Peru Museums

It seems that there are many nice museums in Peru wherever you choose to go. Of course, the country’s biggest cities are where you will find the most extensive Peru museums, and visiting them helps tourists gain insight and understanding into the history of Peru. With a list of interesting past cultures to explore, Peru is certainly a most dynamic country in terms of culture. The Peru museums aren’t only reserved for history, however, and there are some good art museums that you might also add to your list of things to do. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the Peru Museums that are considered to be among the best in the country. You should not limit yourself to just these museums, however, and according to your interest, a small and unique museum off the beaten path might prove just as rewarding as a bigger one.

As most flights, and thus visitors, arrive in the capital city of Lima, you will likely find yourself spending at least a day here. Lima is also the largest city in Peru, so if you like urban pursuits, then you will definitely hang around for a bit to explore all that the city has to offer. Among the best Lima Peru museums is the Museo Arqueológico Rafael Larco Herrera. It is here that you will find the largest, private pre-Columbian art collection in the world. The art revolves primarily around the Moche civilization, and their famed ceramics. The Sala Erótica (Erotic Room), is among the most visited exhibits in all of Peru, and it is likely to turn you a bit red in the face. If you are more interested in Inca artifacts, and a more comprehensive look at past Peruvian art and history, you might choose to spend some time at the Museo de la Nación. It is one of the best museums in Peru for learning about the country’s ancient empires. Lastly in Lima, the Convento y Museo de San Francisco is worth mentioning. Set in a 17th-century baroque structure, the architecture of the museum is interesting enough. Throw in the religious art from the colonial era, and the eerie catacombs beneath, and you have a pretty intriguing museum.

Many visitors will eventually leave Lima, most likely destined for the traveler’s mecca of Cusco. Set high in the Andes Mountains, and boasting Inca walls and nearby ruins, Cusco itself is a sort of living museum. If you missed the Larco Herrera museum in Lima, or enjoyed it so much that you want more, you can find exhibits at the Museo de Arte Precolombino, which display pieces taken entirely from it. The art here focuses on all notable periods of Peru history. For a unique look at paintings that were executed at the Cusco School, try heading to the Convento y Museo de Santa Catalina. Resting atop the Acllawasi, which is a sacred spot where the Inca emperor kept his select Virgins of the Sun, the existing museum is quite attractive in and of itself. It is interesting to note that many of the paintings found here mesh both Spanish and indigenous styles. Not too far from Cusco is the large city of Arequipa, which might just be the most attractive city in all of Peru. It is Arequipa that you will find one of the most interesting Inca artifacts. At the Museo Santuarios Andinos, the mummified Ice Maiden of Ampato is the singular exhibit. Named Juanita, the Inca maiden was sacrificed by priests in the 1500"s, and due to the elevation of where she was found in 1995, she remains in almost perfect condition. Also in Arequipa, you will find one of the best religious museums in Peru. The Monasterio de Santa Catalina is set in a convent that was built in the 16th century. Not your average museum, the focus here is primarily on the Spanish architecture and the cobblestone streets.

In northern Peru, near the city of Chicalyo, the Sipan museum is considered the best museum in all the region. Located in the city of Lambayeque, this modern museum, officially dubbed the Museo Tumbas Reales Sipan museum, houses one of the country’s top exhibits. The tomb of the Lord of Sipan was found at the nearby ruins of Sipan, which are possible to visit. Part museum, part mausoleum, the Sipan museum displays the kind of splendor and opulence that past Peruvian cultures came to know. The final mention for Peru museums mentioned here is found in the city of Cajamarca. The Conjunto Monumental de Belén is more of a complex than a museum, and its architectural accomplishments include a colonial church and two hospitals. Among the pieces you can examine here are ceramics and textiles, some of which date back as far as 1500 BC.

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