Peru’s Salt Ponds Left Us Drooling

We were able to visit and photograph the unique salt ponds in Peru. There are over 3,000 of these salt ponds hidden in the Sacred Valley of the Incas.

There are some places on this magical planet that leave your jaw on the ground, whilst you drag it along like an old car dragging a broken bumper. The Maras Salt Ponds, located in the ancient Inca Sacred Valley - we are happy to say - is one of these such places.

Over the past two and a half years, we have traveled to 41 countries, and we’ve been fortunate enough to pick up our jaws off the floor at least a few times. Our trip to Namibia comes to mind. The waterfalls of Iceland had us drooling, too, and the Benagil cave in Portugal was beyond anything we could imagine. This time, however, we did not expect to see such a unique landscape appear in front of us as we drove along the main road from the modern town of Cusco.

Your first impression of the ponds is from a high vantage point, so you get to see the 3,000+ ponds in all their glory. We were soon told that each one of these pools is owned by a different family. How they tell each of them apart from the others, well, we can only guess.

As you drive down the valley and get closer, you begin to see the detail of the structures, that are essentially fed by one subterranean stream, which, as you guessed, is very, very salty. The process of creating the salt is really simple of course – the sacred water runs into these pools (which are not deep at all), and then evaporates to leave a thin crust of what has become some of the world’s most desirable salt.

We spent a good few hours navigating our way through the maze of pathways and had of course received permission to stand next to some ponds from the salt miners themselves. Being respectful in such a sacred area is important. This will certainly go down as one of our favorite places to photograph.


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We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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We quit our 9-5 to see how far we could travel, now teaching peeps to do the same 🌍 If we're posting, we're still alive 😄