Precariously nestled into a steep cliff the Maras Salt Mines of the Sacred Valley are absolutely incredible.
The Boleto Turístico does not cover entrance, but it is well worth the small fee ($2) to see the beauty of this place. The salt evaporation ponds have been in use since before Inca times. Our driver informed us that salt is actually cheaper here far from the ocean than it is in waterfront Lima! Where does the salt come from? A subterranean stream mixes with salt deposits from prehistoric salt lakes. There are over six thousand salt pans, each is no more than thirteen square feet by one food deep. Pools are filled with salt water evaporate and leave salt behind.
They are owned and mined by local families, some salt is sold at the connected market – along with small snacks and trinkets. Walk along the narrow trails as far as your dare and glimpse out into the mountains.
This is a truly incredible and unique spot – perhaps my favorite in the Sacred Valley. It is very close to the ruins of Moray, you should visit both while in the area.