bas-relief. Then we move on to Salineras, the salt mine consists of 3,000 small pools roughly 5 square meters (53.8 ft²) in size. Every three days, during the dry season, workers fill the pools with salt water that comes from a natural hot spring at the top of the Maras’s complex. When the water evaporates from the pool, the salt is left for collection. This process is carried out over a one-month period until the pools reach an approximate volume of solid salt that is 10 centimeters (4 inches) in height. The salt is ground up, treated with iodine packaged and sent to various markets in the region.
Then we are on our way to the Moray ruins, located at (3,450m/11,318ft), where we find the agricultural terraces of Moray with their complex system of irrigation and terraces. Different levels of terraces are carved into a huge bowl, part of which was further excavated by the Incas. The terraces have varied microclimates depending on how deep into the bowl they are located. It is thought they were used by the Incas to discover the optimal growing conditions for their crops. These terraces served as a natural green house to grow an extraordinary variety of crops at an altitude normally not conducive for the crops. It has also been suggested that the terraces had a cosmological meaning. The Incas were very advanced in the knowledge of creating specific sub-climates. Then we return to your hotel in Cusco.
What is Included
- Private group
- Professional English speaking and knowledgeable guide
- Private comfortable transportation
What is not Included
- Entrance tickets to archeological sites: 70 soles (1 day only) or approximately US$22 per person, which can only be purchased in soles only at the first archeological site. (See important info for more information)
- Salt Mine entrance 10 soles