The best way to visit these touristic places is to hire a taxi from Ollantaytambo to go to the town of Maras; it is very close, and the trip by transport is approximately 35 minutes long. Several typical villages of the area are found along the way, as well as some spectacular landscapes (the duration of the visit is half-a-day).
Village of Maras – Located about 35 minutes via transportation from the Living City of Ollantaytambo at an altitude of 3,300 meters; we will be able to appreciate the mountain range of Vilcanota, as well as the snowy mountains of Chicón, Puma Huanca, and Verónica. Of a truth, this picturesque village is encompassed with attractions of the pre-Hispanic, colonial, and republican periods and is highlighted by its village streets, as well as its colonial covers that sport the shields of chiefs and noble people of the 17th and 18th Centuries.
Moray – Found 7 kilometers Southeast of Maras, with an altitude of 3,385 meters above sea level, this unique archaeological group consists of gigantic natural holes that were used by the Inka people who constructed terraces or agricultural platforms with their respective irrigation channels. Moray, a greenhouse prototype, consists of many holes – the greatest having a depth of 150 meters – and, the average height between each platform is approximately 1.8 meters. What is striking is the average annual temperature difference between the top and bottom which can reach a whopping 15ºC (59ºF) of temperature difference. In this place, there has been tremendous advances in agriculture.
Salt Mines – Located in the Northwest of the village of Maras, the salt mines consist of about 3,000 small wells which have been exploited since the Inka period as a means of economic exchange and are still being exploited by the local people to this day. It is said that the mountain has in its interior salt mines and also salt water that emanates from the mountain; they serve during the dry season to fill wells with salt water in the form of irrigation every 3 days so that – for a month – it can solidify gradually. Once the salt is processed, it is ready for consumption in the region.
Chinchero – Located at 3,750 meters above sea level, Chinchero is the place where the new international airport of Cusco will be built. The town contains a beautiful colonial church with fresh paintings and an altarpiece covered with gold leaf; likewise, Chinchero also contains an Inka archaeological park where stairs, Inca walls, and beautiful terraces are highlighted. You will have the opportunity to visit a typical textile shop where you will be given all the information about the processing of alpaca and llama wool – and, all fabric is handmade. After visiting these beautiful places, you have the option to continue the trip to the city of Cusco or return to the Sacred Valley of the Inkas (Ollantaytambo).