The Best Museums in Cusco

After exploring the sites in the beautiful Cusco, walk along its cobblestone streets to one of the many museums that will offer a historical glimpse into the pre-Inca and Inca culture. This is our guide for the best museums in Cusco: 

 

Museo Inka 

Only a block away from the bustling Plaza de Armas is the best museum dedicated exclusively to the Incas. The museum harbors valuable historical documents, textiles, jewels, agricultural tools, instruments and mummies. They also have the largest kero (Inca cup) collection in the world. It’s a great starting point to begin acquiring more knowledge of the Inca culture.

 

Museo de la Coca 

This little museum located in San Blas is a great way to learn the history of the coca leaves and its use from Inca times right up to the present-day narco wars and ritual ceremonies. The art, pictures and artifacts exhibited showcase the relationship between Peruvians and this magical leaf that has been cultivated in the andean region for centuries. After touring the museum, visitors can stop by the gift shop stocked with coca chocolates, teas, liquors and more.

 

Museo de Historia Natural

This university-run natural history museum exhibits geological and paleontological samples of Cusco and surrounding areas. Visitors can view the collection of stuffed local animals and birds and over 150 snakes from the Amazon, our favorite is the mammoth tusk from 8000 years ago. One can also find a flora exhibit of samples from the andean region and various medicinal plants.

 

Museo de Arte Precolombino-MAP 

The beautiful house where this museum is located dates back to 1450 AD. It functioned as a school for aristocratic children during the Inca Empire and later as a convent during the first years of the Viceroyalty. Now beautifully restored, this is Peru’s only museum dedicated to ancient Peruvian art. Inside you’ll find a collection of 403 pieces from Lima’s Museo Larco’s storage collection that date from 1250 BC to 1532 AD. The artworks include gold and precious metalwork, bone and shell jewelry, thematic showrooms of a variety of cultures, wooden sculptures and colonial paintings. The restaurant located in the courtyard is one of the best restaurants in the city.

 

Casa Concha Museum 

The Machu Picchu Museum of Casa Concha was constructed over the palace of the inca Túpac Yupanqui. It features hundreds of artefacts extracted by the american explorar Hiram Bingham in 1911. They were returned to Peru by Yale University in  2011 and this small but fascinating museum exhibits 366 pieces of different types of materials such as ceramics and metal and the famous knife “tumi”. The exhibit also has scale models of how Machu Picchu was excavated as well as photographs and videos of the process.

 

Museo del Chocolate 

Chocolate lovers will find their paradise and never want to leave in The Choco Museum located at Plaza Regocijo. Combining history and chocolate, the museum offers a bean to bar workshop where you will learn how to make your own chocolate bars by roasting and grinding cacao beans into a paste and refining it into your very own chocolate bar. 

Other workshops include chocolate sculpting, tasting lessons, They of course sell amazing organic chocolate candies, pastries such as brownies and hot chocolate that is out of this world, as well as cacao based beauty products. All their chocolate is sourced from local farmers and you can visit the plantation as well as the chocolate factory just outside of Cusco.

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