Moray and the Maras Salt Pans
After a couple hours in Chinchero, it was on to Moray and the Maras Salt Pans. The drive to Moray took about 45 minutes over a dirt road which was questionable for the vehicle we were in. But the views were spectacular. There’s a paved road too, because large buses arrive at Moray, but for some reason we took the scenic route.
Moray is a series of large concentric terraces forming a circle which gets progressively smaller and warmer the farther down you go. We walked as far down as we were allowed to go (not to the very bottom level) and down there, sheltered from the wind and yet in full sun, it was probably 15 degrees warmer. Hiking back up and out was when I really felt the 12000 feet of elevation and myself gasping for breath as we neared the top.
Our last stop, the Maras salt pans were a short drive away. Up here, at over 10,000 feet, water comes out of the mountainside salty and for hundreds of years people have worked the land, forming shallow pans in which the water evaporates leaving the salt behind. These pans remind me a lot of the tannery dye pans in Fez Morocco in their shape and scope. However, instead of being the center of a walked city these sit high up on the mountainside.
Each pan is owned by a family and thus the $7 admission is separate from the bolleto touristico. Our time there was quick, less than half an hour, but we enjoyed it and bought several small bags of salt as gifts for friends and for ourselves.
Beautiful pics. What’s the purpose of the morays and why aren’t you allowed at the bottom? Do they sell the salt from the salt pans locally or is it a larger commercial enterprise…like something that might be available in stores here? Looks like a great trip. 🙂
They think that the site at Moray was for agricultural testing. I think the salt is only available there, or in other parts of Peru. Unlikely to find here I think.
Stunning photos and great storytelling, as usual! Peru never made my Bucket List, but for some reason it has been calling to me for the past several years.
Important question … what type of bag are you using in the last photo? I’m headed to the Rockies next month and need something a bit more substantial than a handbag to carry camera paraphernalia, maps, reading glasses, water, etc. when hitting the trails. Thanks in advance!
The bag is the Lowepro Passport Sling Camera Bag – Black
I really like it, though I don’t carry it with the padded insert when I’m out for the day. That’s just too bulky. Instead, I put the insert in my carry on backpack, and put the camera in that on travel days. The sling bag packs flat in my suitcase and works as my day bag.
Edited to add, it also expands on the back side of the sling which is sometimes helpful and the pockets in the front will hold a small bottle of water or umbrella. Plus, it comes with padding for the strap which takes some pressure off the neck/shoulder.
I’ve taken it on 3 trips now and it’s performed nicely.