Exploring the Mysteries of the Moray Ruins

Moray and Salt Mines of Maras tour

Situated west of Maras, the Moray Ruins are an archaeological site featuring a collection of intriguing circular terraces.

Among these circular depressions, the largest measures approximately 30 meters, contributing to the captivating spectacle that awaits visitors on a day trip from Cusco.

Similar to many other ruins from the Incan Empire, the exact purpose of Moray remains a subject of ongoing investigation. The terraced depressions create distinct microclimates at each level, resulting in temperature variations of up to 15 degrees Celsius (27 degrees Fahrenheit) between the top and bottom depressions.

Samples obtained from the site indicate that different soils sourced from the surrounding area were placed on different levels, leading scientists to theorize that Moray served as a site for studying the effects of various soils, climates, and crop growth conditions. Alternative theories propose that Moray may have been an abandoned mine, with the Inca reinforcing the walls to prevent erosion or landslides.

Regardless of its original purpose, the remnants of the ruins offer a fascinating glimpse into Incan life, making Moray an ideal destination for exploration on a day trip from Cusco.

Independent Visit to Moray Ruins

The Moray Ruins are located approximately 50 kilometers northwest of Cusco. Similarly to the Maras Salt Ponds, you can take a taxi from Cusco to the town of Maras (£4/$6 per person, one-way). From Maras, it is a little over 8 kilometers to reach the Moray ruins, which can be reached by a 2-hour walk or a taxi ride from town.

It is common to hire a taxi for a few hours to explore the ruins and ensure transportation back to Maras. The typical cost for the taxi hire is around £5/$7 for the duration you’ll need. The entrance fee to the ruins is 70 Soles (£13/$18).

Estimated Total Cost: Approximately £26/$37

Guided Tour to Moray Ruins

Organized tours usually combine the Moray Ruins with the Maras Salt Mines, providing a comprehensive experience in one day. This tour is particularly suitable for those with limited time in Cusco, as both sites can be visited within approximately 5 hours. With an average pick-up time of 8:30 am, you can complete the tour by 1 pm, leaving the rest of the afternoon to explore Cusco.

Estimated Total Cost: £12 ($17) for the tour + £15 ($21) for the entrance fees to Maras and Moray = £29 ($38)

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