Moray, about 50km northeast of Cusco, is an ancient agricultural research center made of several enormous circular terraces. I thought this was one of the more interesting Inca sites I visited. The location and design of this place creates a temperature difference of 15 degrees Celsius between the lowest and highest terrace.
There is also a very sophisticated irrigation system to create different humidity in the different levels. I was told that the Inca experimented with acclimatizing crops from the Amazon by moving them level by level so that the resulting seeds are suitable for growth in the highlands.
The lighter lines going from level to level is the irrigation system.
A visit to Moray is often accompanied one to close-by Maras. This area is famous for its salt evaporation ponds that have been used since Inca times. The ponds are owned by the members of the community and are available for anyone wishing to harvest salt. The salty water comes from a natural spring and flows along an intricate system of channels into the terraced pools sprawling down the hill. Once the ponds dry, the salt is harvested. We had a nice picnic amongst these salt ponds.
The sprawing salt evaporation pools at Maras.
Notice the different colored ponds – the darker/browner colored salt is for agricultural use, the lighter for animal use, and the white for human consumption.
The drying salt.