Allot to learn: Moray

Hi there! Welcome back. This week we are on our travels, to a small location in Peru.

Even by normal standards in Peru, Moray isn’t the easiest place to access, located south of the Sacred Valley and northwest of Cuzco. Therefore, the tourist numbers in this part of the country are lower than in other areas. If you are looking for an area where you can relax for a while or just enjoy taking some pictures without having to wait for people to pass, Moray in Peru is a place well worth visiting.

However, if you have an interest in gardening or agricultural developments, Moray could be one of the most fascinating locations in South America, if not the entire world. The layout of the area may suggest a stunning amphitheatre, but it is likely that the focus here was on what was sprouting out of the ground as opposed to performing on stage.

What is Moray?

Quite simply, Moray is a vast farm, built on man made steppes in the mountains of Peru. In its appearance it is a beautiful piece of architecture. However, it is its design that is just incredible.

It is fascinating to think that from top to bottom of Moray, there is a difference in temperature of 15 °C (27°F). This change is equivalent to the change between the temperature at sea level and the temperature associated with a height of 1,000m or 2380.8ft. This is equal to the difference between sea level temperature and 1.000 m (2,380.8 ft) height level temperature.

With so many micro climates in a localised area, it is believed that the Incas used this area almost like an agricultural laboratory or research station.

Historians have suggested that the Incas have planted:

  • Wheat
  • Grain
  • Quinoa
  • Kantu flowers
  • Panti

It is even the belief of one historian, Edward Ranney, that Moray was the home of a range of rare plants with coca leaves possibly being grown in this area. Peru is also well known for potatoes and there have been more than 2,000 varieties of potato developed in the country, so possibly several varieties were also grown here.

Soil may have been brought from various parts of the Inca empire

An aspect that gives further credence to the suggestion that Moray was being used to replicate growing conditions of the entire Inca empire comes with studies indicating soil in the area hails from different regions. This suggests that soil was brought to the valley, perhaps to replicate the soil and temperature conditions that would be experienced across the Inca regions.

While the site has a strong historical link with agriculture, it is no longer used in this manner. In the present day, the site is well preserved and there has been considerable restoration work undertaken with respect to the archaeological nature of the area.

Another interesting feature of this part of Peru is the canals which offer irrigation. Even though there is a considerable level of rainfall in Peru, the Moray ruins area is not known for flooding, suggesting the water drains away in an efficient manner thanks to these underground channels.

There are many fascinating sights to enjoy in Peru but if you have a passion for gardening and agriculture, Moray could be one of the best destinations you will find.