We will pick you up from your hotel and drive up to the Paucarbamba bridge (9,512 ft), where we will meet our horses. We'll cross the Urubamba River and start the uphill ride for almost 1,312ft up to the altiplano of the Andes; this climb will take about 3 hours. On the way, we will enjoy the beautiful views of the Andean altiplano surrounding us. We will then arrive to Moray, a site which is neither the vestige of a city or a fortress, but an earthwork. Ancient people of the region took four enormous natural depressions in the landscape and sculpted them into several levels of agricultural terraces that served, hundreds of years ago, as an experimental agricultural station for the development of different strain of crops. This was possible due to the discovery of a fascinating phenomenon: the climates of many different ecological zones were present in one single site.
In the thirty or so meters of altitude between the bottom and top levels of Moray's main depression, one scientist, John Earls, has recorded a full 15ºC difference in temperature. That is equal to the difference between the mean annual temperatures of London and Bombay. It was Moray itself that played the key role in the original transformation of maize into a high-altitude crop. After our visit to Moray, we will continue our ride towards the town of Maras (11,152ft) for approximately one hour. Maras is a typical Andean village that boasts a beautiful 400 year colonial old church; we will enjoy our picnic lunch in Maras. After lunch, we will continue our ride to Maras’s salt mines (9,840ft) for almost one hour. Once we arrive to this place, we will be impressed by the sight of the snow-capped mountains of Chicon, Veronica and Salkantay.
The Maras "salt works", also called "salt mines", are constituted by about 3000 small pools with an average area of 5 m² (53.8 ft²), constructed in a slope of the "Qaqawiñay" mountain. People fill up or "irrigate" the pools during the dry season every three days, with salty water emanating from a natural spring located on the top of the complex, so that when water evaporates the salt contained in it will slowly solidify. That process will be carried out approximately during one month until a considerable volume of solid salt is obtained. After this visit we will dismount our horses and take our private vehicle that will transfer us back to our hotel.
- Private transportation
- Professional tour guide (spanish and english)
- One horse per client
- Gloves and helmet
- Lunch in the Sacred Valley
- Entrance fee to Maras & Moray
- Alcoholic Beverages in included meals
- Tips: please note that our agency staff is well paid so please feel free to tip or not as you wish
- IGV Tax
- Other services not mentioned in the program