Updated: Oct 29, 2020
We start from Chinchero, located at an altitude of almost 3800 m above sea level. Our destination - Urubamba - about 30 km away from us, is 1000 m below. The entire route consists of three different sections.
The first one leads us through the plateau, there are a few light climbs, but mostly we keep going down. It is a lot of fun, especially since the Andes are majestic in the distance. In good weather, we can admire the highest glaciers of this region, reaching almost 6,000 m above sea level.
We pass small Andean villages, farmlands, a lake and we reach the town of Maras, where the first stage ends.
The second part of our route begins just outside the town.
It gets more interesting, this is where we need to be more focused and careful as we cycle the narrow paths.
On the way, we pass the Maras salt mine, where we take a break for a little rest and photos - this place has its own unique charm.
Underground salt springs flow through over 5,000 ponds located on the slope of the mountain at an altitude of 3000m.
They were built by the Chanapata culture that inhabited this area before the Incas (2-9th century AD).
Each salt pond is managed by one family from the local community. Water is led through small channels to each of them, after filling it evaporates in the strong Andean sun. You can see how the salt is selected during our visit.
It is worth taking advantage of its pro-health properties - it contains calcium, iron, zinc and magnesium. It is especially recommended for people with hypertension due to the low level of sodium chloride.
After the rest, the third - the most difficult part of the route awaits us.
It is the shortest, but also the most demanding one.
After going down, we cross the bridge over the Urubamba River and head to the town of the same name where we eat a delicious dinner in one of the local restaurants. After such an active day, the food tastes exceptionally.
Another day full of impressions is behind us, but this is not the end for today, because in our base, an Andean massage with oils from local herbs is waiting for us - deep relaxation guaranteed!