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Discovering the salt mines of Maras in Peru

Would you like to visit the salt flats of Maras but don’t know where to start? So don’t miss this post to start discovering this fantastic pearl of our beloved Peru.

The Maras salt pans are one of the main attractions of the Sacred Valley, nothing but a complex mining system whose origins are lost in the country’s history. About 40 kilometers from the city of Cusco, the Maras salt pans are located on a steep hill not far from the village of the same name.

According to scholars, the formation of the Maras salt pans dates back to the Inca era and, for instance, around 200 AD It is a complex of about 3,000 ponds, each of which is roughly around four square meters and about 30 centimeters deep. The salt water, which emerges from the subsoil through a well called Qoripujio, is diverted to the other pools by a complete hydraulic system, an emblematic symbol of the Inca skills.

Salineras de Maras, Maras Salt Flats, Sacred Valley, Peru, South America

Thanks to the effect of the sun and climate in general, the water of the Maras salt pans evaporates, leaving the crystallized salt on the surface. This is collected and sold later in the markets. The salt flats of Maras belong to the local community, which derives economic sustenance precisely from the sale of salt. Needless to say, the extraordinary beauty of this pearl of Peru enchants even the most uninhibited visitor: thousands of squares that climb the hill giving dazzling colors and reflections.

The landscape, sometimes almost lunar, takes on surreal nuances due to its incredible beauty. The Maras salt pans are easily accessible from Cusco and all the main attractions of the Sacred Valley. The Maras salt pans are one of the attractions to visit absolutely during a trip to Peru, to experience a unique experience of pure beauty.

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