Two days in Cusco give you plenty of time to explore the city’s historic attractions and pay a visit to Machu Picchu, one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world. Here’s the best way to spend 48 hours in the former Inca capital.
Pre-Columbian Art Museum (MAP)
231, Plaza de Las Nazarenas, Cusco, Peru
Housed in a former Inca ceremonial court, the Pre-Columbian Art Museum(MAP) 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(MAP) 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(MAP) 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.
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- Inca Museum (Museo Inka)
- Inca Trail
- Sacred Valley of the Incas
- San Blas
- Cusco Historic Center (Centro Historico de Cusco)
- Plaza de Armas (Huacaypata)
- ChocoMuseo Cusco
- Ausangate Trail
- Qorikancha (Coricancha)
- Cusco Cathedral (Catedral del Cuzco)
- Sacsayhuaman (Saqsaywaman)
- Centro de Textiles Tradicionales del Cusco (CTTC)
- Mercado Central de San Pedro
- Planetarium Cusco