All about Moray
What is Moray?
Moray is a set of concentric and circular platforms that the Incas built as a kind of agricultural laboratory in which they could experience the sowing of different products to different microclimates since each step of Moray is on a different ecological floor and, therefore, in a different weather condition. In total there are 3 concentric circles where up to 20 different types of microclimates have been detected.
The deepest circles register higher temperatures that decrease as the platforms are externalized. It is believed that the Incas grew potatoes, corn, sweet potatoes, goose, quinoa and even coca leaves there. Today, it is one of the tourist attractions most visited by tourists who want to take a picture with the set of these platforms in the background. Currently, to better preserve the place, it is not allowed to enter the circles.
Moray is in one of the highest points of the Sacred Valley of the Incas. It is 3,500 meters above sea level, about 11,482 feet high. To get there from the city of Cusco you must take a transport that takes you to Urubamba. At one point on the road, you must deviate to the left along a trail that leads to Moray, after almost 50 kilometers (approximately 1 hour of travel). Just 7 kilometers away is the Salineras de Maras, another of the most famous tourist attractions in the place.
Moray has a temperate-cold climate that varies from 0 degrees Celsius (32ºF) to 21 degrees Celsius (69.8ºF). At the time that the tourist makes his visit (approximately between ten and one in the afternoon), the temperature is warm and it is not so cold. During January, February and March the rains occur more frequently, making it difficult to get the desired photo in the place. On the other hand, the months May, June and July have less rain and the sun is fuller to get the photos sought. However, any moment is a good opportunity to see this work of the Incas.
How to visit Moray?
To visit Moray you can choose to go with a tour package (all inclusive) or on your own:
- With tourist package – To make your visit to Moray with a tour, you simply have to contact a tourism agency, either online or in the city of Cusco. Most agencies are located in the historic center of Cusco and include: transportation, tour guide and tickets.
- On your own – If you travel on your own you must take a public transport from Cusco to Urubamba (the stop is on 'Pavitos' street, in the center of the city of Cusco). Then you must stop at the detour of the road that leads to Moray. There you must take a collective taxi that goes through the town of Maras. Once in Moray, you must buy the 'Cusco Tourist Ticket' to enter and, if you wish, you can get a tour guide at the entrance door.
With tour or on my own?
The best option to get to know Moray is to hire a tour package that includes everything: transportation, tour guide, and entrance fee. If you go on your own, you will have to arrange transportation on your own and that is difficult and, in addition, it can be more expensive. Remember that all tours last 5 or 6 hours (half a day) and include a visit to the famous Salineras de Maras. There are also adventure tours that offer visits to these places by ATV.
How much does the trip cost?
Tourist packages to Moray have an approximate cost of 60 US dollars. If you travel on your own, you will have to pay the following expenses: transportation by minivan and collective taxi (25 dollars), Tourist Ticket to enter Moray (20 dollars) and tour guide service (15 dollars). Prices may vary according to availability.
What is the attention hour?
The archaeological site of Moray is open to the public every day of the year from eight in the morning until five in the afternoon.
What should i bring?
If you travel to Moray remember to bring with you:
- Extra money for the purchase of souvenirs (optional).
- Passport or some identity document.
- Photographic camera.
- Comfortable shoes.
- Comfortable clothing for hot or cold (jackets, sweaters, cotton polo shirts).
- Hat to protect yourself from the sun.
- Poncho in case it rains.
- Solar protection.
If you visit Moray on your own, know that the entrance to this Inca site is included in the Cusco Tourist Ticket. This does not happen with the Salineras de Maras, whose entrance ticket is not included in the Cusco Tourist Ticket. The entrance to Maras must be purchased at the same entrance door.
What places to visit besides Moray?
If you travel to Moray you should take the opportunity to also know:
The community of Maras – Traditional town located near the platforms of Moray as well as the Salineras de Maras. This small community was very important in colonial times, where its beautiful Christian temple was built. Today, it is very visited by tourists who seek to know a little about the customs and traditions of the Andean man.
The salt mines of Maras – Set of hundreds of salt wells formed naturally hundreds of years ago. The entire group of wells, about five thousand approximately, form a beautiful landscape that is very photographed by tourists. The Incas collected this salt and the same is still done by the local people today.
Moray Image Gallery
Some tips for your trip
Although it is not possible to visit each of the platforms in Moray, there is a viewpoint from where you can get some of the best photos on the trip to Cusco. Take a good camera with you and wait patiently for your turn when taking pictures. All tourists want to get the desired photo with the Inca platforms in the background.
Moray is 3,500 meters above sea level so you may feel some of the symptoms of altitude sickness, such as: fatigue and headaches. Remember that these symptoms are normal and disappear on their own within a few days or hours after the body acclimates to the mountain altitude. A good option before your visit is to drink plenty of water, such as mate de coca, an infusion made from the coca leaf, a natural product grown in the Andes even before Inca times.
If you visit Moray on your own, take advantage and also get to know the famous salt mines of Maras. This set of natural salt pools also offers a very beautiful landscape for lovers of photography. Remember that all half-day tours to Moray also include a visit to the Maras salt mines.