Back again at What You Could Get In The City For $10 series, and this time, we’re going back to Peru after I posted some random facts about the country for the World Cup 2018.
In fact, the reason why I wrote the previous post was that I got connected with Owen from My Turn To Travel. When he said that he wanted to cover Cusco, writing something about the World Cup was pretty much like a momentum so I did. 😀
Also, I’m excited since this is gonna be the first city that we will cover in the series that is located in Latin America. So, over to Owen! 😉
The Two Ms That Are Worth to Visit in Peru Other Than Macchu Picchu – Maras and Moray
For many countries in South America, USD $10 can get you by pretty comfortably. Perhaps 3 meals a day or a full-day tour in less touristy places.
In Peru, USD $10 is roughly PEN $32. It might not get you to Machu Picchu, but there are tons of other activities to do in Cusco.
A meal at a local restaurant can set you back as low as USD $2 – if you skip the restaurants catered to tourists. Of the 15 or so notable museums, many of them are free.
But if I were to suggest fully utilizing PEN $32, I’d suggest going on a tour to the famous 2 M’s – Maras and Moray.
There are hundreds of tour operators around the main square and if you do a little searching (and speak a little Spanish) you can find some that provides the tour for PEN $25 (USD $7.50) – complete with hotel pick-up, transport and tour guide.
Most tours bring you first to the town of Moray, famous for its alien-like terraces. These huge concentric terraces were built into a natural depression in the ground during the Inca period. They act as an agricultural laboratory; used by the Incas to simulate different microclimates.
The result? Peru has over 4000 varieties of potatoes.
Following that, the tour brings you to the nearby town of Maras and its ridiculously photogenic salt mines.
These salt mines are strategically tucked into the hill of Maras, forming a network of ancient salt deposits built way before the time of the Incas.
The white cascading shallow salt pools are like a combination of Bolivia’s salt flat and Asia’s rice ponds and provides a stark contrast to the dull brown of the surrounding hills.
What is amazing is the fact that salt water can be found in the Andean mountains and the salt crystals that can be harvested from it provide the locals here a way of living.
The 2 M’s are a testament to the impressive feats of ancient engineering and understanding of Pachamama’s (Mother Earth) delicate equilibrium, and how it provides for her children – humans. Plus, they make for very pretty Instagram photos.
Note: Maras and Moray are usually a packaged-deal when going with a tour. The tour can cost under USD $10, but there is an entrance fee to Maras (PEN $10 / USD $3) and Moray is included in the Tourist Ticket (Boleto Turisto) that you probably will get when in Cusco.
Contributor: Owen from My Turn To Travel
After graduating from university, Owen jet off on a one-way ticket to South America to chase his dreams. He spent one-year backpacking solo on the continent and counts Cusco as his favorite city in South America. Oftentimes, being the only Asian guy in the lesser known destinations, he hopes to inspire more people to travel far and wide.