Maras Cusco, Maras of the Sacred Valley
Maras is a town located 48 km. northwest of the city of Cusco, 12 km from Urubamba and about 3028 masl. The temperature fluctuates between 1 to 21 degrees Celsius.
Maras was an important town during the viceroyalty (it was the main supplier of salt to the southern highlands), as evidenced by the church and the large houses that still retain the shields of indigenous nobility on their facades. The houses are adobe, white walls with roofs and blue windows, the streets are stone and mud. On the lintels you can read the date on which they were built, their owner or some shield or ornament inscribed in stone.
Maras was founded by the Spanish in 1556, and was in charge of the encomendero Pedro Ortiz de Orue, whose house is located one block from the Plaza de Armas, on the lintel of its door the data of its owner is read, it was he who I establish this custom, which continues to this day. It is recommended to see the house belonging to the Inca Tupac Sinchi Roca (Jerusalem 249), the Jesuit portal (Jerusalem 233), the cover of Sancho Usca Paucar (Jerusalem 245) that surprises for its work and ornamentation.
The San Francisco de Asís Church ordered to be built by Orue, It has four baroque altarpieces from the 17th century, with beautiful carvings and covered in gold leaf. It has paintings on its walls by the painter of the Cusco school Antonio Sinchi Roca, with scenes from the Gospel and portraits of saints.
Currently, the main economic activity of Maras is agriculture. Among its most visited attractions, its Salineras, located 10 km away, stand out. from the village. Nearby is the Andenes de Moray
The Salinas de Maras Cusco, Sal de Maras of Cusco
The Salinas de Maras in Cusco, or salineras de maras as they are also called, are salt mines whose exploitation is as old as the Tahuantinsuyo. Located on the hillside, the salt mine in the form of terraces or platforms is crossed by a stream that feeds the pools with salty water. The use of Sal de Maras dates back thousands of years and is inherited in each family, but is managed communally.
The name of the salt in Quechua is kachi Raqay and is made up of about five thousand pools of about 5 square meters each, the water seeps into the pools and evaporates under the action of the intense sun, causing the coarse salt crystals to sprout. , After 1 month the salt reaches 10 cm. tall and has to be harvested.
The view of the pool is spectacular. Villagers show visitors their ancient techniques and allow them to intervene in harvesting, as well as in Andean festivals and rituals.
The site is highly recommended for photography lovers. The area is ideal for trekking and mountain biking.
Our inspiration in tribute to this ancient place will be called "Maras Salt Backpack"