Peru is famous for its incredible scenery and truly magical natural wonders, and its unique salt ponds are no exception. Situated down a canyon in Maras, a town in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, 40km north of Cuzco, husband-and-wife bloggers HowFarFromHome captured the marvellous salt evaporation ponds during a recent visit to the area.
Salt ponds like these are more commonly found on coastal plains, filled by rising ocean tides. The ones in Peru are at an altitude of over 3000m. It’s a long way from the ocean now, but wasn’t always this way — the impressive mountain range was once part of the ocean floor. As tectonic plates shifted and the seabed rose to form the Andes, the salt was locked in to the rocks, filtering out through the Qoripujio spring.
Since then, the ponds have been used as a means for locals to harvest salt. The water runs through a natural system of intricate channels so that the water gradually infiltrates the several hundred ancient terraced ponds. The salty crust that remains is now one of the most sought-after in the world.
Almost all ponds cover less than four square metres, and are less than 30cm deep. As you make your way down the valley, the thousands of unique multicoloured pools create a truly incredible spectacle.
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