SALINAS DE MARAS

Salinas de Maras also known as 'The Salt Mine' is located in the Sacred Valley, in the small town of Maras, coincidentally. This way of producing salt has been used for hundreds of years, but more about that later in the article, firstly you will need to get there!

The beautiful scenery on the way to Salinas de Maras

The beautiful scenery on the way to Salinas de Maras

Once you are in the town of Maras it's quite a long walk to the actual mine. However, the scenery is beautiful so you won't get bored, don't worry! The terrain is quite dusty and uneven in places. I would advise taking hiking boots, however I didn't... stupidly. I imagine this would have made it a much easier walk. As you get to the top of the small mountain, you will see a chalky white looking area. This is the salt! There's just a tad more than you need for your chips!

The Salt Mine in the distance, with the walking path on the right

The Salt Mine in the distance, with the walking path on the right

Now that you have seen the Salt Mines you are probably wondering how does this salt get produced without machines and factories? Well it's all natural and very clever, guess who had this amazing idea!? Yes, you got it, it was the Incas. 

The 'Salt Ponds' used for evaporation

The 'Salt Ponds' used for evaporation

However, even though the Incas were super intelligent, none of this would be possible if it wasn't for the little town of Maras. This is because it is home to a salt water spring. The Incas then made a stream transporting the salt water from the spring to the hundreds of square 'ponds'. Which are used to evaporate the water because of their sunny location. I guess the thought process must have been; salt water - water = salt. Simple! I'm sure it's much more complicated than that in reality. 

The salt being formed

The salt being formed

Last but not least, next to the 'salt ponds' there is also a very little souvenir shop, with mainly salt themed gifts and products. It's perfect if you are looking for a present for someone back home or something special to remember the day by. 

Do you have any questions about Salinas de Maras? Or any other tips? Please comment them below