The Sacred Valley of the Incas: Maras & Moray

Maras is located 40 kilometers north of Cusco, in the Cusco Region of Peru. The town is well known for the salt mines, with thousands of above-ground salt pools, dating back to pre-Inca times. The salt mines are located four kilometers north of the town, towards Urubamba, down a canyon that descends to the Rio Vilcanota and the Sacred Valley of the Incas. 

Views of Maras Salt Pans from the top. The Maras area is accessible by a paved road, which leads from the main road through the Sacred Valley between Cusco and the surrounding towns. We also stopped by at the town of Maras for lunch with a local family. My favourite is the Quinoa soup – simple yet full of flavours. No need for additional seasonings, the vegetables go so well together and has the right saltiness and sweetness.

Quinoa Soup Peru


Moray is located to the northeast of the village of Maras and composed of a series of four descending, concentric circular agricultural terraces. The date of construction of these terraces is unknown, but they are unique to Peru and it is assumed that they were built by the Incas.

This is a major work of civil engineering and the terraces served a remarkable function; they were used to modify several varieties of local agricultural products to make them more resistant to climatic conditions. The distinct ecological floors produced by the terraces, located below the surface of the plain on which they were built, enabled the Incas to control the temperatures, and it is assumed that each terrace would have been covered with soil from different parts of the empire of Tahuantinsuyo.

Circular terraces of Moray Sacred Valley PeruMoray Sacred Valley Peru

Have you been to Peru? I’d love to hear your experiences! Leave your comments below. If you haven’t, I hope this post would encourage you to explore this beautiful country.

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Photography Information:
Camera: Nikon D800 with Tamron 24-70mm F/2.8 (photos) and iPhone X (videos).
Post-processing: Adobe Lightroom Classic CC (photos) and Final Cut Pro (videos).
Music for the videos are licensed from Soundstripe.

All videos above were taken using iPhone X. I used DJI Osmo Mobile 2 to stabilize the iPhone especially for long hours of shooting. DJI Osmo Mobile 2 definitely helps to reduce the shakiness of my hands, if I were to do it hand-held. This produces better video quality. I love using it! You should get one too if you like taking videos using your smart phone. Click on the image below to find out more about DJI Osmo Mobile 2.

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