Maras and Moray are two of the most impressive and photogenic sites in Peru. As well as being visually striking, they offer a refreshing alternative angle on the history of the region. These sites are conveniently located about six kilometres from one another, so can be easily be visited together.
The salt pans at Maras can be dated back to pre-Incan times; these have been carved into the valley to collect warm salty water that naturally flows from the mountain springs. Still operational today, workers block off the pools when filled to allow the sun to evaporate the water, leaving crystallised salt deposits which are collected by locals.
Visually likened to amphitheatres, the enormous circular sunken terraces at Moray are an extraordinary sight. The area is said to have been designed by the Incas to optimise crop production, by creating different microclimates on each terrace. The deepest of the terraces is roughly thirty metres and the temperature can vary up to 15 degrees from top to bottom. You can walk around on allocated paths and descend to the centre which allows you to fully appreciate the scale.