Culture

The fascinating Moray Archaeological Center in Cusco

Moray

The Peruvian constructions have reached an advanced level of engineering that has served as an example to future generations. 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.

One of the most notable is the architectural complex of Moray, which includes a set of terraces at different levels and microclimates depending on each of its platforms. Used by the Incas as an agricultural research center.
Without any doubt, Moray is one of the mandatory destinations in your visit to Cusco. To get to this place steeped in its history and its origin, here we tell you all you have to know.

Etymology of Moray

Like many other names of Cusco places, 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 (down or in the lower part) and on the other, those who attribute it to terms such as Aymoray (corn harvest and May ) and Moraya or Moray (dehydrated potato).

The Importance of Moray During the Inca Period.

When you walk through the different archaeological sites of Cusco, you will find the famous Inca platforms, an example of the great architectural capacity of this empire.
The platforms distributed throughout the Sacred Valley, including those of Moray, were used as an agricultural research center. Each of them has a different temperature, so they could plant different types of products. Thus and according to studies, in Moray the Incas managed to cultivate more than 250 types of vegetables.

To irrigate this entire surface, they implemented complex hydraulic systems. In addition, at the bottom of the platforms developed a method with which they managed to store and reuse rainwater.
But some scholars of the Inca Empire speak of Moray as a center dedicated to astronomical observation and to the prediction of meteorological phenomena.

Fascinating, right?

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

  • Excursion from Cusco: the most common and most used by tourists who arrive in Cusco and want to visit Moray is to hire a tour. In Cusco you will find a number of tourist agencies that offer this tour, usually together with a visit to the Salineras de Maras and other archaeological sites; and our recommendation is to travel take the tours of the agency Peruviansacred & Adventure.
  • Another option offered is the ATV tour: an unforgettable option of adventure tourism to visit Moray (and Maras) is to do it in four-wheel drive. In this adventure with which you can travel a part of the Sacred Valley driving yourself this vehicle until you reach the archaeological complex.

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