Posted 26 May, 2017
When traveling in Peru, don’t miss an opportunity to visit any of the following fantastic museums!
Peru is a country that is deeply steeped in history and complex culture. While the amazing landscapes and tranquil countryside’s are a huge attraction when traveling through Peru, there are a number of excellent museums you can visit to learn a bit more about the ancient and recent past, as well as the people who have called this country home.
While Lima is a cultural hub and home to some of Peru’s most well-known museums, there are a couple in other parts of the country that are worth a visit if you have the chance. For that reason, we’ve compiled a list of our top 10 museums to visit while traveling in Peru.
MALI, located in Lima central, is housed in the beautiful Palace of the Exhibition, a building that was built between 1870 and 1871 specifically for exhibitions. Today, the museum’s permanent collection offers a trip through time – starting with pre-Colombian art and covering approximately 3,000 years of Peruvian history to reach the present day. This is one of the most famous museums in Lima that you should definitely not miss!
Lima’s MAC is an incredible museum perfect for the lover of modern and contemporary art. Founded in 2013, this museum features Peruvian and international artists from 1950 to today, and is meant to serve as a platform of exchanged between society and present-day art. The building was designed by architect Frederic Cooper, and is itself a prime example of contemporary art.
The Larco Museum in Pueblo Libre boasts one of the most impressive and fascinating collections of Inca and pre-Inca artifacts, including an entire gallery devoted to erotic pottery from ancient times. In addition to the ceramics, metalwork and textiles that belong to the permanent exhibits, the museum is home to beautiful gardens and an excellent on-site restaurant where you can taste some of the best dishes Peru has to offer.
MATE, in Barranco, offers a refreshing contemporary twist on Peruvian culture. As a not-for-profit museum that was founded by its namesake in 2012, the purpose of this museum is to preserve Peru’s important culture and past while promoting its artistic future. Besides the permanent expositions featuring Testino’s famous photographs, the museum often displays the works of up-and-coming Peruvian artists.
Originally opened in 1964 by Mr. Yoshitaro Amano, this museum started as a compilation of objects and textiles that had been discarded by the tomb raiders of Peru’s many archaeological sites. Today, the recently-remodeled space is known for being one of the most impressive exhibits of textiles and archaeological materials dating back to pre-Colombian times. Indeed, the museum aims to conserve, study and teach Peru’s long history of textile tradition.
For those who are interested in Peru’s recent past, Lima’s LUM in Miraflores is a space that commemorates the internal conflict that occurred between the years of 1980 and 2000. The museum emphasizes the importance of those two decades in Peruvian history and illustrates how the events of that time have shaped Peru today.
Stepping into the Monastery of Santa Catalina is like stepping into another world. The monastery was founded in 1579 and was mostly inhabited by Creole and mestizo nuns. It was not until 1964 that the first Spanish nuns arrived. The vibrant colored walls and winding streets make this open-air museum feel like a small city that is completely apart from Arequipa.
Housed in a colonial mansion built around an Inca ceremonial court, this special museum hosts approximately 450 intriguing pieces that date from 1250 B.C. to 1532 A.D. Divided in 11 showrooms, all of the artifacts on display have been carefully selected from the storage of the Larco Museum in Lima.
The Inkariy Museum is a project that was started in 2002 by a group of artists and archaeologists who wanted to share Peru’s impressive pre-Colombian cultures with the world. This museum is great for adults and children alike, as the exhibits include modern language and easy-to-read texts. Moreover, this museum aims to emphasize the diversity of pre-Colombian cultures and show more than just the famous Incas. The many exhibit halls of this museum are devoted to the cultures of Caral, Chavín, Paracas, Moche, Masca, Wari, Lambayeque and Chimú, as well as the Inca.
If you are traveling with children, a trip to the Choco Museum is sure to be a fun activity. While the interactive cacao and chocolate museum is free to the public, the Choco Museum also offers a number of chocolate workshops that allow you to get hands-on with the materials and process involved in making your favorite sweet treat. While Peru isn’t known for its chocolate, it is an important exporter of cacao. At the Choco Museum you can learn all about how cacao is grown, harvested and ultimately used to make chocolate.
Peru is an incredibly diverse country with a fascinating history. A great way to learn a bit more about the cultures that have inhabited Peru is by visiting one or more of the many museums you’ll encounter on your journey.