Moray and Salineras

A day hike through the Sacred Valley led us to two spectacular Incan sites, Moray and Salineras.  After a quick taxi ride, our trip began at Moray.

Moray is an ancient Incan agricultural complex with circular terrace depressions that extend as deep as 30 meters.  Although the purpose of the site is not officially known the orientation of the terraces with respect to the wind and the sun create temperature differences of as much as 27 degrees Fahrenheit between the different terraces.  It is therefore supposed that the Incans used this area to determine the best growing conditions for various types of crops.  The depth of the site was impressive and the symmetry and precision with which the Incans constructed the terraces was remarkable.

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After a 5 kilometer walk, we arrived at Salineras, an impressive site of terraced salt pans that have been used to extract salt since Incan times.  These salt pans are still used to farm salt today.

The mountain above contains an abundant amount of salt and a natural hot spring emerges from the side of mountain. So all these salt pans were built to collect the hot salt water and then let the sun evaporate the water. It is an impressive system of small aqueducts that spread the salty water to all the various salt pans on the hillside. Once the water is completely evaporated the dried salt is collected and distributed. We were told that these salt pans have been in continuous use since the 16th century.

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Here are some close up views of the slat crystals…

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A cute baby donkey we saw at the end of our hike…

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