Maras and Moray - salt fields and incredible structure
We do not mind changing our plans therefore our trip around the world was enriched two interesting places located around Cusco. These places are Maras and Moray. And it was more interesting than we expected because we were lucky to visit a place where local women showed us how they manufacture alpaca clothes with natural colouring.
Visit of fabric manufacture
We visited a small alpaca factory already in Arequipa during the free walking tour. And we were introduced really important things there but after this trip we got to know how manufacture processes work in reality. In a small village of Chincherro about 1 hour ride from Cusco we visited local manufacture. Local women demonstrated how to create yarns for cloth woving and also a technique how they naturally dye everything. The base for dyeing is a cactus parasite. This parasite changes its color after killing from white to red and with adding another ingredients colors are different. And in the end they also told us more about local habits. Mainly related to their hair and pigtails they are wearing. It is a way how to recognize whether the woman is single or married. 😉
Another stop within our trip was a big wow surprise! We got the opportunity to visit the salt fields or salt mines. If you never visited such place before the first sight will mesmerize you. These fields are located about 25 minutes from Moray and are absolutely fascinating. There are over 3000 fields privately held and all of them are worked with care. Families holding their fields live in a village nearby. 85% of salt is exported from the country because Peru itself needs only 15%. Fields are supplied this warm salty water from the local volcano. The water gets to the fields through drains. Salt evaporates every day and the process takes about one month. Reaping is done in 3-5 layers depends on the use of salt from the kitchen to the bath one and so on.
Moray is one of the most interesting places of the Inca Empire. It is appealing mainly for its functionality and sophistication. It is really hard to believe something so perfect could have been created by human being. It is literally microclimatic agricultural experimental station. Architecture is based on the floors/terraces system. These terraces were irrigated by a smart mechanism. The main part shaped underground canals. Incas reputedly digged these canals from the local volcano and then they filled them up to be under the surface. Hmmm well it is really hard to believe they were able to do this on their own. Another mystery is the system how the terraces were built. They were consist different layers from the mold, sand and stones below the surface. Thanks to this sophisticated system there was water kept even in dry seasons. And now comes the best! Every terrace has different temperature and they are all only a few meters distant from each other. It is unbelievable but that is the way it is. We experienced it on our own. Right in the middle, in the smallest circle is the highest temperature. If you move one floor up or upper it is getting colder. Measurements say that the temperature difference between the lower and upper floor is 15°C (59°F). Thanks to this sophisticated system they were able to grow exotic fruits in the altitude of 3500 meters above the sea level.
How to get to Moras and Moray
If you want to see all these 3 places within a day, get it in travel agencies in Cusco. It is actually the cheapest option, much cheaper than doing it individually in this case. We paid only 30 PEN/person (cca 9 USD) for this one day trip including an English speaking guide! The price does not include entrance fee to Moray. In case you first visit Ollantaytambo you can use the same ticket the other day. More information can be found in our article about Ollantaytambo. In Maras you need to pay 10 PEN/person (cca 3 USD).
Tento příspěvek je také k dispozici v jazyce: Czech