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Hike to Moray & Maras

Wanderung · Peru
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Macs Adventure Verifizierter Partner  Explorers Choice 
  • Hike from the fascinating agricultural rings of Moray to the ancestral salt mines of Maras
    / Hike from the fascinating agricultural rings of Moray to the ancestral salt mines of Maras
    Foto: Claire Peters, Macs Adventure
  • / Picture 1
    Foto: Claire Peters, Macs Adventure
  • / Picture 2
    Foto: Claire Peters, Macs Adventure
  • / Picture 3
    Foto: Claire Peters, Macs Adventure
  • / Picture 4
    Foto: Claire Peters, Macs Adventure
  • / Picture 5
    Foto: Claire Peters, Macs Adventure
  • / Picture 6
    Foto: Claire Peters, Macs Adventure
  • / Picture 7
    Foto: Claire Peters, Macs Adventure
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Explore the agricultural laboratory of the Incas “Moray”, continuing along the Sacred Valley's stunning mountain range and colorful fields, to the ancestral salt mines of Maras. 

11,8 km
3:30 h
17 hm
673 hm

Starting with an early transfer, head into the Scared Valley and town of Chinchero, located 30 km from central Cusco. Continue towards Maras before driving another 7 km (4.3 miles) southwest to the starting destination of Moray. Serving as one of the region’s most unique archaeological sites, discover how the enormous, natural hollows within the earth’s surface were used for constructing irrigated farming terraces. Become awed in how greatly the atmosphere varies within these natural formations and how nature has created distinctive environmental conditions (or microclimates), that are now replicated in greenhouses today for their favorable settings. Upon visiting Moray, head onto the trail passing through Maras Village to reach the famous salt pans of Maras. Learn all about this incredible destination and the processes that spread Maras Salt all over the world. Continue onward to Pichingoto, where a vehicle will be awaiting for transport to your overnight hotel in the Sacred Valley.  


Before departing, do not forget to have an early, yet full breakfast, as well as grabbing your packed lunch. Make sure to pack your day pack with snacks, sunscreen and any necessities. Please remember to refill your water bottle or hydration system at the hotel, as today tends to be a hot and humid. 

Note, you will need to bring 10 soles to enter the salt mines. User
Claire Peters
Aktualisierung: 07.06.2019

Höchster Punkt
3514 m
Tiefster Punkt
2841 m


In addition to the Macs Adventure Navigation App, you will be provided with an INREACH, double communication system via Garmin, so you can communicate with our local representatives in Peru. If you have any urgency, please do not hesitate to contact them immediately.

If you become ill, or do not feel comfortable on the hike, do not hesitate to ask your morning transfer to drop you off at your overnight hotel within the Sacred Valley instead. Please note that you can turn around and head back at any point, or call our local representative if necessary, making this hike as challenging or laid-back as you'd like.   

The weather in the Andes and at this height of elevation changes rapidly, so please remember to pack extra layers and raingear. Please pack plenty of water, snacks and your picnic lunch to maintain proper hydration and nutrition (and to set yourself up for success during the rest of your time in Peru).   

Food & Drink

Hydration on the mountain is constant, so do not forget to refill your personal water bottles, Camelbak or hydration system. We do not recommend extracting water from small river channels to drink.

Weitere Infos und Links


Moray was used for the adaptation of plants to new climatic environments, a test beyond the levels of agronomic knowledge, accomplished by the Incas. The soil temperatures of each ring determines that the Incas achieved ecological zones perfect to produce and cultivate resistant plants, grains (such as quinoa and kiwicha), and vegetable varieties such as pumpkin, squash and potato. 

Due to its sheltered position, each of these platforms represents approximately one thousand meters of altitude under normal farming conditions. In its entirety, the complex contains twenty or more miniature ecological zones. The site of Moray was also assumed to have served as a testing ground for Incan officers in calculation of the annual production for different parts of the immense Tahuantinsuyo.

Andean Landscape:

Today's path crosses through different crops fields including: potatoes, beans, tarwi, corn and other vegetables coloring the landscape. In the distance, the snow-capped mountains of Chicon and the Pitusiray (iconic mountains of the Sacred Valley), are imposed. 

Maras Village:

Founded in colonial times by Pedro Ortiz de Orué, Maras became an occupied and prosperous village when the citizens of Cuzco withdrew from the Incan palaces. Maras remained an important town during the viceroyalty, serving as the main supplier of salt from the southern highlands, as indicated by the church and houses that still conserve the shields of indigenous nobility in their facades. 

Maras Salt Mines: "Kachi Raqay" (Quechua) 

The Maras Salt Mines and it's exploitation is as old as the Tahuantinsuyo. Located on the slopes of the hill, the salt pans (in the form of terraces or platforms), is crossed by a stream that feeds the pools with salty water.

The use of the Salt of Maras dates back from thousands of years. Having been inherited by each individual family, it is managed and operated in a communal way. The mines are composed of about five thousand pools about 5 square meters each. The salt process is acheieved as the water seeps into the pools and evaporates by the intense sun, causing coarse salt crystals to sprout. After about one month, the salt reaches 10 cm. in height, in which the salt to be harvested.   

Note, you will need to bring 10 soles to enter the salt mines.


Moray (3512 m)
-13.330332, -72.194363
18L 803949 8524616


Pichingoto Bridge


This trek begins at the "Entrance of Moray Archaeological Complex." Start exploring this Incan agricultural laboratory and continue hiking through the beautiful Andean landscape to the Maras Salt Mines.

0.00 km -  Start at the East Entrance of Moray Archeological Complex. (Picture 1)

240 m / 787 feet - Continue STRAIGHT ON through the dirt road. Be careful while walking and take the left side of the road, until the dirt road goes right.

290 m / 164 feet – TURN LEFT and continue following alongside the field. In 50 meters the single trail turns right and gentle goes down a little valley.

521 m / 1709 feet - TURN RIGHT onto the single trail. Upon reaching the top, cross the field and onto the trail as it continues to ascend.

676 m / 2217 feet- As a trail appears on the left hand side of the dirt road, continue STRAIGHT ON until you arrive at an intersection. Where the dirt road now turns right, BEAR LEFT

1.4 km / 4593 mile - Continue STRAIGHT ON through the field until you arrive at another detour, where you will continue STRAIGHT ON. Note - this path is less marked.

1.8 km / 5905 mile - Continue STRAIGHT ON as bushes appear on the right hand side of the trail. Further down the road, continue STRAIGHT ON to cross a small water canal (Note - a few meters ahead and on the left there will be a small pond of water). An abandoned house made of clay will appear on your left soon after. This house is next to a small garden of trees, serving as the perfect spot to rest, take photos, enjoy the view,  eat lunch and continue on your way. 

2.8 km / 1.73 mile - Continue STRAIGHT ON the same trail. Almost 1 kilometer along the trail another little valley will appear. Please be careful on the way down as it could be slippery. Continue STRAIGHT ON the same trail going up.

4.2 km / 2.60 mile – At the top, continue STRAIGHT ON the same trail until arriving at the last little valley. Continue STRAIGHT ON as the trail goes down and up again.

4.3 km / 2.67 mile – At the top of the valley, BEAR RIGHT towards the big red and white antenna. (Picture 3)

4.8 km / 2.98 mile – When you arrive at the big red infrastructure, continue STRAIGHT ON the dirt road that goes into the village of Maras.

5.1 km / 3.17 mile –  Continue STRAIGHT ON for four blocks after entering the town, then TURN LEFT onto Jerusalen street.

5.4 km / 3.35 mile – Continue STRAIGHT ON for four more blocks until you arrive to the Maras main square.

5.4 km / 3.35 mile – Continue STRAIGHT ON towards the opposite corner upon entering the main square. Continue STRAIGHT ON down Jesus St. until you reach a curve to the right. Here you will leave the road as you continue STRAIGHT ON and down a single trail. Note - just before this road you will find a directional sign to the salt mines, “Salineras Maras 4 KLMS”.

5.5 km / 3.44 mile – Continue going down the trail until you find a well of water. Continue STRAIGHT ON the same path.

 6.3 km / 3.9 mile – 250 meters past the water well, you arrive at an intersection. Continue STRAIGHT ON the same trail. DO NOT get off the trail here.

7.1 km / 4.4 mile – 767 meters down, you will arrive at two more intersections. At the first, BEAR RIGHT. At the second, continue STRAIGHT ON (do not BEAR RIGHT at this point). 

7.3 km / 4.53 mile – Shortly after, two more intersections will appear. At the first (at about 175 meters down), BEAR LEFT. Continue STRAIGHT ON for another 140 meters. Upon reaching the second intersection, BEAR LEFT. Note - the path begins to get narrow.

9 km / 5.59 mile – Continue STRAIGHT ON the trail, passing by the slope of the mountain, until arriving at the viewpoint of the salt mines.

9.3 km / 5.77 mile – From here the road begins to descend (zigzagging down), until reaching the entrance of the salt mines.

Note - At the entrance you will pay 10 soles to enter. Take your time to walk around and enjoy the amazing views and terraces of the salt mine.

11.1 km / 6.89 mile - To conclude the final part of today's route, continue STRAIGHT ON the path going down into the valley located on the left hand side of the salt mine. Note - this is the only path down to the valley and consists of the a single trail. Continue STRAIGHT ON this path for about 30 to 40 minutes until arriving at Pichingoto Village, located at the bottom of the Sacred Valley.

11.8 km / 7.33 mile - Enter the village on the dirt road that crosses the town. BEAR RIGHT with the road and continue STRAIGHT ON until you reach the hanging bridge that crosses the Urubamba River. Cross over the bridge. 

12 km / 7.45 mile - TURN RIGHT and then TURN LEFT following along with the road until you find a main intersection. Here, the same vehicle that dropped you off at Moray this morning, will be awaiting your arrival for transport to your overnight hotel.  


alle Hinweise zu Schutzgebieten

Öffentliche Verkehrsmittel

Private transfer


A private transfer will drop you off near Moras (beginning of hike) and consequently pick you up in Maras (end of hike) for transport to your overnight hotel.



Anreise mit der Bahn, dem Auto, zu Fuß oder mit dem Rad

Buchtipps für die Region

mehr zeigen


 Please bring comfortable hiking clothes, sturdy hiking shoes, a backpack, water, packed lunch, raingear and layers (preferably use breathable fabrics like Nylon and Polyester). Sturdy, waterproof hiking boots are strongly recommended, with hiking poles, as the hiking surface varies greatly from paved roads, dirt paths to slippery single-track trails. Sunscreen and a sunhat are highly recommended, even on cloudy days.

 A small backpack or day pack will be enough for today's hike, and make sure to fill your backpack with all the necessities before departure.

 Don't forget your camera, and an additional energy charger, as there are plenty of opportunities on this hike for spectacular shots of Incan archaeological ruins and the colorful panoramic landscapes, not to mention llamas, scenic farmlands and locals wearing beautifully intricate, traditional Peruvian clothing. 

Note, you will need to bring 10 soles to enter the salt mines.

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11,8 km
17 hm
673 hm


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