The city of Cusco has a large number of museums that show evidence of the different cultures that were hosted in this city. The main museums show ceramic remains, textiles, jewels and Inca tools.
Below is a list of the main museums in Cusco.
- Inca Museum of the National University of San Antonio Abad
- Natural History Museum of Cusco
- Convent of Santa Catalina and Museum of Art
- San Francisco Temple Museum
- Merced Convent Museum
- Archbishop’s Palace Museum
- Qoricancha Temple Museum
- Museum of Contemporary Art, Municipality of Cusco
- Museum of Pre-Columbian Art
- Regional Historical Museum of INC
- Cathedral Museum
- Museum of Popular Art of the American Institute of Art
- Traditional Textiles Center of Cusco
- Machu Picchu Museum of the Concha House
- Machu Picchu Site Museum ‘Manuel Chávez Ballón’
Inca Museum of the National University of San Antonio Abad
- Known as the ‘Archaeological Museum of Cusco’. It has funerary remains, ceramic objects, textiles and artefacts of the Inca and pre-Inca civilization.
- It has many archaeological treasures among which are ceramics, textiles, jewelry, skulls and a unique collection of Inca vessels.
- The museum offers 6 exhibition halls: a) pre-Inca, b) environment, c) Inca history, d) subsistence techniques, e) Inca activities, f) an Inca tomb. As in most museums where ancient remains are exhibited, photos are not allowed.
Address: Cuesta del Almirante Nº 103, Cusco.
Natural History Museum of Cusco
- Museum that brings together millions of years of history of the flora and fauna of Cusco.
- It has 2 rooms. In the first one, the flora and fauna are exhibited as well as different representative species of the coast, mountains and jungle of Peru.
- In the second room exhibits remains of minerals, fungi and medicinal plants typical of the Andean region of Cusco.
- In the section of fossils you can see representations of: a megatery, a glyptodon, a mastodon and more.
- The museum is organized by the National University San Antonio Abad of Cusco, one of the oldest in South America.
Address: Plaza de Armas del Cusco s / n (Local Paraninfo of the university).
Convent of Santa Catalina and Museum of Art
- The monastery was built at the beginning of the 17th century on the ruins of the Acllawasi, known as the ‘House of the chosen ones’ or the ‘House of the virgins of the sun’.
- This beautiful convent not only surprises with its architecture but also because it contains an amazing collection of Andean culture art and samples of Cuzco art.
- In the Museum of convent art you can see paintings such as: Santa Rosa de Lima, San José, San Juan as well as sculptures and ornamental objects with religious themes.
Address: Calle Santa Catalina Angosta Nº 401, Cusco.
San Francisco Temple Museum
- The museum belongs to the Franciscan religious order. It was built in 1572 in the current ‘San Francisco’ square of Cusco.
- This temple is famous for housing catacombs with skeletal remains of former leaders of the religious order.
- It is also famous for its religious canvases, of which the ‘Family Tree of the Franciscan Family’ stands out, considered one of the largest in South America.
Address: Plaza San Francisco s / n, Cusco.
Merced Convent Museum
- This beautiful convent was rebuilt in 1680 after an earthquake. It has beautiful murals with representations of the life of San Pedro Nolasco, founder of the Mercedarian order.
- It also houses a small museum of religious art guarded by a solid gold covered with precious stones.
- One of the most popular tourist attractions in the convent of La Merced is the cell of Father Salamanca who created surrealist canvases in the Mercedarian cloister.
Address: Plazoleta Espinar s / n (a few steps from the Plaza de Armas).
Archbishop’s Palace Museum
- It is a museum of religious art in an old house that was owned by the archbishopric of Cusco. It is located in a pedestrian alley with Inca stonework known as ‘Hatunrumiyoq’ street.
- This museum exhibits a collection of paintings from the colonial era. However, its true attraction is the Inca house that houses the museum.
- The old house has an impressive Moorish architecture and a small chapel. In one of its exterior walls is the famous ‘Stone of the 12 angles’ of Cusco.
Address: Between Hatunrumiyoq Street and Los Herrajes Street, Cusco.
Qoricancha Temple Museum
- It is the most important temple of the Inca civilization. It is known as the ‘Temple of the Sun’. Its walls are the most finely carved of the entire Inca empire.
- Before the invasion of the Spaniards, statues, altars, panels and other gold objects could be found throughout the temple.
- At the time of the conquest, all the gold was sacked from the temple. On the bases of Coricancha, the Spaniards built the Convent of Santo Domingo. Currently, both buildings coexist in a single structure.
Address: Avenida El Sol s / n, Cusco. (Coricancha esplanade).
Museum of Contemporary Art, Municipality of Cusco
- It is a museum of modern art that exhibits paintings and sculptures of modern art as well as canvases and contemporary crafts.
- It was created in 1995 with the donation of a hundred works of contemporary art to the Municipality of Cusco.
- The museum has 2 rooms that include the works of 20th-century artists from Cusco, such as: Edilberto Mérida, Antonio Olave and Hilario Mendivil.
Address: Municipal Palace – Plazoleta Regocijo, Cusco (a few blocks from the Plaza de Armas).
Museum of Pre-Columbian Art
- The Museum of Pre-Columbian Art exhibits a collection of objects from different cultures that developed in Peru before the Incas. Highlights include: ceramics, objects carved in wood, silver, gold and more.
- The museum’s samples are divided into well-organized rooms that include teaching panels and use of technology. It also offers an exclusive collection to the Incas.
- In total there are 10 rooms divided into: a) Origins room, b) Wooden room, c) Shells room, d) Silver room, e) Gold room, f) South room, g) North room, h) El room center, i) Hall before the Incas and j) Hall the Incas.
Address: Plazoleta de las Nazarenas 231, Cusco.
Regional Historical Museum of INC
- The house where the museum is located was built in the 16th century and belonged to the famous writer and chronicler from Cusco Garcilaso de la Vega.
- The museum exhibits Inca and pre-Inca objects such as musical instruments, ceramic pieces and agricultural instruments as well as canvases and other objects from the colonial era.
- The exhibited objects show a historical journey through the various civilizations that ruled Cusco and the other regions of Peru.
Address: Calle Heladeros s / n, Cusco (Garcilaso House).
- This huge cathedral was built on the foundations of the Wiracocha Inca palace. Its construction began in 1550 and was completed 100 years later.
- It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city of Cusco due to its fantastic architecture and the artistic treasures inside.
- The interior of the church stands out for its hundreds of canvases framed in silver. The majority was prepared by local artists of the ‘Cusco School’.
- It is also possible to appreciate the silver sacristy, the set of bishops of Cusco carved in wood, the sacristy, stalls and many other treasures.
Address: Plaza de Armas, Cusco.
Museum of Popular Art of the American Institute of Art
- This museum houses more than 2,000 handmade pieces made by artists from Cusco since 1937, when they began to select and group local works of art.
- The pieces are classified as: imagery, handicrafts, textiles, silverware, ceramics, cereals and all of them created by the hands of artisans from Cusco.
- They also highlight: masks, little children (representation of Jesus in the Andean births), sculptures of virgins, saints and much more.
Address: Avenida El Sol Nº 103, Cusco (Tourist galleries).
Traditional Textiles Center of Cusco
- This museum will allow you to appreciate the steps for the manufacture of clothing with natural products and in a traditional way, just as the Andean settlers did hundreds of years ago.
- The process starts from the obtaining of the raw material (alpaca wool) to the dyeing and spinning of garments such as ponchos. The museum provides information in Spanish and English as well as product sales.
- The textile center brings together several textile producers from Cusco. When buying products, the tourist supports people who live in textile centers.
Address: Avenida El Sol Nº 603, Cusco.
Machu Picchu Museum of the Concha House
- The Machu Picchu Museum of Casa Concha gathers hundreds of pieces found in the excavations made in Machu Picchu. Its name is due to the fact that the place belonged to the Marquis Concha during the Spanish Viceroyalty.
- The pieces include: ceramics, stone tools, knives, skeletal remains, textiles and other objects.
- The museum also includes teaching panels in English and Spanish.
- The pieces on display were returned by Yale University in the United States in 2011. Some of the pieces are also in the Manuel Chávez Ballón Site Museum.
Address: Calle Santa Catalina Ancha Nº 320, Cusco.
Machu Picchu Site Museum ‘Manuel Chávez Ballón’
- The Machu Picchu site museum exhibits some of the pieces found in the Inca City during the excavations made over several years. It also includes the food and lifestyle of the Incas in Machu Picchu.
- The museum also offers a didactic exhibition of the long excavation process in Machu Picchu: the tools they used, the staging process and more.
- The pieces exhibited in the museum were returned by Yale University. The museum is located in the town of Aguas Calientes, just a few kilometers from the archaeological site of Machu Picchu.
Address: Hiram Bingham Road s / n, Aguas Caliente (at the height of the Ruins Bridge).
By Ticket Machu Picchu – Last updated, December 17, 2019