Salineras de Maras in the Sacred Valley is the site of ancient salt pans, first developed by the Wari culture and subsequently by the Inca. Today, there are more than 5,000 salt pans near Maras, almost all less than 4 sq m (43 sq ft) in size and no more than about 30 cm (1 ft) deep. Each pan is owned and mined by a local family of the Salineras community. The salt is collected and sold in local shops or in nearby towns.
Although the salt pans are man-made, the water that is channeled through them comes from a subterranean natural brine spring that bubbles up near the small town.