The Pre-Columbian Art Museum (Museo de Arte Precolombino) in Cusco shines a light on the culture and art of the ancient civilizations of Peru. This extensive private collection features artifacts from the Moche, Nazca, Chimu, Chancay, and Inca peoples, including pottery, jewelry and sculptures dating as far back as 1250 BC. The Basics
Housed in a former Inca ceremonial court, the Pre-Columbian Art Museum features 11 exhibition halls that showcase artifacts created by various civilizations between 1250 BC and 1532 AD. View silver and gold sculptures, jewelry made from seashells and bones, elaborate wooden carvings, and fine pottery and ancient ceramics.
Travelers may visit the museum as part of a half-day or full-day tour that includes a private guided tour of the museum’s vast collection followed by a 3-course contemporary Peruvian meal at the museum’s restaurant. Things to Know Before You Go
- The Pre-Columbian Art Museum is suitable for all travelers, though it might not hold the attention of small children.
- Displays and audio tours offer explanations in Spanish, English, and French.
- The museum has a courtyard restaurant and a shop selling local crafts.
- The museum is wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
The Pre-Columbian Art Museum is located at Plaza de Las Nazarenas, in the heart of Cuzco’s historical center, walking distance from most hotels in the area. Taxis are readily available; public transportation is not.
When to Get There
The Pre-Columbian Art Museum is open daily, 9am–10pm, and evening is a good time to visit to avoid the crowds. If possible, visit the museum at the beginning of your journey to the Cusco area. The insights travelers gain here enhances an understanding and appreciation of the archaeological and geographical sites encountered, before or after.
Go Deeper at the Larco Museum in Lima
Curators Fernando de Szyszlo and Cecilia Bákula chose the Pre-Columbian Art Museum’s exquisite artifacts from a collection of 45,000 objects stored in the Larco Museum in Lima. Housed in a magnificent mansion, Larco is built on the site of a pre-Columbian temple and offers a look at 3,000 years of mummification and ceramic, textile, and metal art. Go here for a deep dive into the creative output that miraculously survived the Spanish conquest and modern times.