Moray in Perú

Throughout the Sacred Valley, the Incas left us a great legacy of archaeological and architectural sites that are preserved to this day. Thanks to them we have been able to learn much of the history and culture of this empire that inhabited Peru for around 100 years, between 1438 and 1533.

One of the most fascinating places you can find in the Sacred Valley is Moray, an archaeological complex used by the Incas as a center for agricultural research.

Without any doubt, Moray in Perú is one of the must-see destinations on your visit to Cusco. In order for you to get to this place steeped in its history and its origin, here we tell you all you need to know.

Moray etymology

Like many other Cusco place names, the word Moray comes from Quechua. There are several versions about the origin of this term. On the one hand, there are those who say that it is a contraction of the words Muyu (round) and Uruy (below or in the lower part) and on the other, those who attribute it to terms such as Aymoray (corn harvest and month of May) and Moraya or Moray (dehydrated potato).

Location and weather

As in the rest of Cusco, in Moray there are two distinct seasons: the dry season and the rainy season.

During the dry season, the average daytime temperature is 20ºC, while at night it falls to 1ºC. In the rainy season, the days have an average temperature of 21 ºC and the nights, 7 ºC. However, in the rainy season the roads are more muddy and, on some occasions, access can be difficult.

Altitude of Moray in Perú

The altitude of Moray in Perú is 3,385 meters above sea level.


There is a theory that the Incas would have taken advantage of the craters left by the meteorite impact. Edwin Salazar, author of the book ‘Inka Astronomy’ rescued this theory exposed in 1960.

The gigantic asteroid divided when entering the Earth’s atmosphere and the impact left 9 craters that point to the south west, the Incas made the place a shrine and avoided erosion with the construction of the famous platforms. The craters of the meteorites were sacred as in other great civilizations of the planet.


Before the Incas, this part of the Sacred Valley of the Incas was inhabited by the ‘Maras’ and ‘Ayamarcas’ ethnic groups, which occupied a large part of the present territory of the Sacred Valley of the Incas.

After the Inca conquest, the construction of large buildings and platforms began in the territory of the Sacred Valley. Thus, the platforms of Moray in Perú were built, which were used by the Incas as an important agricultural control center. There the production of the coca leaf was carried out, a plant considered sacred to the Incas.

The investigations do not clearly specify if during the colony (from 1532) the platforms of Moray in Perú were worked. The truth is that it was not until 1932 that the Shirppe Johnson’s expedition flew over the place discovering the existence of the platforms, then covered by thick vegetation.

During the 20th century, various investigations were carried out on Moray in Perú. Perhaps the most valuable of all was made by the anthropologist John Earls who established that it was an experimental agricultural center.


It was recognized in 1932 by Shirppe Johnson’s expedition, platforms like concentric rings. Each circle comprises a terrace that overlaps the other, forming circles that are expanding. You can access one to the other by climbing the projecting stones (sarunas), embedded in the wall.


The layout of the platforms produces a microclimate gradient, with the center of the concentric circular platforms having a higher temperature and gradually reducing towards the outside at lower temperatures, thus being able to simulate up to 20 different types of microclimates.

The microclimates of the platforms that surround the largest funnel (Qechuyoq) are distributed in sectors of four contiguous levels, each sector with its own micro climatic characteristics. The four lower platforms that belong to sector I are more humid and have low soil temperatures due to the greater evapotranspiration of the water. The soils of the Sector II platforms have average annual temperatures of 2 ° or 3 ° C higher. The soils of Sector III have temperatures that may be higher or lower according to the variation in solar exposure during the seasons of the year. The months with the greatest microclimatic differentiation are those of the dry season (May, June, July) and the sowing season (August, September, October, November).

Attractions of Moray in Perú

Beautiful landscapes – The set of platforms that make up Moray are visually beautiful to human eyes and, of course, to the lens of a camera. Many people come there to take the postcard photo and post it on their social networks.

Circular platforms – The circular platforms of Moray were a very important place for Inca agriculture. It is believed that it was a center for experimental studies that the Incas used to sow products that in other conditions could not be cultivated.

Adventure sports – There are tours to the platforms of Moray that include adventure by bike or even ATV. These services can be obtained at any tourism agency located in the Historic Center of Cusco.

The routes to get to Moray in Perú

The Archaeological Complex of Moray in Perú is located 57 km northwest of Cusco. To get here you have different options:

Excursion from Cusco: the most common and most used way by tourists who arrive in Cusco and want to visit Moray is to hire an excursion. In the Plaza de Armas in Cusco and in its surroundings you will find countless tourist agencies that offer this tour, usually combined with a visit to the Salineras de Maras and other archaeological sites.

Visit by ATV: an unforgettable option to visit Moray (and Maras) is to do it by ATV. Some of the agencies that you will find in Cusco offer this adventure with which you can travel a part of the Sacred Valley driving this vehicle yourself until you reach the archaeological complex.

The duration of the tours, either by ATV or by bus, is at least half a day.

Taxi: if you prefer to get to this destination on your own and without so many people, a very good option is the taxi. This alternative is perfect if you are traveling in a group of four people, since this means of transport is cheap in Peru and the price, divided between the four passengers, is quite affordable.

Tips and recommendations

The Archaeological Complex of Moray in Perú will leave you with your mouth open. But for your visit to be perfect, we recommend taking note of the following tips:

Buy the Tourist Ticket of Cusco. This ticket allows you to enter different tourist places in the city and its surroundings and some of them, such as Moray, can only be accessed with this ticket.

Hire professional guides. If you decide to visit Moray in Perú on an excursion with a guide, hire the services at an official tourist agency.

Be prepared for the changing weather of Cusco. In both the dry and rainy seasons, it is always advisable to carry a hat, sunscreen and a raincoat in your backpack. The climate in this region is unpredictable.

If you have a few days in Cusco, you can take advantage of the trip from the Imperial City to Ollantaytambo to make stops in the Sacred Valley and visit places as wonderful as Moray.

If you arrive in Moray in Perú on your own, take the opportunity to visit other nearby places in the Sacred Valley such as the Salineras de Maras or Chinchero.

We assure you that the Sacred Valley is one of the most impressive places that you will visit in your life. You will not regret visiting it!

What other places to visit?

The town of Maras – The town of San Francisco de Asís de Maras is 39 kilometers from the city of Cusco. Its beautiful colonial church stands out with canvases created by painters from the famous ‘Cusco school’. From there, vehicles depart for Moray and the Maras salt mines.

The salt mines of Maras The hundreds of natural salt wells that make up these salt mines are a sight to behold. It was used since the time of the Incas and continues to be commercialized to this day by the inhabitants of the place. Tours to Moray include a visit to these salt mines and the town of Moray.

If you visit the city of Cusco another impressive destinations that you can visit are the tour to rainbow mountain peru or the humantay lake tour from cusco, which only takes one day. But if you are gonna to stay more days in Cusco, other archaeological places you can know will be the choquequirao trek peru, the salkantay trek to machu picchu, and the classic inca trail 4 days 3 nights.

TripAdvisor Reviews

Based on 151 reviews
Fernanda L
Fernanda L
Mariela es muy especial! Fue todo perfecto! Mariela es increíble y hizo todo para que nuestro viaje fuera inolvidable. La dedicación de Mariela por su trabajo y por su familia también son muy bonitas. Eso hace todo aún más especial.
Cusco Visitei Cusco em Junho/2023 e reservei todos os passeios com a Qorianka. Equipe muito atenciosa, todos os passeios foram ótimos e bem organizados.
Da F
Da F
Perfeito!!!!! Quando fui planejar a viagem para Cusco pesquisei muito os locais que queria conhecer e as empresas que faziam os passeios, encontrei a Qorianka Tours entrei em contato e fui super bem atendida pela Mariele que esclareceu todas as minhas dúvidas. Quando estamos planejamento uma viagem sempre surgi o medo de não ser o que esperávamos, mas falo com vocês que foi melhor do que eu esperava, me surpreendeu o comprometimento, a atenção de toda a equipe que esteve comigo e com meu marido no período da viagem. Vou detalhar um pouco como foi, quando chegamos no aeroporto já tinha uma pessoa esperando para levar até o hotel, nos dias de buscar para os passeios foram todos extremamente pontuais, os guias sempre alegres e com toda atenção explicavam as histórias dos locais, os locais de café da manhã e almoço muito bom e agradáveis e no fim da viagem também nos buscaram no hotel e levaram até o aeroporto. Ficamos 9 dias em Cusco, foi uma viagem maravilhosa, um sonho realizado. Agradeço toda a equipe da Qorianka Tours que conseguiram transformar minha viagem em algo mais surpreendente do que eu espera. Se vc estiver planejando super indico a Qorianka Tours, não tem nenhum ponto negativo para reclamar. Podem confiar.
Solange Puga
Solange Puga
AGÊNCIA CONFIÁVEL!! A agencia é confiável, fiz a reserva pelo Brasil,só paguei uma pequena reserva,em um banco no Brasil,fiz o resto do pagamento diretamente com a Mariella em Cusco. Eles são honestos,mas meio informais. . No city tour,eles atrasaram, logo após 20'' de atraso eu liguei,esqueceram de nós,mas logo Mariella resolveu o problema e mandou um carro para nos levar até o grupo. Adoramos os guias de cada passeio,Aidê,Roni,Ivan e Mari,são eficientes,educados e divertidos . As Vans eram confortáveis. O hotel do pacote em Aguas Calientes,,era bom e bem localizado,foram nos buscar na estação.
Silvia P
Silvia P
7 lagunas con Diego Go!! La mejor experiencia!!! desde inicio hasta al final... cuentan con servicio de desayuno, almuerzo típico delicioso? Además de conocer y hacer amistades de otros países? y lo más importante el guía quién nos orienta e explica durante todo el trayecto.... totalmente agradecida y muy feliz Guía: Diego Suna Quispe
Rocio O
Rocio O
TOUR 7 LAGUNAS CON DIEGO GO! La mejor experiencia de la visita a las 7 lagunas además de contemplar su belleza natural fue que el guía Diego nos dejó tomarnos el tiempo necesario para captar las mejores fotografías y hacer videos, ya que estas imágenes quedarán guardadas por siempre para el recuerdo. También agradecer por la alimentación que estaba deliciosa con ingredientes propias de la zona. Un consejo para las personas que deseen aventurarse en este tour (o alguno otro, ya que el guía es experto en muchos tours) no se arrepentirán en tomarlo como guía a DIEGO GO! ( como lo bautizamos ???) su nombre real es DIEGO SUNA QUISPE
Rafa Rodriguez
Rafa Rodriguez
Todo el viaje valió la pena El viaje fue súper cansador pero llegar a la montaña de colores compensó todo el cansancio! Además con el guía Ronald aka Picasso hizo esta experiencia mucho más gratificante y hermosa!
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