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Why You Should  Do The Maras and Moray Tour by ATV!

Written by:
Claire Dean

Published: 13-03-2023

Peru’s Sacred Valley lies in the Andean Highlands. and is a landscape of rugged mountains, open plains, and soaring mountain peaks. Reaching these remote sites is a challenge. Choose a morning or afternoon half-day tour, and tackle the rough ground with a powerful all-terrain quad bike. With your guide to lead the way, reach historic sites including Moray and Maras with ease, enjoy sweeping views across the Peruvian countryside, and learn of life here under Incan rule. Pass by remote sites of interest including Moray and Maras. Tours include all equipment plus a hassle-free round-trip travel from Cusco. Find out more about the ATV tour of Maras and Moray here!


An ATV tour to Maras and Moray offers an adventurous alternative to see these iconic archaeological sites on a Sacred Valley tour from Cusco. These are two of the most intriguing Inca sites in The Valley to explore and with an ATV you are adding an extra dimension of adventure!

ATV in The Sacred Valley


The Salinas de Maras 


The Maras Salt Mines are more than 6,000 salt ponds carved into the ground by the Incas. These pools have been in operation for over 500 years in the middle of Qori Pujio mountain slopes, in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, Cusco. From a distance, these pools resemble a layer of snow. This unparalleled view of the pools, which have various shades of white or earthy brown. The precious Peruvian pink salt is one of the treasures that ancient ancestral civilizations have left us. Although the Maras salt flats themselves were created by man, the water that is channeled into these pools comes from a natural underground spring.


The Maras salt mines, or locally known as The Salineras de Maras, are an impressive sight in The Sacred Valley. There are thousands of salt pools interconnected, and bright white against the green hillside. These salt pans have been in use since pre-Inca times and even today are farmed by local families. Mak sure you visit on your Peru tour packages.

The Salt Flats


Maras Salt Flats are individual salt pools that have been in existence since pre-Inca times. This practice has been passed down through the generations, and local people continue to practice the traditional solar evaporation farming method just as their ancestors once did. The salt pools allow the natural spring water into these salt puddles and then the local people wait until it evaporates naturally in the sun. The salt extracted from Maras has a distinct flavor and is nutrient rich with low sodium levels. 


This natural mineral salt is extracted from the ground of The fertile Sacred Valley. The process involves channeling salty water from natural springs into the pans, where it evaporates in the Andean sun, leaving behind crystallized salt. The Maras salt is of an extremely high quality and the packaged salt makes a great souvenir from your Peru adventures to take back home.

The Maras Salts Flats



The Sacred Valley Ruins of Moray are a peculiar archaeological site in the valley. It is composed of three groups of circular terraceshttps://valenciatravelcusco.com/maras-and-moray-tour-by-atv (muyus in Quechua) that descend 490 feet (150 meters) from the highest terrace to the lowest. Each circle has 12 levels of terraces with the largest depression having a diameter of over 180 meters. Surrounded by the towering Andes mountains, looking into the depths of these man-made craters will fill you with awe. Believed by archaeologists to be agricultural terraces, Moray consists of layered terraces, and each one has different temperatures. This helped the Incas to grow certain crops that would not usually grow at these elevations.


Visiting Moray on Cusco day trips is a trip to an Inca archaeological site consisting of circular terraces. The Incas used Moray as an agricultural laboratory, to see which crops they could grow at these high elevations. These terraces have different microclimates on each level, allowing the Incas to experiment with growing various crops that wouldn't usually grow.



There is also evidence to suggest that Moray was an Inca Ceremonial Center. Locals from the nearby communities tell stories that date back to Inca times of celebrations and ceremonies being held at Moray. Even today, locals gather once a year in October to celebrate Moray Raymi at the archaeological site. While it is likely that Moray was used as an amphitheater for ceremonial purposes, it seems improbable that this was its sole purpose due to its remote location far from Cusco city, at that time the heart of the Inca Empire. Some people have also suggested that Moray was an alien landing site! What makes this site so noteworthy is this enduring mystery. The Moray ruins invite you to delve into the minds of ancient people to try and decipher why this location had so much meaning to the Inca culture and why they put meticulous effort into shaping the landscape in this way.


The Incas brought soil from different regions to Moray to try and replicate various growing conditions. This allowed them to test the suitability of different soils for different crops and to develop agricultural practices that could be applied across the empire. The scientific capacity of the Incas for their time was incredible. Learn more about the Incas on your Cusco Peru tours.

Circular Moray


Why ATV /Quad Bike the Area?

We recommend this ATV tour to people who are looking for something different on their journey through the Andes to have a beautiful memory of their trip to Cusco and The Sacred Valley. This experience combines history, culture, and adventure in one tour. You will learn about local culture, history, and tradition with a slice of adrenalin, in a very adventurous way.


Visiting Maras and Moray on quad bikes is an exciting way to explore the Sacred Valley of the Incas on your Cusco tours. This motorized adventure combines the thrill of off-roading with the opportunity to see some of the more difficult to get to archaeological sites in Peru.  Combine adrenaline and history on this unique tour!

Quad Bikes


You will enjoy the fantastic views of the valley with the freedom of your quad bike and be able to get to places that would otherwise be inaccessible on a regular tour of Maras and Moray. Your guide will get you set up with instructions on operating an ATV and provide all the necessary equipment. Riding an ATV gives you access to Sacred Valley sites that are tough to reach via a traditional tour of the magnificent Sacred Valley.


What is so special about this tour when you travel to Cusco Peru? A scenic drive through the Sacred Valley to the salt mines. A Guided tour explaining the historical and current salt extraction process by the local families. Plus the opportunity to purchase unique Andean salt products to take back home!

Individual Salt Pans


Combine the history and beauty of the Andean region with an adrenalin-filed activity that will bring out your spirit of adventure in the best possible way!  Find out more here!