Machu Picchu Museums and Art Galleries

(Machu Picchu, Peru)

Photo of central Aguas CalientesWhilst it is very true to say that the area's main museums and art galleries are located in nearby Cusco, the Museo de Sitio Manuel Chávez Ballón is actually situated at the very base of the pathway leading towards the Machu Picchu ruins. This fascinating museum is not to be missed and boasts superb multimedia displays and exhibits relating to excavations of Machu Picchu itself.

Particularly impressive at the Manuel Chávez Ballón Site Museum is the very detailed information relating to the ancient Inca cultures and building methods employed when Machu Picchu originally came into being. A relatively short stroll from Aguas Calientes and next to the Puente Ruinas, the Museo de Sitio Manuel Chávez Ballón is well worth visiting, either on your way to the ruins, or as you leave.

Image of Museo de Sitio Manuel Chavez Ballon

Museo de Sitio Manuel Chávez Ballón (Manuel Chávez Ballón Site Museum)

Address: Aguas Calientes, Peru
Those looking for more of an understanding of the history of Machu Picchu should consider paying a visit to the Museo de Sitio Manuel Chávez Ballón. This museum is dedicated to the work of Manuel Chávez Ballón, a local Peruvian archaeologist, who studied this world-famous archaeological site for a large number of years. Although many of the best Inca treasures were removed from the site by Hiram Bingham, an American explorer, and are now exhibited at Yale University in New Haven (Connecticut, USA), the Museo de Sitio Manuel Chávez Ballón does actually contain some very impressive Inca treasures. Other museum attractions include various maps, videos and even a botanical garden, filled with seasonal flowers, jungle foliage and even some orchids.
Open hours: Monday to Saturday - 10:00 to 16:00
Admission: charge

Casa Garcilaso

Address: Plaza Regocijo, Calle Heladeros, Cusco, Peru, PE
Tel: +51 084 22 3245
Once the residence of famous Peruvian writer and Inca historian, Garcilaso de la Vega (1539 to 1616), the Casa Garcilaso remains one of the oldest colonial houses within Cusco. Step inside and you will be greeted by an array of Inca artefacts, ranging from fabrics and pottery, to pieces created from gold and silver. Upstairs is a series of Cusquenan art works, while a further space hosts seasonal exhibitions and further events.
Open hours: Monday to Saturday - 08:00 to 17:30
Admission: charge

Museo Hilario Mendivil

Address: Plaza de San Blas 634, Cusco, Peru, PE
Tel: +51 084 24 0527
The Museo Hilario Mendivil has long been one of the main art galleries of Cusco and showcases the works of local 20th-century artist Hilario Mendivil (1929 to 1977), who was well known for his religious creations and sculptures with especially long necks. On exhibit are Mendivil's much-acclaimed 'Virgin of Belen' and also the 'Virgin of the Milk', while the 'Wedding of Nusta Beatriz with Martin of Loyola' is a real highlight for many.
Open hours: Monday to Saturday - 08:00 to 20:00
Admission: free

Iglesia y Monasterio de Santa Catalina (Santa Catalina Convent)

Address: Santa Catalina Angosta 190, Cusco, Peru, PE
Tel: +51 084 22 6032
The Santa Catalina Convent contains an interesting museum, which is home to a large collection of paintings, originating from the Cusquenan Art School. Art works offer a distinctive Spanish influence and are often of a religious nature, depicting Peruvian saints, including of course Santa Catalina. Especially impressive are the pieces entitled 'Senor de los Temblores' and the 'Patron Saint of Santiago'. Refreshments are on hand in the cafe, being made by the onsite nuns.
Open hours: Monday to Thursday - 09:00 to 18:00, Friday - 09:00 to 16:00
Admission: charge