Where are you going?
Or, let us surprise youSpin the Globe ®

Salt Mines Maras

+51 84 205138
Plane loader
Animated dots
Maras Salt Flats Maras  Peru
Just Another Day In The Fields Maras  Peru
Maras and Moray  Maras  Peru
Artisan Salt with a View Maras  Peru
Artisan Salt with a View Maras  Peru
Maras Salt Mines Maras  Peru
Behold: the Salinas de Maras Maras  Peru
Salineras de Maras: Picturesque Pit-Stop Maras  Peru
Salineras de Maras: Picturesque Pit-Stop Maras  Peru
Salineras de Maras Maras  Peru
Salineras de Maras Maras  Peru
Visit Maras Maras  Peru
Maras Salt Flats Maras  Peru
Just Another Day In The Fields Maras  Peru
Maras and Moray  Maras  Peru
Artisan Salt with a View Maras  Peru
Artisan Salt with a View Maras  Peru
Maras Salt Mines Maras  Peru
Behold: the Salinas de Maras Maras  Peru
Salineras de Maras: Picturesque Pit-Stop Maras  Peru
Salineras de Maras: Picturesque Pit-Stop Maras  Peru
Salineras de Maras Maras  Peru
Salineras de Maras Maras  Peru
Visit Maras Maras  Peru

Maras Salt Flats

The stunning landscape of Salineras de Maras features salt pans that are still used exactly as they were at the time of the Incas. As you make your way through the region, you’ll see people doing the backbreaking work of harvesting salt on small family plots. The reward? The salt gathered here is some of the best in the world. Water, naturally salt-infused, flows down from the mountains and settles in the pans. As the water evaporates, salt remains, to be extracted with simple tools. Stop at a store or one of the many small-scale vendors selling the “fruit” of this labor in its pure form or mixed with herbs for use in cooking, bathing, or chocolate bars.

More Recommendations

AFAR Local Expert
over 4 years ago

Just Another Day In The Fields

Comprised of over 2,000 small salt wells, the "Salineras de Maras" have provided a steady source of salt for residents of Peru's Sacred Valley since potentially before the days of the Inca.

Diverting water from a naturally salty spring, small puddles are slowly allowed to accumulate and ultimately, evaporate in the warm Peruvian sun. What's left behind are mounds of natural salt which are still harvested by hand and sold to local markets.

Here, two colorfully dressed salt farmers toil during another day in the fields.

AFAR Local Expert
over 2 years ago

Maras and Moray

You can find the ancient sites of Maras and Moray just a short drive away from Pisac. The two places differ in appearance, but they both reflect the same spirit of innovation that helped various Pre-Columbian people build prosperous societies in this unique landscape. Moray is believed to have been an agricultural microclimate laboratory that the Incans used to test how well crops would grow at various elevations. On the other hand, the Maras Salt Mines resemble a landscape from another planet, and their image has captivated artists for decades. It shouldn't take you must longer than two hours to visit these two sites, but they are absolutely worth the trip. Consider hiring a bike tour between Maras and Moray to add a bit of adrenaline to the experience!
AFAR Local Expert
7 months ago

Artisan Salt with a View

Over 3000 man made salt pools dating back to pre-columbian times are still harvesting salt using traditional techniques at Salinas de Mares. Owned by several different families, I’d wanted to visit ever since I saw them featured on chef and food personality Eddie Huang on Vice.

Salt water runs thru interlocking evaporation pools and is still harvested using the traditional techniques. The discovery of salt allowed the ancient culture to preserve meat and change the basic diet. On the walk out of the area, vendors are selling packets of salt in a wide variety of rose and ivory colors, a perfect souvenir for the foodies in your life. .
AFAR Ambassador
over 3 years ago

Maras Salt Mines

The Maras Salt Mines in Peru's Sacred Valley are very intriguing and worth a stop if you're touring the area. The mines cover a whole hillside and you can freely walk through them but mind your step as they can often be muddy or slippery. They're mainly interesting for the sake of photography but you can also get some great products here which incorporate the harvested salt (edible salts, bath salts, chocolate with salt, etc).

Colin Roohan traveled to Peru courtesy of PromPeru, Travcoa, and LAN as part of AFAR’s partnership with The United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA), whose members provide travelers with unparalleled access, insider knowledge, and peace-of-mind to destinations across the globe. Hear more about Colin’s journey on the USTOA blog.
over 4 years ago

Behold: the Salinas de Maras

The Salinas are salt evaporation ponds found in Maras, a small town in Peru's Sacred Valley.

The marvel is formed of hundreds of salt pans utilized for extraction since the time of the Incas. Despite the blasted, omnipresent steps and relentless afternoon sun, the surreal salinas are my favorite Sacred Valley sight.

Incredible Trip to Peru: http://bit.ly/11IZdBX
almost 3 years ago

Salineras de Maras: Picturesque Pit-Stop

The journey here will undoubtedly be some of the most breath-taking scenery in Peru as this underrated destination lies in the heart of lush Andean foothills. Salineras de Maras is not, by any means, a "destination attraction", but it's a picturesque pit-stop if you are traveling to or from Moray, which is reasonably close by car (via some very wild roads). Photographers, especially, will appreciate the dramatic landscape and juxtaposition of practically any color against the stark white backdrop of the salt flats.

For the best experience, hire a guide for the day, and be sure to stop here on you way to Moray (a must-see). While an hour would be plenty of time at the flats, allot some extra time for photo ops, picnics, or Zen time en route; if you're anything like me, you'll want to pull over 1000 times to admire the land you're driving through, truly a visual experience like no other.
AFAR Contributor
over 2 years ago

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.
5 months ago

Visit Maras

While traveling through the Sacred Valley, the Maras "salt mines" are a must-visit stop. The salt mines are a collection of about 3,000 small pools that sit on the slopes of the mountain-managed communally and each owned by individual families. Every three days during the dry season, people will fill their pools up with salt water that flows from a natural spring. Once the water evaporates, the salt gradually solidifies. When you visit the salt mines, you are free to walk around and explore (as long as you stay out of the pools). You are likely to see people at work mining their salt. Make sure to bring your camera—the salt pools and mountain setting make some stunning photographs.