Among Peru’s Sacred Valleys, there are two mysterious sites that reveal their secrets to the wind: the gleaming salt ponds of Maras and the rounded terraces of Moray. These wonders showcase the creativity and profound connection with nature that defined the Inca civilization. Here are 10 awesome secrets to enjoy and get ready for your next adventure in Maras Moray Peru.
About Salt Ponds of Maras Moray Peru
This Andean salt mine is a unique wonder that is said to have emerged from the tears of Pachamama, the Earth Mother, as well as uyuni salt flats. It consists of over 3,000 evaporation ponds carved into the mountainside, forming an incomparable mosaic that shimmers under the Andean sun. The salt produced in these ponds is a natural white salt that has been treasured for centuries. Although, this Peruvian attraction also boasts the following facts:
1. The Timeless Art of Salt Production in Maras: Maras features a long history of salt production dating back to 300 BC, even before the Incas. By the way, the Incas improved and perfected this technique, passing down their knowledge through generations and the inca trail. Currently, over 400 families keep on this long-standing tradition, resolutely extracting salt from the same ponds using techniques that have remained unchanged for centuries.
2. A palette of colors composed by nature and the sun: Maras salt is different from regular supermarket salt due to its shiny colors. The iron oxide in the ponds gives the salt a light pink hue, while the presence of algae adds enchanting emerald tones. Each color represents a distinct mineral composition of the soil, similar to the rainbow mountain. This composition affects the taste and texture of the salt.
In addition, the Pichingoto water stream and evaporation ponds are renowned for their precious pink salt and pristine white crystals. Their pure mineral essence offers an unforgettable experience beyond the ordinary.
3. The Dance of human and nature forces: The sun and Andean people work together to create these salty ponds. A crystal-clear water stream fills the ponds, and under the sun’s relentless gaze, water evaporates, leaving behind a bed of gleaming salt crystals. The wind further refines the grains, creating salt of exceptional purity, free from impurities and boasting a unique mineral profile to harvest.
4. Sustainable Harmony: Unlike the environmentally destructive methods of industrial salt mining, Maras uses a sustainable approach. Each family maintains a set of ponds and collects salt every few weeks. This careful management ensures responsible use of the resource and a harmonious relationship with the land.
5. Salinity level: Maras salt is an exceptional product due to its purity and high concentration of sodium chloride, which exceeds 97%. As a result, its sodium content is slightly lower than that of common salt sold on the market. The Incas used Maras salt not only for consumption but also for drying alpaca fur and making jerky to trade with population from Lima, Ica, Cusco and Puno.
About the Rounded Farming Terraces of Moray
Near Maras you will find Moray, an enigmatic place located in a deep slot. Its concentric terraces appear like a gigantic amphitheater, these circular terraces descend and each level reveals a different microclimate. This was not only an architectural wonder such as Machu Picchu, but also a laboratory, a testimony to the Inca’s great knowledge of agriculture, and here you have some fascinating facts of Moray:
6. Stairway to Microclimates: As you descend the 12 levels of Moray, temperatures can drop as low as 15°C (27°F). This variation allowed the Incas to test different crops in different conditions. One can imagine tasting corn on a sun-drenched level and potatoes on a cooler one, all within a short walk!
7. Moray’s Agricultural Laboratory: The Incas didn’t just replicate different altitudes, they also manipulated factors such as sunlight, humidity, and wind by precisely positioning the terraces. This allowed them to test for ideal growing conditions and crop resilience in diverse environments.
8. Water is essential for innovation: The terraces were not just passive structures; they were part of an intricate irrigation system. The Incas channeled water from natural springs through a network of stone channels, ensuring that each level received the perfect amount of moisture regardless of rainfall. This mastery of water engineering was crucial for their agricultural success around the whole maras moray peru.
9. Beyond the basic crops: Although maize and potatoes were undoubtedly significant, evidence suggests that the Incas experimented with a wider variety of crops in Moray. Fruits from the low forest (where Choquequirao is located), herbs, and even coca may have grown on these terraces as the Incas tried to optimize growth and discover new food sources.
10. A crater underneath: Moray’s depression is a human-made agricultural terrace system, unlike traditional craters formed by geological processes. Scholars theorize that the purpose of the crater and the advanced agricultural techniques used at Moray showcase the Incan engineers’ ingenuity and their sophisticated understanding of farming in the high-altitude Andean environment.
Visiting Maras Moray Peru is more than just a sightseeing trip. It is a descent into history, innovation, and captivating remains. Moreover, if you are an adcventurous, you will love visiting Maras and Moray by ATVs. Get ready to discover these gorgeous places by clicking here to get in contact with us!