Your day will start with a hotel pick up and we'll get ready for our first visit of the day to Moray. The site contains unusual old buildings, mostly consisting of several enormous terraced circular depressions, the largest of which is about 30 meters (98 ft.) deep. The purpose of these depressions is uncertain, but their depth and orientation with respect to wind and sun creates a temperature difference of as much as 15 C (27 F) between the top and bottom. This large temperature difference was possibly used by the Inca to study the effects of different climatic conditions on crops. Moray was perhaps an Inca agricultural experiment station. As many other Inca sites, it also has a sophisticated irrigation system.
Continue our day visiting Maras Salt Mines. During the pre-Incas time, salt was obtained in Maras by evaporating of salty water (provided by a nearby subterranean spring) in the sun, leaving the salt behind.
The highly salty water has been flowing from this nearby stream for hundreds of years. A main channel flows across the mountain and trickles down to all the pools below. As the salt water becomes supersaturated, salt crystals begin precipitating out of the water. The farmers then scrape the salt to the side and collect it once a sizable amount has been gathered. Some salt is sold at a nearby gift store.
The salt mines are available to any person wishing to harvest salt. There are many unused salt pools that are available to be farmed. Any prospective farmer needs to find only an unoccupied pool to start working. There are more than 3,000 salt-pools; when light is reflected upon the pools, the effect is quite stunning.