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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 an agricultural research center.
Without any doubt, Moray is one of the mandatory destinations in your visit to Cusco. To get to this place understanding its history and its origin, here we tell you all you have to know.
Etymology of Moray
Like many other names of Cuzco places, the word Moray comes from Quechua. There are several versions about the origin of this term. On one hand, there are those who say that it is a contraction of the words Muyu (circular) and Uruy (downstairs or in the lower part) and on the other hand, 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 also dedicated to astronomical observation and to the prediction of meteorological phenomena.
Location and climate
As occurs in the rest of Cusco, in Moray there are two different seasons: the dry season and the rainy season.
During the dry season, the average temperature during the day is 20 ºC, while at night it drops to 1 ºC. In the rainy season, the days have an average temperature of 21 ºC and the nights, of 7 ºC. However, in the rainy season the roads are more muddy and, on some occasions, access can be complicated.
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:
The duration of the tours, whether in ATV or bus, is, at least, half a day.
Tips and recommendations
The Archaeological Complex of Moray will amaze you. But for having a perfect visit, we recommend you take note of the following tips:
We assure you that the Sacred Valley is one of the most impressive places you will go to in your life. You will not regret visiting it!