The Sacred Valley of the Incas has a climate ideally suited to agriculture and the region counts numerous important sites such as the salt mines of Maras and the circular terraces of Moray which we will visit and discover on this tour.
You will be picked up from your hotel at 9:00 a.m. and will travel to our first stop, the Quechua village of Chinchero located 28 kilometers outside of Cusco and surrounded by patchwork style fields with exquisite natural colors. This charming town with colonial style buildings was a major agricultural center during the Inca Empire, also referred to as tahuantisuyu (The Inca Empire) in Quechua. Here you will see the stone walls with trapezoidal niches as well as a traditional market where locals still practice bartering. The women of Chinchero are easily recognized for their very distinguishing clothing and braided hair.
Following our visit of Chinchero, we will travel to the picturesque town of Maras located at 3 380 meters above sea level. This small village is famous for its salt mines which consist of about 3 000 small wells or ponds with an average area of about 5 m2 from which salt is extracted after a drying process. The salt mines, better known as Salineras de Maras, have been exploited since Inca times as a means of economic exchange. Approximately 7 kms from Maras is the archeological site of Moray our next stop where you will see impressive circular terraces used for experimental Inca agriculture. The Incas studied the adaptation of plants to new ecosystems. The overlapping circular stone rings widen as they rise and it has a total depth of 150 meters. After a guided tour of this site, we will travel back to Cusco. The entire tour is approximately five hours in length and ends at 2:30 pm at Regocijo Square, a half block away from the main square.
Transportation for the entire day (to and from Cusco)
English-speaking guides with knowledge of archeological sites along the tour
Tips for the staff
Good walking shoes or light hiking boots
Day pack to carry your personal belongings
Wear comfortable clothing
Waterproof jacket or rain poncho
Warm jacket or layer
Sunscreen and sun glasses as well as a hat
Drinking water and snacks