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Urubamba, Peru

Explore the Salinas de Maras (Salt Pans) in the Sacred Valley of Peru

Originally added by Zee Lilani

Learn first hand how the Incas used to harvest salt from these ingeniously built salt pans

From any of the neighboring towns, (Maras, Moray, Urabamba & Ollantatambo) hail a taxi and ask them to take you to the Salinas de Maras. In the 1400's, the Incas decided upon this hillside to harvest salt in a series of uneven terraces. The process of building this site is quite ingenious and is still being run and maintained by local families today. A salt rich stream feeds the ponds from above and through the process of evaporation, salt is manually scraped out from the ponds. 

During your visit you will have the opportunity to taste the salt from a number of vendors giving out samples of flavored salt, chocolate filled with sea salt, or salted banana chips. After you realize you've probably had enough sodium intake for the week, continue on the the pans and see for yourself the locals harvesting and bagging the salt. The harvested salt is distributed to local markets around the Sacred Valley or used to make delicious chocolate. 

Make sure to ask the taxi to come back at a certain time or you can walk along the dirt road back to the main road and hail a combi which will take you back to the town center. 

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