The Marsa Salt Ponds are located in the Sacred Valley of the Incas near the city of Cusco, Peru. The salt ponds were built between 200 and 900AD which pre-dates the Incas Civilization.
The salt ponds are located at an elevation of 3,000 meters above sea level in the Andes Mountains which is an unusual location for salt ponds as they are normally found near sea level. This unusual location also provides the added bonus of being surrounded by spectacular scenery which is seen in the photos below.
The Marsa Salt Ponds consists of about 5,000 separate ponds staggered down the mountain side in terraces. Each pond is approximately five square meters and have a depth of 30 cm (12 in.). Each pond is worked and maintained by the families of the nearby community.
The ponds are supplied by spring water that contains salt and other natural minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc and copper. Some people believe that these the salt from these ponds provide health benefits because of the added minerals.
Once the pond is full the keepers leave it to dry in the arid Andean weather until the water evaporated completely. After it has dried, the salt residue is hand harvested in the dry season from May through November and sold at markets in the region.