Maras Salt Ponds

Maras, Peru – Harvesting Salt For The Incan Empire And Modern-Day Peru

Maras is in the Sacred Valley near Cusco. It’s truly a feast for the eyes. It seems like something out of this world when you see it from afar. Surrounded by mountain greenery in all directions, all of a sudden you see a honeycomb of white rectangles. Amazing.

I was especially eager to see Maras because when I was in Turkey in 2005 I didn’t get a chance to see this site.

Since pre-Incan times, the salt has been harvested by a cooperative of local farmers. Salty water comes from a spring. Rectangular pods about 12in/30cm deep and 4 square meters/44 square feet in area are filled with this salty water. Thanks to the intense sun, the water evaporates after a few days and leaves very pure, high quality salt behind.

The salt can be used immediately, but for commercial purposes it is sent to a factory to be cleaned and iodized. You can find many products in Peru, finger food for example, proudly boasting the use of Maras salt.

Below some pictures.

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