The picturesque town of Maras is home to the most important salt mines in the region. The city is located 29 miles from the city of Cuzco in the province of Urubamba.
Also called Salinas de Maras, these salt-mines have been used since the Tahuantinsuyo. The salt mines have been exploited since Inca times and during the Vice-regency, it was the largest salt producer of the southern highlands.
The people channel the salt water that bubbles to the surface from a spring called Qoripujio towards men-made wells. From the exposure to the sun, the water evaporates and the salt remains on the surface to be transported later to the market to be sold. The view of this complex of nearly 3000 wells is spectacular.
The local people happily demonstrate the ancient techniques to visitors, even allowing them to participate in them. When light is reflected there the effect is said to be quite stunning.