Everyone knows about Machu Picchu, the famous “Lost City of the Incas.” However, Peru has countless other awe-inspiring archeological sites worth visiting too. One of the most spectacular is located high on an Andean plateau about 30 miles (50 km) from Cuzco, the ancient capital of the Inca Empire. The site of Moray consists of multiple enormous, concentric indented terraces, the largest of which is nearly one hundred feet (30 meters) deep. Each level exhibits different temperatures due to their varying exposure to wind and sun. There can be as much as 27 °F (15 °C) of temperature variation between the top and bottom of the site. It’s believed that the Incas used Moray as sort of an agricultural laboratory to study the effects of climatic conditions on crops.
As I wrote in my post about the cuisine of Peru, the country was the origin of many of today’s most common and popular foods, including potatoes, corn, peanuts and quinoa. It’s amazing to think that the Incas had such a grasp of science that they could build a place like Moray to study and cultivate their crops.
My visit coincided with one by a group of New Age spiritualists who were doing yoga at the bottom of the site. Interestingly, the locals (including our guide) were not exactly enthusiastic about their presence. Evidently they come to Moray and tell their groups that it was once a holy site and monopolize the ruins for their own purposes. My thoughts were that even if it were never actually sacred—it would sure be an awesome place for yoga! Plus, having these New Agers there, all facing the center of the circle, really made for intriguing photos.
Below are a few more shots of Moray, taken during my escorted tour of Peru with Gate 1 Travel.
What do you think? Have you ever seen anything like Moray before? Feel free to add your comments to the section below!
Michael Figueiredo is a freelance travel writer based in Los Angeles, California. When he’s not gallivanting around the world, he’s enjoying the laid-back lifestyle and perfect weather of Southern California. So far he’s visited forty countries and territories on five continents. His goal is to see at least one new country every year! . Read more from this author