Located fifty-eight kilometers from Cuzco and about 10 kilometers from Salineras de Maras in an isolated part of the Sacred Valley.
Salineras de Mara or the Inca Salt Pans consist of thousands of uneven white squares plotted along a steep green to brown hillside with a small salty creek coming out from the mountain.
The salt pools are traditionally allotted to the citizens of Maras wishing to harvest salt. Usually there are many unused salt pools available to be farmed.
Any prospective salt farmer needs only locate an empty currently unmaintained pond, consult with the local informal cooperative, learn how to keep a pond properly within the accepted communal system, and start working. Today, some of the produced salt is sold at a gift store nearby as "gourmet salt".
These pre-Inca salt pools were constructed during the Chanapata culture between AD 200 and AD 900. Highly salty water emerges from the Qoripujio spring close to the head of the valley. Terraces were carved from the hillside and through a system of natural irrigation and a network of channels (still in perfect use today) the water is sent throughout the pans to form pools of water, which evaporate in the sun to leave salt deposits. There are over 3,000 pools still in use.