Day 5 — Salineras

Tuesday — April 7

This is going to be a short entry for what turned out to be a very brief stop at the Salineras (salt pans) on the outskirts of Maras. We’ve seen salt pans in other countries; what made these pre-Hispanic pans interesting is that they cover a major portion of a hillside — I read in one of the guidebooks that there are over 3,200 ponds that are operated by a cooperative of local families. Another interesting feature, aside from the fact that the operation has been in production for hundreds of years, is that the Incas incorporated their terracing system here as well. The pans are fed by an underground stream that carries saline water. It is said that the stream is what’s left of an ancient sea that once covered the area.

When we arrived at an overlook on the opposite side of the terraces, dusk was already falling. There was an incredibly strong wind blowing as well. Weighing those two factors together with the fact that the salineras are closed at the moment (the wet season has only recently ended), we decided not to go down for a closer inspection. After capturing our digital images, we got back on the road — destination: Ollantaytambo.

Salineras on the outskirt of Maras.

The terraces allowed the Incas to make efficient use of the land.

Salt-encrusted pans.

Next Up: Day 5 — End of the Road in Ollantaytambo

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