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Inca salt mines in Sacred Valley

Maras and Inca salt mines | Peru Travel Blog

In Peru there is a sacred hill with three thousand salty lakes created by the Incas 1800 years ago.

Three thousand salty “lakes” in a sacred valley. The salt flats of Maras, Peru, offer a truly spectacular look. We are in the so-called Sacred Valley and these pools already exist from Tahuantinsuyo, or from the period of Inca rule.

These are pools in which saline water flows from the subsoil. Here the sun cyclically evaporates the bodies of water leaving a delicate pink salt on the surface. The work is still carried out as in the mists of time, and tourists can also attend the “harvest” that precedes the sale. A show within the spectacle of the Peruvian Andes, at 3,300 meters above sea level, just where the Urubamba River flows.

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But that’s not where salt comes from. Water flows thanks to a hydraulic system that is extracted from an underground salt water source, called Qoripujo. An engineering work dating back to 200 after Christ, which has been perfectly preserved throughout the centuries.
Each tank is four square meters with a depth of no more than thirty centimeters. Many small lakes that create suggestive reflections ranging from white to blue, from yellow to pink, especially at sunrise and sunset, when the hill becomes a cubist painting.

 

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