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Maras Mines & Andean Secrets

Maras Mines & Andean Secrets

$190 per person


  • Explore the photographically rich Maras salt mines in your own time and photograph at your leisure in order to seek out the best and most interesting compositions.
  • Capture huge landscapes, abstract details and portraits of locals.
  • Meet and photograph locals in incredible locations.
  • Explore surprise locations away from the tourist crowds.
  • End the day with a landscape workshop overlooking monolithic mountains and abyssal valleys to shoot these amazing scenes making the best use of the early evening light.


    If you would like to end the day in the Sacred Valley or have a train to catch from Ollantaytambo let us know and we can make the arrangements to drop you there on time


    If this tour is booked on a Sunday it will include a visit to a local Andean market that is only open Sundays. Expect to see very little tourism and a lot of locals buying fruit, veggies and wools as well. The workers of this market are typical Quechua people and still dress in a very traditional way. For this reason, this is an amazing location for portraits! The combination of colours in their clothing and hats make for great images. You can also approach specific people for great portraits.


    • Entrance fee to salt mines
    • Photography assistance during the entire tour.
    • Professional photographer guide
    • Transport in a private vehicle throughout the entire day.
    • Pick-up and drop-off at hotel in Cusco


    • Food and drinks
    • Personal Insurance


    • Drop off in Ollantaytambo or the Sacred Valley at the end of the day.
    • Moray Ruins ( 50 USD per person )


    • Mid-range zoom for all-purpose landscape/portrait shots
    • Prime lens for portraits (50mm, 85mm or similar focal length)
    • Telephoto for use at the salt mines.
    • Tripod and filters (ND, CPL, etc.) There will be long exposure opportunities at the lake where we eat lunch, so we recommend a strong ND (10 stops or more) to achieve smooth water effects.


    • Private tour for 1 person: 410 USD
    • Private tour for 2 people: 220 USD per person.
    • Private tour for 3 people: 190 USD per person.
    • Big Group prices on demand.
    9 Reviews
    • Departure/Return Location
      From your hotel or hostel in Cusco
    • Departure Time
      Please be ready for a departure at 9h30
    • Return Time
      Approximately 17h00
    • What to wear
      Comfortable walking shoes and seasonal clothing
    • Included
      Entrance Fees
      Photo Assistance
    • Not Included
      Local Flights

    Tour Plan

    We begin our tour by picking you up from your hotel or hostel with our private car to begin our drive into the Andes.
    Our first stop is at a lesser known viewpoint that gives you a spectacular mountain view. There's a pretty neat spot here that allows for a unique picture in which you can place your subject directly in front of the mountain range in the background (break out the telephoto lens for compression of scale!) We can take this shot for you with you as the subject if you so wish. We explore this location for around 30 minutes before jumping back in the car and moving on.
    We make a quick stop in Chinchero to pick up some local empanadas to eat for lunch a little later in the day.
    We stop by a local artesenal textile market in Chinchero to learn a little of the textile making process that Chinchero is famous for, after the demonstration we will have the opportunity for a great portrait session with the ladies there, they are always wearing full traditional outfits and are happy to have some photos taken of them.
    We arrive at Maras salt mines. This is a known location so expect tourists, these go in big groups and so are rushed in and out. Our private visit to the salt mines allows more time to explore and seek out better compositions for your images. We know some great spots in this photographically rich location. We explore here for around 1h.
    We move to a lake deep in the Andes. This lake is surrounded by colourful fields of agriculture and the Andes mountains as it's backdrop! At this lake we will take some time to relax and eat our empanadas before shooting in the area. The area is full of llamas, alpacas and other animals, here we can get close and take plenty of photos of them.
    We reach our next location that is around 4000m ASL where we find a full panoramic view of the area with wonderful scope for landscape photography. This location is a private field belonging to a family of potato farmers that give us access to this unique location! If we are lucky on this field we can find friends and family of the owners farming the lands and herding their sheep, this makes for amazing on-location portrait documentary work. The light and direction of the sun at this hour allow for very complete landscape shots with highlights, shadows and different tonalities.
    Begin the drive back to Cusco.
    Arrival in Cusco, drop-off at your hotel.

    Tour Location

    Tour Reviews

    We will be grateful for your honest and objective feedback.



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    • Pedro P. (Portugal)

      Stunning locations and beautiful Peruvian people – that’s what you can expect of this tour.
      Highlight of my trip.
      Great care and attention from my photographer guide with tips along the way.

      Overall the tour provided great images which is exactly what I wanted from this trip.

      Awesome experience. Wish I had see guys sooner so I could book more tours.

      Overall Tour organization Destination Value for Money
    • oughnic

      A highlight of our time in Peru and Chile
      Jan 2020
      This was a highlight of our visit to Peru and Chile. The Sunday market in Chinchero was vibrant and the stall holders were very welcoming of us and our cameras. Moving high into the hills we had a great chance to take pictures of the glacier, valleys and farmers looking after their animals. We finally went to the Maras salt mines – a landscape out of this world.
      Our guide Pedro had a very relaxed style, gently providing tips and encouraging us to be a little more adventurous.
      All in all, a great day out.

      Overall Tour organization Destination Value for Money
    • DLC

      5 Days with this Company Wasn’t Enough
      Nov 2019
      If you’re not traveling with these guys, you’re doing Peru wrong. Not only are they incredible photographers, and not only do they know Peru inside and out, but they are genuinely a joy to be around. Informed, educational, helpful, and gracious. I can’t say enough good things about this company, and I certainly wouldn’t go back to Peru without their help.

      Overall Tour organization Destination Value for Money
    • Renate

      Fabulous photo tour!!
      We absolutely enjoyed the photo tour we did with Alex!! Not only was he knowledgeable about Peruvian history and culture, but he provided many tips on how to improve my photography. The colourful market provided a wealth of photo opportunities (and great empanadas). The portraiture of the Andean ladies was wonderful. We enjoyed the lake, the mountains and everything in between. My photographs are superb!! Some of the best I took during my entire trip. Thank you Alex for a wonderful day!!

      Overall Tour organization Destination Value for Money
    • Jose

      Amazing expediton.
      Jun 2019
      This is an amazing experience, from the beginning up to the end you will have opportunities to practice portraits and landscape photography. The landscape is amazing, the salt mines , the community working . Alex is very patient and competent, he gives several ideas of compositions and light. I strongly recommend this tour, I also did 4 additional tours with Andean Photo Expedition.

      Overall Tour organization Destination Value for Money

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