Maras Salt Ponds with kids

After visiting Moray we head with the kids to Maras Salt Ponds, a truly amazing place. Although I have visited Cusco several times, this was my first time visiting Maras Salt Pond. Sacred Valley manages to still show new amazing places used by the Incas.  I couldn’t be happier that kids got to see this amazing place. You won’t believe it!

Cusco with kids Maras Salt Pond
The view of Maras Salt and background the Sacred Valley

 

Getting There

Maras Salt Pond was a great place to take the kids. The pond is located on the mountain and surrounded by a gorgeous view. The bus drive by a cliff in a two ways road. It is scary!!! I’m not going to lie, my heart almost stopped when we turn a curve and another bus was going in the opposite direction. We were by the cliff side Oh! I could see the cliff so close…. fortunately, the driver was an expert and we made it. The good news is that the road will improve soon because an airport is projected to be built on Chicheros.

A dusty road
The road to there is very dusty
The view of Sacred Valley amazing places
Getting closer
Going down the road in Sacred Valley
The view gets better and better
A little garden in Maras Salt Pond
Our way to Maras Salt Pond
Maras Salt Pond
There is a little garden area maintained by locals. Not surprised since Sacred Valley has such a fertile land
Maras Salt Pond with kids
People can walk around the ponds carefully

WHAT IS IT?

Basically, this is a salt farm and it has been used by Incas at the time. This place is full of salt evaporations ponds. The salt comes from the salty water from the underground stream.

Almost every pond is four-meter square and no more than 30 centimeters depth. It is own by the community in a cooperative system. Every family owns a pond that takes cares of. Basically, a whole family and the size of the pond depends on the size of the family.

When the water evaporated from the ponds, water become oversaturated and salt in the form of crystal precipitated to the surface.  After closing the water feeder the water dries and the salt can be scrapped from the pond. Families are in charge of taking care of this process.

THE PONDS

After getting off the bus and walk in a very narrow parking lot, we walked down the dirt path. It is very dusty so I cover my kids’ faces with their t-shirts (I wasn’t ready for the mush dirt, I wish I brought sunglasses for them).

Once we pass all the stores there are at the entrance, we went down the stairs and the amazing view opened. The guide explained to us that this has been working since Inca’s time and is maintained by locals with a comunity system. It was pretty easy to see how the water run down and form this pond and touch the crystals that grow around there.

We were fascinating, we touched the water and the salt. We learned something new and I was so happy they learn this about the Incas. I found out they were super hydraulic engineers!

Sacred Valley world schooling
The boys dig their hand on the water. It was easy to see the crystal when they took their hands out
Cusco, Maras Salt Pond
This is the path of the water
Exploring Cusco with kids, Maras Salt Ponds
My boy was so surprised at the amount of Salt. A great summer lesson for him

 

Let me know if you have any question when planning your trip. I am happy to help!

Rocio

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