Agricultural Terraces of Moray Tours
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Of all the surviving Inca ruins which surround the Sacred Valley, most are known for their size, their age, or their complex level of construction. The Agricultural Terraces of Moray, however, located 31 miles northwest of Cuzco, stands out from many of the other ruins for its fascinating level of genius.
At the height of the empire, the Inca were regarded as some of the most successful farmers in all of the Western Hemisphere. Crops such as maize, quinoa, and various potatoes trace their roots to Andes, and the yield on crops which were farmed by the Inca regularly trumped those of their neighbors.
Although the Agricultural Terraces of might just look like a big hole in the ground, historians theorize that this multi-terraced depression explains the reason for the agricultural prowess. With concentric circles spiraling down into the Earth, the Moray is comprised of numerous terraces linked by zig-zagging steps. While it could almost even be classified as art, the Moray is instead a wonder of science.
For inexplicable reasons, the temperature difference between all of the terraces can sometimes be as much as 27°F. Consequently, each terrace has a unique microclimate which subsequently experiences its own temperature. Without even having to leave the valley, the Inca had created an agricultural laboratory which mimicked the temperature throughout the empire. Crops would be rotated from terrace to terrace, and when it was found that a microclimate maximized yield, the knowledge would be spread throughout the empire so that farmers could grow crops which were best for their climate. Through trial and error at the Incan Moray, the Inca slowly became masters of agriculture.
Today, the Moray can be visited with tours which depart from the city of Cuzco. It is often combined with a visit to the Salineras salt mine, a massive quarry of terraced mines where laborers harvest bags of salt. When combined with the markets and surrounding ruins, the Moray is just one of the fascinating sights which recall the wonders of the Inca.
The Moray is located 30 miles northwest of Cuzco, and it is accessible by tour in conjunction with the Maras salt mines.
Address: Cusco, Peru
2 Tours and Activities to Experience Agricultural Terraces of Moray
The Sacred Valley is one of the loveliest destinations in Peru and this full-day tour from Cusco includes major archaeological sites and off-the-beaten-path hiking. Explore the Moray archaeological site, believed to have been an Incan agricultural lab, and the Maras salt pools, which locals still use. After a picnic lunch, continue to a less-visited part of the valley and hike through Andean countryside to a waterfall.
Enjoy the spectacular scenery of Peru’s Sacred Valley at your own pace during a bike tour of Moray, home to multi-terraced depressions that date back to the Inca period. A perfect combination of nature and culture, this bike tour allows you stop regularly for photo opportunities without worrying about parking. Plus, exploring with a guide means that you’ll discover lesser-known information about the area’s ancient history.
Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What's the best way to experience Agricultural Terraces of Moray?
The best ways to experience Agricultural Terraces of Moray are:
- Full-Day Archaeological and Hiking Tour of the Sacred Valley from Cusco, Peru
- MTB: Moray - Maras and Salt Mines Ride
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