There is more than Machu Picchu as Inca ruins you can visit in Peru! Just 40km north of Cusco, in the middle of the Sacred Valley, lies the Salineras de Maras, another demonstration of the Incas’ agricultural and engineering skills. For thousands of years, locals have harvested the salt of a mountain stream via traditionnal evaporation method on 3000 salt pools.
The site is just huge! And the contrast of the cream and white salt pools with the red earth of the mountains and the green valley is a delightful landscape.
How to get there:
Option 1: many agencies offer day tours to Salineras de Maras and Moray archeological site for $45.
Option 2: DIY.
Maras is just a 1h30 ride from Cusco. The cheapest way to get there is to take a collectivo from Cusco (on Avenida Grau) for 6 soles it will drop you off at Maras turn off. From there, take another collectivo to cover the 4km to the village. From the main plaza, it’s 7km of hiking -downhill- to reach the salineras. The entrance will cost you 7 soles.
From there, continue to walk downhill to Urumbamba and take a bus/collectivo back to Cusco (or to Ollantaytambo to continue your exploration of the Sacred Valley).