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 those helps one gain insight and background knowledge into the history of Peru. The Peru museums do not only give you a good impression of the different and interesting cultures and civilizations that have lived in this territory, but can also take you through histories of local art, with especially the Cusco School standing out when it comes to paintings. Following we will try to give you an overview of the different museums in Peru.
As most international flights arrive in the capital city of Lima, it is definitely worth spending a day or two in Lima. This time you can use to visit some of the most important museums in Peru. Among the best Lima museums is the Museo Arqueológico Rafael Larco Herrera. This museum holds the largest, private pre-Columbian art collection in the world. The art revolves primarily around the Moche civilization, and their ceramics of high quality. 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 the Inca culture, and a more comprehensive look at past Peruvian art and history, your best choice would be the Museo de la Nación. Furthermore the Museo de Oro has an impressive collection of gold & silver artifacts from ancient cultures. The famous Tumi you will find in this Peru Museum. Another lesser known museum worth a visit is the private Enrico Poli Museum. This smaller museum holds a nice collection of lesser known objects out of the time of the Conquistadores and has an interesting collection of paintings, many from the Cusco School.
As this may have triggered your interest to visit Cusco, keep in mind that Cusco besides boasting Inca walls and nearby ruins, the city itself is a sort of living museum. If you skipped the Larco Herrera museum in Lima, or would like to have more information, you can find exhibits at the Museo de Arte Precolombino, which display pieces taken entirely from the Lima Museum. The art here focuses on all notable periods of Peru history. Another large city with a great historic past is Arequipa, with its beautiful city centre. It is in Arequipa that you will find one of the most famous Inca artifacts. The Museo Santuarios Andinos exhibits the mummified Ice Maiden of Ampato as its principal exhibit. Nicknamed Juanita, the Inca maiden was sacrificed by Inca priests on the top of a snowcapped mountain near Arequipa, the icy conditions conserving her in almost perfect condition. Furthermore in Arequipa, you will find one of the best religious museums in Peru. The Monasterio de Santa Catalina is set in a large convent that was built in the 16th century. Not exhibiting artworks on a permanent basis, the Monastery is definitely worthwhile a visit as a living museum in Peru, still inhabited by nuns.
In northern Peru, near the city of Chiclayo, the Museo Tumbas Reales de Sipan is considered to be one of the best museums in Peru. Located in the city of Lambayeque, this recently modernized museum is home to one of the country’s top exhibits. Part museum, part mausoleum, the Sipan museum displays hundreds of the most important findings of the last years in Peru.
This list is far from complete but does contain the most famous and recognized museums in Peru. These are of course to complement a trip to the famous sites these museum represent such as The temple of the Sun and The Moon, Chan Chan, Choquequirao, Ollantaytambo, Kuelap en of course Machu Picchu.