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An update from Evaneos

Maras (Peru)

Practical information about Maras

  • Encounters with locals
  • Viewpoint
  • Mountain
  • River
  • Culture (paddy field, coffee, tea ...)
  • Place or Historical Monument
  • Off the beaten track
4 / 5 - 4 reviews
How to get there
1 hour in a taxi from Cuzco / 30 minutes from Moray by road
When to go
From April to September
Minimum stay
A few hours

Reviews of Maras

Virginie Bigeni Travel writer
49 travel articles

Situated in the sacred Inca valley, around 50km from Cuzco, the Salt Flats of Maras are a must-see. It is an unbelievable view of the landscape, with large pools of salt water arranged in waterfalls. The site is always used by the locals.

My suggestion:
Don't hesitate to take a guide with you as the site is bursting with legends and anecdotes, which make it truly exciting. Nothing but its construction is worth going into too much detail on.

The Salt Flats of Maras are incredible. Whilst the sun bathes the valley in its orange light, and these pools of immaculate white appear suddenly in front of our eyes, it is impossible to not be fascinated by them, to not want to understand why and how they are there. If you have had the brilliant idea of following the Inca trails in the sacred valley, this is a must-see during your trip to Peru. You will not be disappointed.

Whether you be lovers of landscapes from the edge of the world, history, culture, ancient architecture or other things, the salt flats are well worth the trip. It is basically a source, 3200m above sea level, which has given birth to a stream of sodium chloride, stuck thereafter in pools on the side of the mountain. It has the advantage of its size in a region so far from the sea! However, it is then difficult for the local people to transport bags of salt on their backs...

Young labourer, Maras Salt Flats
Travel writer
181 travel articles

Incredible salt flats on the side of a mountain in the sacred valley, dating from the pre-Inca era.

My suggestion:
Advice to walkers: go from Urubamba on foot as the walk is fantastic, and you are able to visit the site by yourself once the busloads of tourists have left.

The sacred valley is truly mind-blowing. It offers you an innumerable amount of things to discover, to such an extent that it could be the main highlight of your trip to Peru. Amongst other curiosities you must visit: the Maras salt flats.

Nestled in the Urubamba valley, the village of Maras is picturesque with a truly magnificent landscape. You will see something unexpected when you get to the salt flats - they are on the side of a mountain! It is truly a sight to behold, with the colour gradation, the salt flats and the 'andestre' vegetation being superb. This abundance of salt so far from the sea actually comes from a water source full of sodium chloride.

There is a magnificent panorama from the heights of the salt flats, which is a great place to take photos. I wowed my hosts with them during a memorable evening toasting the holidays with pisco.

Lucie Davost Travel writer
4 travel articles

The astonishing terraced salt evaporation ponds of Maras, located on the road linking Cusco to Machu Picchu.

My suggestion:
Try to approach the site from high above so that you can enjoy the spectacular views.

The salt evaporation ponds at Maras, located at the centre of the Urubamba Valley, constitute a site unlike any other in Peru. The dozens of terraces here, which are used for salt production, are irrigated by a saline spring that rises up from the mountain.

This creates a particularly unusual landscape made up of a harmonious blend of rice terraces and salt ponds, which reminded me, strangely, of a palette of water colours ranging in tone from ochre to white, depending on what stage the salt harvest had reached.

In addition to the wonderful views you get of Maras from the neighbouring mountain, I also found it enjoyable walking at leisure amongst the salt evaporation ponds, which gave me the chance to observe the different salt crystallisation stages at closer hand. In short, this is a site not to be missed in my opinion!

Salt ponds at Maras
michael mamane Travel writer
53 travel articles

Maras is located in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, not far from Cusco and makes for a captivating visit for anyone touring this area of Peru.

My suggestion:
After visiting Machu Picchu, aim to stay in Ollantaytombo and organize a combined visit to Maras and Moray the following day. You will save some time, as opposed to going there to and from Cusco.

I was really impressed by Maras, well known for its salt-evaporation ponds dating from the Pre-Inca period. I remember the striking panorama of all these salt terraces in the hollow of the valley. The town is accessible from Cusco, but I went there from Ollantaytombo on my way back from Machu Pichu, which allowed me to spend a day visiting, before heading back to Cusco.

In Maras, we can still see a lot of labourers, some quite young, busy on the terraces, extracting salt from the ponds. I was moved by the fact that this site, built in Pre-Inca times, is still being worked by a lot of families today. You can walk along the terraces, amidst the ponds.

In my opinion, Maras, along with Moray, which is close by, are places to be seen in this part of Peru.