Located less than a 90 minute drive to the northwest of Cusco you'll stumble upon the other worldly Inca ruins of Moray.
There are a number of important cultural sites just outside of Cusco and in this post we'll discuss what you should expect when visiting Moray.
Also, once you're done reading this post be sure to check out my Peru Video Travel Guide that will highlight some of my favorite activities to do around the Cusco area.
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What is Moray?
If you're familiar with Peruvian farming terraces then you probably have some idea of what this area was once used for. If you guessed farming, good job! That's part of the answer.
Read on to learn why these Inca ruins are so peculiar!
The Inca and current Peruvian people are notoriously good at farming their mountainous landscape.
If you travel through the mountain regions of Peru you'll surely notice fields of quinoa and other crops growing over the steep and rugged terrain.
The natives are pros at living off the land here. If you're exploring cultural sites such as Pisac, Moray or Machu Picchu then you're sure to stumble across Inca farming terraces.
What was Moray Used for?
What sets the ruins of Moray apart from other Inca sites is that many believe it was used to test crops throughout a variety of micro climates. The differences in elevation and direct sunlight result in a wider variety of growing conditions for the crops at Moray.
The Inca people who lived here may have used it like a giant agricultural science experiment! It's impressive to imagine them studying how sunlight and temperature could affect crop yields.
How Much Does Moray Cost to Visit?
First off, you will need a ticket to enter Moray. To enter the ruins of Moray you'll need a tourism ticket for the area. How much does Moray cost to enter? When we visited the ticket cost us 70 soles (about $20 USD) but also grants you access to Ollantaytambo, Pisac and Chinchero.
This ticket is different from the one needed to visit Sacsayhuaman and the other Inca ruins located closer to Cusco. You should be able to purchase a ticket near the Moray entrance. Be sure to have cash on hand to purchase your ticket and for purchasing souvenirs from the locals who setup shop here.
So is Visiting Moray Worth it?
So, we booked our Moray trip as a full day excursion through Alpaca Expeditions that included stops at Pisac and The Maras Salt Mines beforehand. The day as a whole was amazing and we really enjoyed working with Alpaca Expeditions.
While the history of Moray is very interesting, the site as a whole is a bit underwhelming compared to Pisac or Maras.
Both of which I'd recommend many times over. Moray did feel a bit flat after we visited Pisac and Maras earlier in the day.
However, if you're already planning to visit The Maras Salt Mines it might be worth popping over to Moray given it's close proximity.
If you're also planning to visit Pisac then the tourism ticket will already be a sunk cost so entering Moray won't be an extra cost.
While I wouldn't go out of my way to visit Moray on it's own, if you find yourself nearby I'd make the small detour to witness Moray's peculiarity firsthand!
If you're still searching other ideas on what to see in Peru be sure to check out my full Peru Travel Guide.
Learn More About the Nearby Maras Salt Mines
While I have a hard time suggesting you spend the 3-hour round trip drive to leave Cusco and visit Moray on its own, I can get behind it if you're already planning to visit Maras. The Maras Salt Mines are well worth the visit.
The locals have come up with an ingenious way to direct water flowing from a salt water spring down into the mining pans.
Once trapped in the pans they harness the power of the sun to evaporate the water, leaving behind delicious pink salt!
Not only is the process practical but the whole operation is really cool to observe firsthand.
If you're interested in learning more about The Maras Salt Mines you can read about my experience here.