A short walk up the hill behind Salineras Ranch is the stunning Salineras de Maras (Salt mines of Maras), for which our ranch is named. These mines are ancient and quite unlike any usual mine, for they are terraces of pools of highly salinated water perched above the canyon.
It is still uncertain where exactly the salt comes from, but the salinated water bubbles out from a spring and workers divert the water into the pools to dry in the sun. Once the water has evaporated the remaining salt can be dug up, completing a process that has been going on since pre-Incan times.
We will start the ride by going up an ancient, steep path for 30 minutes with a stunning view over 4000 salt ponds.
Next, we will head deep into the mountain to see the beautiful water spring, called by the locals "El Ojo de Agua".
Our return will be along the same trail back to our ranch, providing a second opportunity to see the wonderful salt ponds. Back at the ranch, we’ll have snacks and beverages waiting for you.
This hike can start anytime during the day. We recommend starting the ride in the morning (10am) or after lunch (2pm).
Time spent hiking:
Approximately 1 hour
Total duration of tour:
Approximately 1 hour 30 minutes
Salineras Ranch (starting point): 2,720 m.a.s.l. / 8,924 feet
Salineras salt mines: 2,970 m.a.s.l. / 9,745 feet
minimum of 2
Price per person:
A bilingual guide and guide’s assistant(s)
Snack (dried fruit and corn) and passionfruit juice
Round-trip private transportation from the place you specify to any place within Cusco or the Sacred Valley
Gratuities for guides
After the ride we recommend having lunch or dinner in our beautiful Ranch dining room.
Prix-Fixe 4-course Lunch OR Dinner - add $80 per person
Light Lunch: Cheese, avocado, or chicken sandwich on sourdough bread, with side salad from our organic garden - add $40 per person
Sweet Break: Chocolate or banana cake served with ice cream, Peruvian fruits, and coffee or tea - add $10 per person
This hike can also be combined with any of our other workshops for a full-day experience: Chicha Workshop, Chocolate Workshop, Coffee Workshop, or Adobe/Mud Brick Workshop
Sunblock and Sunglasses
Long-sleeved shirt, preferably in light color (for sun protection)
Wide-brimmed hat or sun shield ball cap
Comfortable walking shoes or sneakers
Rain jacket and a mid-layer fleece
Long comfortable pants or jeans