We leave from Cusco at 9am. Our first stop is Maras, from which, we can get to the salt mines.
The salt mines display a bizarre spectacle of beauty. Located on a wide-open hill above the
Urubamba Valley, a natural salt water stream runs underground. In pre-Incan times, they have
been evaporating the salty water from this stream in order to obtain the salt that gets left behind.
After visiting the salt mines near Maras, we continue on a short distance to the Moray ruins. The
ruins are composed of three coliseums, which are thought to have been used by the Incas as a
sort of open air crop laboratory. The coliseums consist of several enormous terraced circular
depressions, the largest of which is about 30m/98ft deep. The purpose of these depressions is
still uncertain but their depth and orientation with respect to wind and sun creates a temperature
difference of as much as 15 °C/27 °F between the top and bottom. This large temperature
difference was possibly used by the Incas to study the effects of different climatic conditions on
crops. The terraces are arranged in concentric circles and are reminiscent of an ancient Greek
theatre.
In the afternoon, we will return you back to your hotel in Cusco.