High plains of Cusco *Chinchero – Moray ruins – Maras’s saltpans*

Full day

Customizable tour? Yes

High above Cusco’s Sacred Valley, the living culture of Peru and vestiges of Inca culture.

On the fertile plains high above the Sacred Valley of the Incas, it is possible to visit a traditional weaving community, saltpans that have been exploited sustainably since Pre-Inca times, and an agricultural research station used by the Incas to develop new higher yield crop varieties.

Included
All transport
English-speaking guide
Not included
Lunch
Cusco Visitor’s Ticket (required for entering the attractions included in the itinerary)
Travel insurance
Tips
What to bring
Passport
Rain jacket
Warm clothes
Comfortable walking boots or shoes
Cap and sunglasses
Sunblock
Water
Camera
Rates and Group Sizes

Explore with us!

  • Price for 2 travelers USD 115 (per person)
  • Price for 3 – 4 travelers USD 95 (per person)
  • Price for 5 – 6 travelers USD 75 (per person)
  • Price for 7 – 10 travelers USD 69 (per person)

Whether you’re trekking alone, in a group, or seeking a custom adventure, we’ve got you covered. Let’s create your perfect journey – just drop us an email!

Tour plan

Day 1
Cusco – Chinchero – Moray ruins - Maras’s saltpans– Cusco

We will pick you up from your hotel in Cusco for the drive to the village of Chinchero.

Chinchero is a typical village, located on the patchwork of Andean crops which is the plain of Chinchero, at an altitude of 3,762 meters / 12,342 feet. The native Indian market is open on Sundays, when local people wearing the traditional dress of their respective communities, often unchanged since the 17th century, come from outlying villages to trade their goods. Aside from Sunday there is a daily market traders offer handcrafts, including textiles and jewelry, alpaca products, ponchos, ceramics, etc.

The village is also an important archaeological site. One side of the main square is bordered by a massive stone Inca wall featuring a series of niches, and beyond the village several outlying constructions and the remains of Inca terracing can also be visited. The Inca remains of Chinchero are attributed to the reign of Inca Tupac Yupanqui, the son of Pachacuteq, who may have used the village as a kind of country retreat. From Chinchero, we will continue our drive to Moray.

The concentric agricultural terraces of Moray.  They were designed and constructed by the Incas as an agricultural laboratory. The circular terraces form a 150 meter / 492 feet deep amphitheater, with each level reproducing the temperatures found in different parts of the empire of Tahuantinsuyo, thus enabling the Incas to develop new crop strains and increase yields. At the Inca agricultural terraces of Moray, our guide will explain how the Incas developed complex farming techniques to increase their crop yields.  After visiting Moray, we will continue to Maras village.

In Maras village we will have lunch at a local restaurant, before going to visit the salt pans of Maras.

The salt pans of Maras have been exploited since pre-Inca times. This series pools constructed to evaporate the salt water produced by a subterranean stream offer visitors a uniquely photogenic sight, with their flat, white surfaces contrasting with the surrounding green, vertical scenery. Our guide will explain how these ancient salt pans remain important to the local economy.

Return to Cusco or to the Sacred Valley in our private vehicle where you will be escorted to your hotel.

Traveling distance:

Cusco – Chinchero: 30 kilometers / 18.6 miles

Chinchero – Moray: 26 kilometers / 16.2 miles

Moray – Maras: 12 kilometers / 7.5 miles

  • Total; 138 kilometers by car/ 85.7 miles (from Cusco round trip)
  • Total; 97 kilometers by car/ 60 miles (from Cusco – ending in the Sacred valley)

Traveling – visiting time:

8 hours

Altitudes:

  • Cusco 3,400 meters / 11,159 feet.
  • Chinchero 3,762 meters / 12,342 feet
  • Moray 3,509 meters / 11,512 feet
  • Maras 3,385 meters / 11,105 feet
  • Maras salt pans 3,014 meters / 9,888 feet
  • Urubamba 2,871 meters / 9,419 feet.

FAQ

What is the best thing to do in cases of altitude sickness?

Our guides are trained to assist travelers in the event of acute mountain sickness. They can provide an emergency oxygen bottle and first aid kit; however, travelers should carry their own personal medication, such as treatment for headaches or stomach ailments.

Will I be met at the airport?

Yes, if your itinerary includes transfers or you have asked us to pick you up, our staff will be at the airport to meet you and transfer you to your hotel. We can also provide airport transfers at the end of your itinerary.

How can I prepare for high altitude?

The best way to deal with high altitude is by allowing the body time to adapt. We recommend at least one day at altitude with minimal activity, to allow the organism to begin to adjust. During your first days at altitude, your metabolism will be working hard to produce more red blood cells and carry the limited oxygen available around your body more efficiently. Be sure to eat lightly during your first few days at altitude, drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol.

Do I need a visa to enter Peru?

Travelers with a US, UK, Canadian, Australian or New Zealand passport do not need a visa to enter Peru for tourism or business for up to 90 days. For those traveling on another passport, information on visa requirements for Peru is available at http://www.projectvisa.com/visainformation/Peru

Should I travel with cash or cards?

Cash is easy to exchange for local currency, and at popular tourism destinations US dollars are readily accepted. If you plan to use cards, inform your bank before departure that you will be using your cards overseas. Current exchange rates can be checked at https://www.oanda.com/currency/converter/

Are ATMs available?

ATMs are available at most of the destinations included in our itineraries, providing both US dollars and local Peruvian currency. The most secure ATMs are those located in banks, hotels, restaurants or stores.

What about payment, do I need to make a deposit?

After we have confirmed your booking you will need to pay a deposit, the amount of which will depend on the tour you book and the size of your party. The remaining balance must be paid at our office in Cusco at least 2 days prior to the scheduled departure date, before 19:30. Payment should be made in US dollars or local currency. When we confirm your booking, we will send you more details about how to complete payment.

If I cancel my trip, can I get a refund?

Refund are available up to a certain date, after which only a percentage of the amount paid can be refunded. Please ask us for our booking conditions at time of booking.

Is my passport valid?

We recommend that visitors to Peru travel on a passport valid for at least six months after the scheduled end of their trip.

Do I need vaccinations?

No vaccinations are mandatory for entering Peru. However, most international travelers choose to vaccinate themselves against hepatitis A, typhoid fever and tetanus. If you are planning to travel to the Amazon basin, you should consider malaria prophylaxis and yellow fever vaccination. Check with your physician or local clinic before traveling.

Who will guide me?

At Andean Adventures Peru, we work with experienced local guides, all of whom have graduated in tourism after a 5-year course at a Peruvian university. All our guides speak English and Spanish and are knowledgeable, patient and informative. Guides in other major languages are also available upon request.

What kind of weather should I expect?

Weather in Peru varies according to the geographic region you are traveling in, and also altitude. In the Andean highlands (Cusco, Arequipa and Lake Titicaca), where UV levels are high, daytime temperatures peak at between 15 to 21 Celsius (60 and 70 Fahrenheit), while nighttime temperatures range from 1.1 to 5.5 Celsius (30 to 42 Fahrenheit). During the dry season (from April to October), the weather tends to be clear and sunny. The rainiest months are January and February. In the Amazon basin the hottest and most humid months occur during the wet season (from December to April), with the rainiest months being January and February, although of course it can rain at any time in tropical and subtropical forests. Peru’s desert coast is warm all year round, although Lima and the surrounding coastal belt are usually overcast outside the summer months (January to March). There is almost no rainfall in Lima, but humidity is high. Machu Picchu is situated at around 2400 meters (7875 feet) above sea level in an area of subtropical cloud forest. Daytime temperatures range from 26 to 29 Celsius (80 to 85 Fahrenheit). There is the chance of rain at any time of year. The driest months are May to September.

From

USD 69

Full day

Customizable tour? Yes

All elements of these itineraries can be tailored to your interests and travel style.

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United States

The service was absolutely phenomenal! Super helpful… super friendly and attentive to the needs of our group […] and super knowledgeable!

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Our guide was fantastic and treated our family very well.

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