After the early morning that we took yesterday to get to know Machu Picchu first thing in the morning, we are not going to say that when the alarm clock rang at 5.45 in the morning today, we jumped out of bed, but knowing that it is our last day in the impressive Sacred Valley and today we will know the Salineras de Maras, Moray and Chinchero by car, the desire we have to continue knowing these incredible places make us that much more pleasant jump.
Before 7 in the morning we are having breakfast and we leave our backpacks at our hotel in Ollantaytambo, the Tikawasi Valley, highly recommended among the hotels in Ollantaytambo, before leaving to visit the ruins of Ollantaytambo.
At 10 in the morning we were left with the taxi that we hired yesterday to take us to the Salineras de Maras, Moray and Chinchero by car ending in Cuzco, so we go straight to the ruins of Ollantaytambo that we have less than 50 meters away from our hotel.
Another good option is to book in advance this excursion to Moray and Salineras de Maras.
As soon as we arrive at the box office we present our Cuzco tourist ticket, with which we enter without making any additional payment, they put another stamp on us and we go inside.
Already from afar you can sense the grandeur of the Ollantaytambo ruins, but when you are here, they really are impressive.
The steep terraces that guard the Inca ruins of Ollantaytambo point to one of the few places where the Spanish conquerors lost an important battle.
Here Manco Inca took refuge after his defeat in Sacsahuamán, a place we visited the other day from Cuzco.
In 1536, Hernando Pizarro led a detachment of 70 men to try to capture Manco Inca, but the steep terraces allowed the natives to shoot arrows, spears, and stones at Pizarro’s men, preventing their advance, after which Pizarro ordered the withdrawal of their men.
At the top of the terraces is the exquisitely carved ceremonial center. At the time of the conquest some of its walls were being erected, which were never completed.
The quarry from which the stones were extracted was on a mountain 6 kilometers from the ruins of Ollantaytambo, so it was not easy for the indigenous people to transport the blocks here.
It is believed that one of the tactics to do so was to put the blocks on the banks of the river and divert the channel for transport.
The visit to the Ollantaytambo ruins takes us an hour and a half enjoying every corner, impressed with the architecture and how they were able to build this here.
After 9 in the morning and staying for an hour until 10, we are left with the taxi that will take us to Salineras de Maras, Moray and Chinchero by car and with the sun already high enough to be hot enough, we take the opportunity to give one last tour of this beautiful village and take a lemonade and a very cold coca cola for 8 soles.
Ollantaytambo, a place that has seemed very special and essential for anyone taking a trip through Peru and the Sacred Valley.
After about 20 minutes from 10 in the morning, our taxi arrives at the hotel and we set off for the first stop of the day: Salineras de Maras, which is about 30 minutes from Ollantaytambo and where we arrived after going through some spectacular landscapes. Seeing what we are seeing we believe that especially this area of the country has to be incredible to do it with a rental car and stop in all the villages.
We arrive at the checkpoint of the Salineras de Maras, we pay our 7 soles per person and there we are going to discover one of the most scenic places in Peru.
Thousands of salt flats have been used for salt extraction since Inca times. At the top of the valley, a stream pours its salty waters that are diverted to the pools where the water evaporates from the heat to produce salt for livestock consumption, which supplies their diet poor in minerals.
As a tip we tell you that the access road to the Salineras de Maras is an unpaved road, not too comfortable, but with panoramic views of the spectacular Salineras de Maras. Do not hesitate to stop to take photos because it is perhaps the best place.
After about 45 minutes visiting the Salineras de Maras we return to the taxi and we do not set out for Moray where we arrive in approximately another 30 minutes.
We can also access Moray with our tourist ticket, so we show it and there we are going to make our third visit of the day.
The views as soon as you enter the premises are spectacular. It is definitely worth getting here.
We are going through all the viewpoints that exist and although the perspectives are changing it must be said that from all the views are spectacular and after starting to go down, the views are, if possible, even more incredible.
Moray is a kind of amphitheater made up of terraces that offer us a fascinating show.
Different levels of terraces have been excavated in an enormous basin, each apparently with its own microclimate, depending on the height at which they are found.
For this reason it is said that the Incas had the first laboratory to determine the optimal conditions for each crop.
The visit to Moray takes us about 45 minutes in which we are in full sun, so the body begins to ask us for some shade and we decide that it is time to get going towards the last visit of the day.
It is 1:15 a.m. when we leave Chinchero, where we arrive on a sandy track that we believe the driver has taken to advance time and not because it is the way to go.
We arrive in Chinchero in 30 minutes or so and after leaving the car in a plaza, we go straight to the central plaza where, going up some stairs, we return to show our tourist ticket to Cuzco and go directly to the area of the ruins.