Day 3: Moray, Maras and Pisac Archaeological Complex
Moray, Maras Salt Pools and Ollantaytambo Archaeological Complex - Pass through unspoiled and picturesque Andean communities on your way to the Incan agricultural experimental center of Moray, famous for its sunken amphitheater, made up of four circular terraces, which appear to fade away into the earth like an artificial crater. The site was apparently an Inca agricultural research station filled with fertile earth and watered by complex irrigation systems, designed for experimenting with crops at various altitudes.
Continue to the impressive Maras salt pools formed by water emerging from a lake inside a mountain in the Urubamba Valley. An amazing view of evaporating ponds for the extraction of salt. Learn about ancestral techniques, which are still used, in agricultural, irrigation and salt-recollection tasks, as well as in Andean festivals and rites. Lunch is included.
Lunch is served at Hacienda Huayoccari - The most noticeable aspect of the house is its sensational setting, dominating the Urubamba valley in the midst of the highland crags and vegetation through which the river flows. Above it, on the very mountain top within sight of heaven are two lakes, which seem to seethe on a rainy night. With magnificent views of the Urubamba River, the Casa-Hacienda has the magical ability to make us forget the reality of life. Today's lunch will be a remarkable event.
Afternoon visit the Inca archeological remnants of Pisac known as Inca Pisac, which lie atop a hill at the entrance to the valley. It features an irrigation system, an astronomical observatory, and a solar clock and calendar (Intiwatana). The hillside is lined with agricultural terraces constructed by the Inca and still in use today. With military, religious, and agricultural structures, the site served at least a triple purpose. Besides a country estate, it is thought that Pisac defended the southern entrance to the Sacred Valley, while Choquequirao defended the western entrance and the fortress at Ollantaytambo the northern. (B,L)