Maras Salt Pans

Over 3,000 Salt Terraces from the Inca Era

The Maras Salt Pans in Peru are intriguing. The terraces are remarkably ingeniously laid out in the mountainous landscape of the Sacred Valley. The water is used optimally, after which the salt is left behind by the heat of the sun. In this article you will also find the best tips for an excursion to the salt terraces of Maras from Cusco.

Around the town of Maras, there are no less than 3,000 salt terraces. The majority of which date from Inca times. A natural hot spring flows through the green mountains and fills the handmade terraces. The sun evaporates the water; the salt remains.

Watch My Video

See all my new travel videos?Subscribe to my YouTube channel

People still work on the salt pans

Countless men and women collect the salt almost daily and take it away. I see a woman using her feet to loosen the salt from the bottom. After which she bags it. You can buy the salt of Maras in all kinds of cities and villages. Ask about it; it is top quality. Try to avoid the souvenir version, it is much too expensive. But you can find cheaper salt in the markets.

Work is still in full swing in the salt terraces of Maras.

Multiple Colours

Walking around you will notice various colours. The colour depends on how long the salt has been drying. This gives your photos something extra, just pay attention.

Various Viewpoints

It's actually just one viewpoint. You can't really explore the terraces themselves. That makes sense because there is still a lot of work to be done. You can tell by the colour of the terrace which phase it is in. With white, the water has almost evaporated and you can see the salt. With brown, it is still mainly water and the sun has to do its job. And all this with the imposing Andes mountains in the background. No wonder this place is popular on social media such as Instagram, Tiktok and Facebook. But, if you drive out, you'll see another viewpoint. This view shows the length of the canyon and the thousands of salt terraces.

Tours to the Salt Terraces of Maras

The terraces are located in the famous Sacred Valley of Peru, where you also find Machu Picchu, for example. They are easy to reach by taxi from Cusco, but also by an organised tour. You will visit more locations on this day. And, you can take mountain bike tours from the town of Maras, where these salt terraces are a stop.

Accommodations in Maras

Most tourists come from Cusco on a day trip. However, you can spend the night in the nearby village of Maras. This has several advantages: You can go to the salt terraces early in the morning to see how people go to work here. In addition, you miss the groups of tourists who only arrive after ten o'clock

Find the best accommodations for Maras 

If you spend the night in Cusco, check out the best accommodations for  Cusco

Best Time to Go

The salt terraces are worked all year round. Only in the rainy season, from the beginning of November to February, almost no water dries up. As a result, there is little salt to be extracted. You may not see anyone at work. Which is a shame.

My Tips

Show all Bucket List Tips on Peru

Read My Tips

all 25 articles on Peru

Show all articles