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How to get to Maras, Moray and Salineras
For the traveller wanting to avoid the crowds at the Inca ruins, Leap Local can suggest a day-tour of the Sacred Valley with a difference, of the rolling plain of Maras, where you can appreciate panoramic views of the snow-peaked Andes across the valley and fascinating Inca constructions with very few tourists to get in the way of that perfect photo.
Maras, Moray and Salineras are to be found on a high rolling plain above the Sacred Valley, reached from a road that comes off the main road from Cusco to Urubamba. Fifteen taxi drivers operate from the junction between these roads. They heard about Leap Local from another guide recommended on the site and asked us to promote them here too. Choose a local taxi driver from those recommended here to chauffer you and guide you round the sights that surround their village of Maras:
There is almost no public transport to the town of Maras so they operate a shared taxi service there from the junction (ramal). Maras is a sleepy picturesque town with many colonial carved-stone doorways (1 sol each way, expect to wait for the taxi to fill with other passengers).
Moray consists of three sets of concentric circular terraces, an Inca agricultural centre possibly used for developing new crops. The temperature varies between terraces at difference levels, which would have facilitated the selection of crop strains for cultivation in different areas of the Inca empire with its many ecosystems.
Salineras is a cascade of thousands of salt-ponds used to produce salt from thermal springs since pre-Inca times. All the drivers have worked in the salt-pans and can give you a personal explanation of how the salt is produced, drawing on the experiences of their grandparents and from what they have read.
The three-hour tour costs 70 soles, which gives you 50 minutes to appreciate Moray and 50 minutes for Salineras. If you want longer you can offer to pay more for waiting time and if the service is good don’t be afraid to tip and add a recommendation on the Leap Local site!
If you fancy an afternoon walk at the end of the day, ask the driver to leave you at Salineras, from where it is an hour and a half walk down beside the salt pans then along the Vilcanota river to the road between Ollantaytambo and Urubamba, where you can pick up a bus to either town. If you do this you may get a small discount on the fare. It is also possible to take longer walks, for example take a taxi to Moray from the junction (15 soles) and walk to Salineras.
This is also a great downhill biking area for experienced mountain bikers. The taxis are big enough to fit a couple of bikes in so that you don’t have to pedal uphill at this altitude.You can rent bikes in Cusco or Urubamba. If you prefer just to watch, there is an annual competition on the Sunday after the 2nd January each year.
If you want to stay overnight in Maras or one of the communities, there are some families who offer homestay accomodation. We hope for some recommendations of these on Leap Local soon.
Shared taxi from junction to Maras S/. 1
Private taxi from junction to Moray only S/. 20 Return S/. 40
Private taxi from junction to Salineras only S/. 20 Return S/. 40
Tour of Maras, Moray, Salineras S/. 70
Special annual events/fiestas
2nd January Anniversary of the town of Maras
Sunday after 2nd January Mountain biking competition down to the valley
1st August Wataq Qallariy, Inka New Year celebrated with ceremony at Moray
8th August Moray Raymi
15th August Fiesta of Virgen Asunta
15th, 16th, 17th August A local barter market where people from Puno region of Peru come to exchange their rustic ceramics for food.
4th October Fiesta Patronal