Moray: The Mind-Boggling Inca Ruins near Cusco

Have you heard of the incredible Moray Inca ruins near Cusco? The Moray ruins are an archaeological wonder. It has long grabbed the interest of both experts and tourists because it is still unclear why they were built.

You’ll be amazed by these structures. There are three circular groups of gigantic terraces with 12 levels in each! The greatest depression is approximately 183 meters in diameter, while the descent from the topmost to the lowest terrace is more than 145 meters!

Entire Sacred Valley. Moray: The Mind-Boggling Inca Ruins near Cusco

Where are the Moray ruins located?

The Moray Ruins are roughly 38 kilometres from the Imperial City and 7 km from the renowned Maras Salt Mines. Most tourists who visit Cusco combine the two trips. Check out our half day trip from Cusco.

The best way to travel to the Moray ruins from Cusco is to make a booking through a tour operator, especially if you want to save money. Taking a taxi will be a little expensive and can cost between 80 and 90 Peruvian Soles. If you’re travelling alone or with a partner, Maras Moray Bike tour would be a great option. Also take a look at our ATV Quad Bike tour to Maras Moray.

moray inca terrace

What is the best time to visit the Moray ruins?

The Moray ruins are situated at an elevation of roughly 3500 meters. Although the climate appears to be pleasant all year round, it can change fast.

The best time to visit ruins is during dry season. It typically lasts from April through October or November. The trip will be worthwhile due to the favourable weather. Especially because of excellent visibility, lots of sunshine, and little to no rainfall.

However, due to the higher elevations, you need to spend around 1-2 days in Cusco getting used to the altitude before going on this trip. If not, altitude sickness will hit, and believe me, you don’t want that!

moray inca terrace

What is the purpose of Moray ruins?

Although little is known about the exact reason for Moray’s creation, researchers and locals have developed numerous theories throughout the years.

One of the main theories that are emphasized in Edwin Salazar’s Inca Astronomy book is that they were induced by craters from meteorites. Then the Incas began to worship them. The Incas built these terraces afterwards to stop further erosion.

Another theory holds that the Incas’ experimental farming techniques were the foundation of Moray. The anthropologist John Earls made this theory in 1975 based on a lot of information. He based them on the water supply from canals to the terraces, the variation in temperature between the high and low terraces, the exposure to sunlight at various intensities, etc.

According to Earls, the Incas were trying to figure out the optimal circumstances for each crop so that they would not be adversely affected by Peru’s different climates.

And while some say that Moray was used as an open-pit mine during the Inca Empire, locals believe that it was used to perform rituals and ceremonies. For the curious mind, Moray is nothing more than just an alien spaceship landing site! So whatever the purpose of Moray may be, it remains one of the most intriguing sites in the world and is visited by thousands of people each year.

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