All about the salineras de Maras
What are the Salineras de Maras?
The Salineras de Maras are a set of around 2,000 salt wells formed naturally hundreds of years ago. The Incas worked these salt pools to satisfy the demand for food. A natural spring fills the wells with water and salt which, when evaporating, leaves the salt ready to be removed. This is what the Incas did and what the local people continue to do. Seen from afar, these salt pools form a beautiful landscape for the tourists who arrive there every day. The Salineras de Maras produce the famous pink salt, a very strange product that is formed in few places in the world.
These salt wells are located in the highest part of the Sacred Valley of the Incas, 10 kilometers from the town of Maras. The salt mines are 3,380 meters above sea level, about 11,080 feet high. Starting from the city of Cusco, you must travel approximately 50 kilometers by road. Around the salt wells are a set of snow-capped mountains and mountains such as the Qaqawiñay, the Veronica deer and more.
Map to get to Salineras
How to go?
To go to the Salineras de Maras you must start from the city of Cusco. You must take a transport by car or minivan to the town of Chinchero, in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. This trip takes approximately 40 minutes. In this town there are collective taxis that take visitors directly to the Salineras de Maras. This last journey takes only 20 minutes. In total the trip takes 1 hour.
With tour or on my own?
The best way to go to the Salineras de Maras is through a tour package that includes complete transportation, tickets and the tour guide service. Thus, the visitor will avoid the inconvenience of queuing, getting collective taxis, minivans and other inconveniences. On the other hand, all tours, in addition to the salt mines, include a visit to the circular platforms of Moray.
How much does it cost to go?
Visiting the Salineras de Maras with a tour package costs approximately $ 60. All tours are half a day (6 hours on average) and include a visit to the salt mines, the Inca platforms of Moray and the town of Maras. All services include full transportation and tour guide service. Some services include entrance fees to all venues and others do not. In those cases, visitors must buy their tickets at the door of the place. If you come on your own, you will have to pay your Partial Tourist Ticket that includes 70 Peruvian soles (20 US dollars, approximately).
What to see during the tour?
In addition to the visit to the Salineras de Maras, the tourist package to this place includes the following places:
- Moray circular platforms – A group of circular platforms in the shape of an amphitheater that served as an experimental center for the Incas. Today, it is one of the most photographed places by visitors due to its stunning landscape beauty. It is located a few kilometers from the Salineras de Maras.
- Maras Town – This famous town enjoyed great importance during colonial times. Today it is a community that keeps many traditions. All tour packages include a visit to this town.
- Textile Center in Chinchero (optional) – The town of Chinchero has several textile centers where tourists can learn the traditional way of spinning and dyeing garments made from alpacas. Only some tourism agencies include a visit to this place.
Some tourist packages are carried out by ATV to the Salineras de Maras and the circular platforms of Moray.
Near the salt mines of Maras, tourists can practice some of the most famous adventure sports in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, such as zipline. You can also visit the salt mines by bike and ATV.
What to bring
- Extra money.
- Identity document or passport.
- Photo camera.
- Comfortable shoes or sneakers.
- Comfortable clothing (jackets, sweaters, cotton polo shirts).
- Cap or hat.
- Poncho for the rains.
- Sunscreen and sunglasses.
Hours of Operation
The service hours of the Salineras de Maras are from Monday to Sunday from 8 in the morning to 5 in the afternoon.
How to get guidance?
All tour packages to the Salineras de Maras include the tour guide service. If you are traveling on your own, you can get the tour guide service at the door of the salt mines. The price can be negotiated directly with the guide.
Image gallery of the Salineras de Maras
Tips for your visit
If you visit the salt mines of Maras, take advantage of your visit to see the circular platforms of Moray, which is located only 10 kilometers away. All tours to Maras also include Moray.
You can also take advantage of visiting the famous town of Maras, which was an important town during the colony. Today, it offers beautiful landscapes and a lot of tradition and customs on the part of its inhabitants.
Currently it is not allowed to visit the salt pools. It is only allowed to appreciate the salt mines of Maras from a nearby viewpoint.