Exploring the Inca ruins of Cuzco.
Trip Start Jul 05, 2012
123Trip End Jun 19, 2013
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Maras Moray and Salineras
We opted for a tour to Maras Moray and the salt pans as it was a much cheaper way, costing only a fiver each. Like most tours in peru we firstly stopped off at one of the thousands of markets, all selling the same stuff. Another 30 minute drive down a dirt track and we arrived at Moray. These inca ruins are not far from a little town called Maras and are some of the best examples of terracing we have seen. The Incas created 3 circular farming terraces in the natural depressions of the earth and our guide told us that from the bottom to top terrace there is a huge 5 degree temperature difference in the soil. This allowed different types of crops to grow such as potatoes, corn and coca. They have also found a well connected drainage system so all the crops get enough water however they are never spoiled if there is heavy rain
As we drove down from the mountain above, we got a fantastic view of the salt pans. There were hundreds of small pools all in the process of evaporation to leave around a 10cm thickness of salt. The salt is then treated with iodine and then sold around the world. We were allowed to clamber around the pools to get some cool photos and take a closer look. No one really knows where the natural salt water comes from and again these were created by the Incas. Both Moray and Salineras are truly beautiful and this time our photos will help give you a better idea.
Inca ruins in Cuzco.
For us to see the major sites in and around Cuzco we had to buy a bolesto ticket costing £30, its is valid for 10days to see 16 different places. We decided to see the nearest four inca ruins by ourselves, we took a collectivo to the furtherest site(around 8km uphill) so we could walk back down and see the rest. The collectivo, as usual in South America, is a van that contains around 8 seats but manages to cram about 20 people in.
Tambomachay- After escaping the collectivo we visited this resort-like place for Incas, with baths and fountains
Pukapukara- meaning red fort, this site was probably a control point for all those wanting to enter and leave Cuzco. This was one of the more ruined Inca sites we have seen however it gave excellent views of the valley below.
Q'enko- This site was interesting due to the massive carved table shaped rock kept inside a cave and used for scarifying animal. There have been many human bones found inside the rocks so its believed this place was where funeral processions were carried out.
Saqsaywaman- Pronounced a lot like sexy woman, it is the largest out of all 4 sites and the closest to Cuzco. Unfortunately this wasn't as good as Mark had hoped.....there were no sexy women! Liars! However there was a field full of llamas which kept me amused. This Incan site was the most impressive due to the size and quality of the stone work. Some of the walls were constructed of bricks weighing up to 70 tons! 70 TONS!!! How?....no one knows. As if that wasn't impressive enough they also carved the stones so they fit together with razor sharp precision. We took some good shots showing the scale of the place. Apparently Saqsaywaman was a fortress with fortified towers. The whole thing was epic, giving fantastic panoramic views of Cuzco and we can safely say theres a lot more to the Incas than just Machu Picchu!