Peru’s long history and diverse culture has inspired many museums and art galleries. If you visit Peru, you must visit a museum or two; but which ones? We’ve put together this list of the best museums and art galleries in Peru to help you decide.
Whichever museum you wish to visit, Aracari can arrange exclusive access. So if you want to meet the curators, visit collections not usually seen by the public, or take a look behind the scenes, we can organize that for you.
7 top Specialty Museums in Peru
1. Museo Amano, Lima
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Sunday, 10am-5pm (Monday by appointment only).
The Amano museum in Lima boasts a remarkable collection of Pre-Columbian lace and textile arts. History lovers can take a walk through Peru’s rich textile past, viewing pieces from the Chavín, Nasca, Chimú, Chancay, and Inca cultures.
For a truly immersive experience, Aracari can arrange for guests to visit the museum’s storage facilities. Here, cabinets can be opened and guests can get up close and personal with textiles developed by the Chancay culture.
Aracari Traveler Tip: After visiting the Museo Amano, take a trip to one of Lima’s bustling artisan markets to buy traditional textiles and other crafts.
2. Museo Larco, Lima
Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday, 9am-10pm.
5,000 years of ancient Peruvian history is contained within the walls of the Museo Larco. It is home to the world’s largest private collection of Pre-Columbian art, ceramics and jewelry. The Museo Larco’s storerooms are open to the public, and visitors can wander through shelves containing 30,000 example of ancient pottery.
The museum is surrounded by beautiful gardens, and visitors are encouraged to linger amongst the plant life. A restaurant on the terrace offers up Peruvian and international cuisine.
Aracari Traveler Tip: Don’t miss the Café del Museo Restaurant. The former museum coffee shop has been significantly expanded and transformed into a destination for delicious «Peruvian comfort food». Chef Pablo Lazarte’s mouth-watering creations attract discerning foodie travelers and locals alike, who enjoy a bite to eat amid the charming museum gardens. Can we book you a table? Of course, we know the chef.
3. Museo de Osma, Lima
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Sunday, 10am-6pm.
Housed in a beautiful beaux-arts mansion in the Barranco district of Lima is the Museo de Osma. It boasts one of the finest collections of paintings in Peru with religious images, portraits and landscapes from some of Peru’s best known artists. Visitors will also find an outstanding collection of sculpture, colonial furniture and silverwork.
Aracari Traveler Tip: The Museo de Osma is just minutes away from MATE, and private tours of both can be arranged for the same day.
4. MATE (Mario Testino), Lima
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Sunday, 10am-6:30pm.
MATE (the Mario Testino museum) in Barranco is dedicated to Peru’s best known contemporary photographer. The museum has several carefully curated rooms filled with Testino’s iconic photography. There is also a temporary exhibit room which houses guest artists and a dynamic program of events.
Aracari Traveler Tip: The Barranco district is Lima’s thriving cultural quarter, known for its colourful buildings, exciting art scene and some of Lima’s best restaurants.
5. Museo Leymebamba, Chachapoyas
Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday, 10am- 4:30pm (or by appointment).
This small but intriguing museum in Leymebamba, Chachapoyas is the final resting place of more than 200 mummies and their burial offerings. The mummies were recovered in 1997 during the excavation of Llaqtacocha on the banks of Laguna de Los Cóndores.
Aracari Traveler Tip: Adventurous travelers can tackle a difficult but worthwhile 9-10 hour trek to Laguna de Los Cóndores and stay overnight at the lake.
6. Museo Tumbas Reales de Sipán, Lambayeque
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Sunday, 9am-5pm.
The Museum of the Royal Tombs of Sipán is considered the pride of Northern Peru. The museum was designed to resemble ancient Moche tombs and displays many of the artifacts found at Sipán, including the Lord of Sipán and his entourage.
Aracari Traveler Tip: Combine a visit to the Royal Tombs of Sipán with a tour of the captivating but little-visited Chotuna-Chornancap archaeological complex.
7. Museo de Sitio Huaca de la Luna, Trujillo
Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday, 9am-4pm.
The Huaca de la Luna (Temple of the Moon) is one of Trujillo’s most popular archaeological sites. The beautiful pyramid complex is accompanied by an excellent museum, full of objects excavated from the site. It provides a detailed history of the site and insight into Moche culture, offering important context for your visit to the Huaca de la Luna.
Aracari Traveler Tip: Be sure to visit Chan Chan, another important archaeological site in Trujillo – but do so with a local tour guide, as signage at the site is limited.
We hope this post has enticed you to visit Peru with Aracari Travel. It’s a truly wonderful experience, and one you’ll never forget!»