Machu Picchu in Peru is high up on many people’s bucket list, but there’s another nearby attraction worthy of a detour, captured in a series of stunning photos by two travellers.
The salt ponds near Maras were one of the latest stops for Chanel and Stevo of the travel blog How Far From Home. The couple has been on the road for more than two years, heading to amazing places around the world like Barcelona and Bali, but both say that the salt ponds managed to blow the seasoned travellers away.
After turning a sabbatical into a full-time job travelling through freelance work and content creation, the pair was brought to Peru as part of a “creator camp” for Beautiful Destinations. While there, they went to the country’s most famous spot, Machu Picchu, but also wanted to get a bit further off the beaten path. That led them to the salt ponds in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, located about an hour’s drive from Cusco, a popular base for people heading to Machu Picchu.
Stevo told Lonely Planet that they were absolutely amazed by the spot. While Machu Picchu was as great as expected – he said they had already seen so many photos of it and naturally there were many tourists there when they arrived. With the salt ponds, they hadn’t done any research, so they were totally astounded by what they saw. “It feels like another world,” said Stevo, adding that the site feels both man-made and natural at the same time. “It’s a photographers dream.”
The salt ponds are used by local families to farm salt for sale. When Chanel and Stevo arrived, they got permission from the salt farmers to wander through certain areas and take pictures. According to Chanel, the ponds are all owned by different farmers, and while there are more than 3000, everyone seems to know which pond is theirs. The ponds are filled by one stream and the water trickles down through the landscape and evaporates to leave the salt. Chanel said what makes it interesting is you can see the full production cycle of the salt and even purchase some as you leave. “It’s so easy to get to; you should make the mission out there.”
While the pair has been travelling full-time for years now, it was their first trip to South America and they are eager to get back soon. Follow their adventures on Instagram and on their website How Far From Home.