1. English
  2. 中文 (中国)
moray peru

Exploring the Mysteries of the Moray Ruins

Written by: Incatrailhikeperu August 16, 2023

Situated west of Maras, the Moray Ruins are an archaeological site featuring a collection of intriguing circular terraces.

Among these circular depressions, the largest measures approximately 30 meters, contributing to the captivating spectacle that awaits visitors on a day trip from Cusco.

Similar to many other ruins from the Incan Empire, the exact purpose of Moray remains a subject of ongoing investigation. The terraced depressions create distinct microclimates at each level, resulting in temperature variations of up to 15 degrees Celsius (27 degrees Fahrenheit) between the top and bottom depressions.

Samples obtained from the site indicate that different soils sourced from the surrounding area were placed on different levels, leading scientists to theorize that Moray served as a site for studying the effects of various soils, climates, and crop growth conditions. Alternative theories propose that Moray may have been an abandoned mine, with the Inca reinforcing the walls to prevent erosion or landslides.

Regardless of its original purpose, the remnants of the ruins offer a fascinating glimpse into Incan life, making Moray an ideal destination for exploration on a day trip from Cusco.

Independent Visit to Moray Ruins

The Moray Ruins are located approximately 50 kilometers northwest of Cusco. Similarly to the Maras Salt Ponds, you can take a taxi from Cusco to the town of Maras (£4/$6 per person, one-way). From Maras, it is a little over 8 kilometers to reach the Moray ruins, which can be reached by a 2-hour walk or a taxi ride from town.

It is common to hire a taxi for a few hours to explore the ruins and ensure transportation back to Maras. The typical cost for the taxi hire is around £5/$7 for the duration you’ll need. The entrance fee to the ruins is 70 Soles (£13/$18).

Estimated Total Cost: Approximately £26/$37

Guided Tour to Moray Ruins

Organized tours usually combine the Moray Ruins with the Maras Salt Mines, providing a comprehensive experience in one day. This tour is particularly suitable for those with limited time in Cusco, as both sites can be visited within approximately 4 to 5 hours. With an average pick-up time of 8:30 am, you can complete the tour by 1 pm, leaving the rest of the afternoon to explore Cusco.

Also Orange Nation Peru offer the day tour to the Sacred Valley tour with Moray and the Salt mines included!

What Did the Incas farm?

Many of the ingredients found on your plate at MIL were once farmed by the Incas. Potatoes and tubers, quinoa, and corn were big players in the agricultural scene in the Andes and likely to have played a large role at Moray, if experimentation was indeed its purpose. Another theory suggests that corn was the key crop experimented on at Moray due to its significance in religious ceremonies.


Moray is located on a high altitude plateau northwest of Cusco at an elevation of 11,500ft (3,500 m) above sea level. Surrounding this mind-boggling site are green checked-like patches of agricultural fields and snowcapped peaks off in the distance.


The highland region where Moray resides experiences fairly constant temperatures throughout the year. Snowfall is not common. Temperatures during the day are warmer and average between 65-70 F (18-21C). Average night temperatures range between 30-50 F (1-8 C).

Tips to help you acclimate better:

  • Some travelers may consider spending their first couple nights at a hotel in the Sacred Valley instead of Cusco. The elevation of the Sacred Valley is lower, making the adjustment to the altitude less extreme.
  • Take it easy the first few days at altitude. It’s best to wait at least 48 hours before taking on activities like mountain biking through Maras and Moray.
  • Drink a lot of water and eat light meals. A local remedy to ease the effects of altitude is to sip on coca tea.
  • Diamox is a prescription drug from the US and works well for altitude sickness. Over-the-counter remedies, such as Sorochi and Grovol, can be purchased at a pharmacy in Peru.

Guided Adventures

Self-made blog

All the information is free and precise. I don't get paid for publishing any agency or tour, and everything has been verified and experienced.


Local Information

Everything in this blog has been doublé checked by a local, we made the effort on gathering all this information for you, to make your trip easier and cheaper.


Personal experience

99% of the information has been lived by a traveler like you, me, I wanted to compile all the information I had to make every traveler life easier.


Best and only the best

We gathered the best information for you. All this has been investigated and visited only to bring you the best CSelf-made blog. All the information is free and precise. I don't get paid for publishing any agency or tour, and everything has been verified and experienced.