Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino#7 in Best Things To Do in Cusco
While Qorikancha and Machu Picchu draw more visitors, the Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino (Pre-Columbian Art Museum) possesses a world-class Peruvian collection that cannot be matched. This 12-room exhibition space is located in the Casa Cabrera, a mansion-turned-convent that dates back to 1580. Inside the compact space, you'll find 450 artifacts (including Peruvian ceramics, jewelry and carvings) that date back from 1250 B.C. to A.D. 1532.
While some recent visitors complain about the high entrance fee for a small museum, others say that exhibitions are well-crafted, the artifacts are one-of-a-kind and the in-depth descriptions help to give context to each piece.
The Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino is located just two blocks northeast of Plaza de Armas, just off Plaza de las Nazarenas. The museum welcomes visitors every day from 9:00 a.m. to 10 p.m. Admission costs 20 soles (about $6) for adults and 10 soles (about $3) for students. For more information, consult the museum's official website.
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#1 Plaza de Armas
The history of the Plaza de Armas stretches back all the way to the Inca Empire when it was called Huacaypata or Aucaypata. The massive square (originally twice its current size) was built as a venue for festivals and ceremonies in ancient times.
According to legend, this plaza once marked the exact center of the Inca Empire, earning Cusco the nickname "the navel of the world." After Spanish conquistadors conquered the city in the early 1500s, they erected two churches on the either sides of the square – Iglesia de La Compañía de Jesús and La Catedral – where the former Incan palace once stood.
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