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The Maras and tears of Ayar Kachi during Sacred Valley tour in Cusco

21 October 2014

One hour with ten minutes approximately from Cusco, it is located the Salt mines of Maras, ubicated in the district of the same name, Urubamba providence.

Those who travel for the first to this place, not just get surprised by the huge quantity of pools that exist in an average of 5 thousand square meters of land, but the whiteness of the area and the whimsical way that nature gave him, over the years.

Las Maras, has more than 3000 ponds of various sizes and dimensions, the same belonging to local families, who in time of drought advantage generated salt for iodine treatment and sell to housewives. 


Admission to the salt mines of Maras, costs 5 soles interested can visit this place, especially in times of drought, or when there is no rain, to walk on small paths that join a pool with another, discuss and share the removal process salt pools with villagers and finally, if you want, buy it. 


This town, located between the hills of the Sacred Valley of the Incas, is close to the mountain of Weqey Willka place where according to legend, would have been locked Ayar Kachi, the smallest of the Ayar Brothers, who arrived at Cusco to found the Inca Empire. 


According to the story, he wept so much sadness for the betrayal of his brothers in the dark, that their tears turned into crystals. The same today as spring water through an underground channel and allowed to fill the wells, remembering the sacrifice of this town Ayar Kachi. 


The Salt wells are filled in three days, when water evaporates, it solidifies to a height of 10 inches, then the salt is removed to be sold. 


The natural scenery, regardless of income that may accrue to the families of Maras, is really impressive, and takes the visitor through time. Some delight originated from the Andean myths, and others prefer to give a more scientific explanation, which states that these solid tectonic features are the result of processes that have experienced the Andes for millennia. 


But when we talk Maras district, not only will highlight the salt mines, it is important to invite domestic tourists visit the village where houses are still seen with stone portals. 


Others may prefer to go to Pichingoto, where, says the president of the Association of Graduates in Tourism, Miguel Angel Oroz, there are still families living in a kind of small caves, which are also the result of the morphological changes of the land area for many years. 


But that's not all. A 7 kilometers of Maras, are the archaeological remains of the district of Moray. 


Moray is formed by four circular terraces by way of an artificial crater, where pre-Inca cultures have cultivated maize varieties. 


Maras is a small town located at 3000 300 meters above sea level and was founded in colonial times by Pedro Ortiz de Orué. Formerly it was called Villa de San Francisco de Asis.


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