Salineras de Maras
On the way from Cusco to Ollantaytambo, where you would take the train to Aguas Calientes- the closest town to Machu Picchu- there are many Inca ruins and Inca sights to see. One that is highly suggested is the Salineras salt mine. The mines are passed down by generation and there are around 3,000 salt pools here. Each person or family would own around 20-30 of these. The water flows from a natural stream in the mountains and the miners would dig and create pools so that the salt water can flow into the pool and evaporate under the sun. The process for the salt to evaporate and crystalize takes about 3 months. The white pools are ready to be scraped, filtered and cleaned, ready to be sold off and used as condiments, meat seasoning and therapeutic bath salts. The brown-colored pools are not quite ready yet and they'd need more time to complete to evaporation process. This was a very educational experience and it's also beautiful to see.
By Denise Hoo
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