Inca Salt Pans
Excerpt from the book Soul Searching in South America from the Teresa the Traveler series. Our next stop was at Salineras de Mara or the Inca Salt Pans. Located fifty-eight kilometres from Cuzco in an isolated part of the valley, it consists of thousands of mismatched white squares plotted along a steep green to brown hillside with a small salty creek coming out from the mountain. The small plots are filled with water and upon evaporation a crystallization process takes place and salt can be panned out. Used for centuries, the salt pans were allotted to the citizens of Maras with each one getting a certain number of the plots to which they keep the profits of the salt that is packaged and sold. Families pass the plots down from generation to generation like heirlooms. On any given day workers can be seen doing the exhausting, back-aching extraction process.
Not interested in the lecture, Monique and I quickly left the group to explore on our own and marvel at the small salty stream that trickled into the salt pans. As we snapped pictures of each other we came across a Frenchman named Charlie who was on a two-month motor bike adventure throughout Peru. He reminded me of my friend Kevin who I was supposed to tour with in Columbia.
Charlie and I quickly discovered we shared a passion for photography and engaged in a conversation about cameras. He was handsome with a boyish face and patchy sideburns and I felt a tiny crush forming as the two of us connected. Unfortunately I had to return to my bus so I regrettably said goodbye thinking who knew I would meet a guy in the salt pans in Peru. I think the Universe was reminding me that I could meet the man of my dreams anywhere.
For tips on visiting Peru CLICK HERE
For tips on visiting South America CLICK HERE
For general travel tips on what to pack and how to plan ahead CLICK HERE
For tips on travelling on a budget CLICK HERE
Where I Stayed...
San Blas II Hostal Turistico
Calle Choquechaca No. 194
Tel: 051 (084) 22436
This is one of the best hostals in Cusco. It is located on a quiet street within walking distance of the main square and has great beds and a large newer common area.
How to Get There - Fly to Cusco and take a tour which can be booked in Cusco.