Maras Salt Mines: Everything You Need To Know

The Maras Salt Mines, located in the Sacred Valley of Peru, are a marvel to behold. This ancient network of salt pans has been producing and trading salt for over 500 years. It is one of the most unique sites in South America. Here’s everything you need to know about this incredible place.


The origins of the Maras Salt Mines date back to pre-Inca times when the local people used natural springs from nearby mountains to evaporate salty water into large pools known as salineras. Over time, these small ponds were interconnected with each other until they became an expansive network covering 1.2 hectares. For centuries afterwards, locals continued harvesting and trading the precious pink salt of Maras throughout Peru and beyond. Even today it remains a major source of income for many families living in the area.

Maras Salt Mines: Everything You Need To Know

How salt is produced at Maras

To produce salt at Maras, locals use an ingenious system that relies on gravity and evaporation. Water from nearby mountain streams is channeled through canals into thousands upon thousands of shallow terraced ponds, or salineras, which are spread across three levels on a hillside near Maras town. As each pond gets filled with saline water during springtime floods, it begins its journey down towards lower levels where gravity helps redistribute it among all connected pools below. This process eventually allows the salt water to evaporate completely, leaving behind nothing but pure pink salt crystals!

What You Can See

Visiting the site will give you a chance to witness firsthand how traditional salt extraction methods have been passed down through generations . These methods haven’t had any major technological changes for centuries. From afar, Maras looks like a patchwork quilt made up out of hundreds upon hundreds of tiny rectangles.However, up close visitors can appreciate the true structure of each salt pond (which usually range between 1–3 meters deep). Also, visitors can take pictures, or simply admire the beauty of Maras.

Maras Salt Mines: Everything You Need To Know

Visiting Tips

1. Wear comfortable shoes and clothing. The Maras Salt Mines are located in a mountainous region, so you will want to be wearing sturdy, comfortable shoes for walking along the salt pathways. It can also get quite cold at higher altitudes, so make sure to bring layers of warm clothing!

2. Bring a hat and sunscreen. The sun can be intense at higher altitudes, especially during peak hours (10am-3pm). Make sure to wear a wide-brimmed hat or carry an umbrella, as well as applying plenty of sunscreen throughout your visit.

3. Stay hydrated. You will be doing lots of walking around the mines. This activity can lead to dehydration quickly if you don’t stay on top of it! Make sure to pack plenty of water with you for your trip, or purchase some from vendors in town before beginning your journey.

4. Don’t forget cash. While there are places that accept credit cards near the entrance, many local vendors only take cash payments. So remember to bring enough money with you when visiting Maras Salt Mines!

Maras Salt Mines: Everything You Need To Know

Leave a Reply

Why Book With Us?

  • No-hassle best price guarantee
  • Customer care available 24/7
  • Hand-picked Tours & Activities
  • Free Travel Insureance

Got a Question?

Do not hesitate to give us a call. We are an expert team and we are happy to talk to you.

+51 998 134 635

Proceed Booking