Museums and Galleries

Peru, Cusco Guide (A): Museums and Galleries

The Museums and Galleries of Cusco naturally focus upon the region's rich historical significance and a clash of cultures - as Cusco was an important capital to Inca and pre-Inca cultures and a significant city to Spanish colonial power. Some of the sites and museums do require the purchase of the "tourist card" (boleto turistico") - while others offer admittance separately - and these are noted within the site descriptions.
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Walk Route

Guide Name: Museums and Galleries
Guide Location: Peru » Cusco
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Article (A))
# of Attractions: 8
Tour Duration: 4.0 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 km
Sight(s) featured in this guide: Museo del Sitio de Qorikancha   Museo de Historia Natural   Museo Historico Regional   Museo Municipal de Arte Contemporaneo   Museo Inka   Museo de Arte Precolumbino   Museo de Arte Religioso   Iglesia y Monasterio de Santa Catalina  
Author: Jim Reynoldson
Author Bio: Jim Reynoldson is an avid traveler and writer who grew up in Oregon. He enjoys hiking, camping, and sight-seeing throughout the Pacific Northwest and beyond.
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Museo del Sitio de Qorikancha

1) Museo del Sitio de Qorikancha

This small, dark museum lies along the busy Avenue el Sol and is underground – beneath the Qorikancha Inca site – definitely a memorable entryway. Entry to the museum requires the boleto turistico, and photography is not allowed. Exhibits include an array of artifacts from both Inca and pre-Inca cultures, including ceramics, textiles, paintings, sculptures, metal works, and musical instruments. In addition, mummies and skulls showing fatal ceremonial wounds for sacrifice are on display. Most...
2
Museo de Historia Natural

2) Museo de Historia Natural

This small museum is run by the local university and is right next to the Iglesia de la Compania de Jesus. Displays mostly house examples of regional animals, including tarantulas, monkeys, sloths, jungle cats, and a number of birds and insects. The minimal size of the museum will make for a quick visit, but it is very inexpensive and does not require the boleto turistico for entry. A pleasant courtyard in the center of the building is a nice place for a rest or to eat lunch. The door attendant...
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Museo Historico Regional

3) Museo Historico Regional

Founded in 1946, this museum is housed in the colonial home of the Inca historian Garcilaso de la Vega who is buried beneath La Catedral at the Plaza de Armas. Museum entrance is only with the boleto turistico (which gains you entry to a number of sites around the city). Exhibits are arranged chronologically and include the Preceramic period, as well as works from the Chavin, Vicus, Mochica, Chimu, Chanacay, and Inca – as well as a mummy from the Nazca region. Artifacts are found in a variety...
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Museo Municipal de Arte Contemporaneo

4) Museo Municipal de Arte Contemporaneo

Located inside of Cusco's Municipality Building (look for the rainbow flag of the Inca empire flying above it) by the Plaza Regocijo, this museum displays a small collection of contemporary Andean art. Entry to this museum does require the purchase of the boleto turistico. Founded in 1995 with a donation of one hundred works by local artists to curator Dr. Luis Rivera Davalos, this museum now houses over 300 paintings and other pieces. Artwork displays are housed in Room 3 and the library...
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Museo Inka

5) Museo Inka

This wonderful museum of Inca and pre-Inca history is set in a colonial mansion (once owned by Admiral Francisco Aldrete Maldonado and repaired after the 1950 earthquake) which sits on the foundation of an ancient Inca structure. Exhibits include Inca tools, weaponry, art, pottery, mummies, and skulls of the sacrificed – with some displays in English text (although many are only in Spanish). A courtyard in the middle of the museum makes for a nice break to browse the textile and art vendors....
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Museo de Arte Precolumbino

6) Museo de Arte Precolumbino

Opened in 2003, this interesting museum is housed in a Spanish Colonial mansion with a ceremonial courtyard dating back to Inca times, with an auditorium seating 120 people for lectures and other events. The artifacts date from between 1250 BC and 1532 AD, displaying a wide chronological range of Peru’s ancient cultures, and exhibits are in Spanish, English, and French. An assortment of materials is represented, including ceramic art, wood, silver, gold and stone. The Museo de Arte...
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Museo de Arte Religioso

7) Museo de Arte Religioso

This museum of religious art sits atop an ancient palace of the ruler Inca Roca, and next to the iconic Inca masonry of the Hatunrumiyoc alleyway. Now a colonial mansion – and at one time, an Archbishop’s palace – the beautiful building has stained glass windows, Moorish style doors, carved cedar ceilings, and a courtyard made from blue and white tiles from Seville. The exhibits depict the regional transition from indigenous to Spanish colonial cultural and dominance in the religious...
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Iglesia y Monasterio de Santa Catalina

8) Iglesia y Monasterio de Santa Catalina

This church and monastery contains a museum of religious artwork. The convent's altar is built of carved cedar, with a baroque side chapel - and the museum contains a number of paintings from the escuela cazquena (or Cusco School), characterized by the ornate religious style using predominately red, gold, yellow and earthen tones. The convent itself was founded in the early 17th century, but the site ironically sits atop the ancient Inca “House of Chosen Women”, where attractive young...