Art in Peru

We show you a side of Peru you never knew existed, with the best and most important works related to the country's art.
Panoramic view of Lima

As you can imagine, art in Peru varies greatly, from local handcrafted textiles and ceramics, to the diverse architecture to impressive monuments which are so old, it is incredible to observe them in all their glory. As well as this, there are a huge number of museums to be discovered in various cities around the country. Providing access to timelines of information, unique artifacts and a real step back in time.

Peru's artsy side

Of course, most people travel to Peru for all sorts of reasons including reaching the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, discovering the Uros Islands on Lake Titicaca or even to go white water rafting in the Colca Canyon River, but what about Perus artsy side? There will be times when we need to break away from adventure for a day or two at a time, to rest, rejuvenate and reacquaint ourselves with the culture of city life, and what better way to do this than to explore the grand works of art, scattered throughout Peru’s great cities.

If art is your thing, you won’t be disappointed by the contemporary art museums, galleries and even street art that you will find all over the cities, so keep an eye out for locals selling their work too, as this can be a really great way to bring a piece of Perus art culture home with you. Local Destination Experts are a great way to find local art galleries and local artists too, so don’t miss out on this opportunity too.

Here is the side of Peru that everyone should get acquainted with – Art in Peru.


Art in Peru

Art comes in all shapes and sizes, and the first one we will start with is the Peruvian textiles, which you will see absolutely everywhere, and no doubt by the end of your trip you will be stuffing countless blankets and shawls into your suitcase to bring home. You will find these textiles all over the country, and most likely it will be the bright colors that captivate you first.

Some local textiles include quilts, handbags, sweaters, hats and scarves, which use vibrant colors to symbolize their way of life in different cultures. The Peruvian handicraft market has made its way all over the world, so you might recognize a few items, but we encourage you to support local artisans and perhaps find an opportunity to watch the art in action.


Art in Peru

Considering the incredibly vast history of this country, you can imagine they would have some great museums, featuring artifacts from various eras, throughout the years, and you would be right.

Here are some of the best museums to visit in Peru.

Museo Larco, Lima

This museum of Pre-Columbian art is housed in an 18th century building, and will keep you busy with its galleries full of information spanning over 5000 years of Peruvian Pre-Columbian history.

Museo Inka, Cusco

When you have some downtime in Cusco, this is a great museum to go to, to learn about Incan art, architecture and culture.

Art in Peru

Museo de Arte de Lima, Lima

Art lovers rejoice, because this art museum in Lima is a place to get lost in, while discovering ceramics, textiles and other beautiful and important works of Peruvian art.

Museo Santuarios Andinos, Arequipa

Also known as the Andean Sanctuaries Museum is an archeological museum in Arequipa, which houses a frozen ‘mummy’, or rather, the body of Juanita the so-called Ice Maiden. They have free guided tours here, which guide you past artifacts, as well as a short movie about Juanita, before you finally meet the ‘mummy’ herself at the end of the tour.


Art in Peru

Architecture can vary greatly depending on the part of Peru you are in, and you will notice that a lot of the rural villages still have very ancient styles of Incan architecture and foundations, where as some of the cities tend to have a big influence from Spanish architecture, with European style white stucco walls as well as wood carved balconies and intricate stonework.

Some of the most prominent ancient architecture can be seen in such archeological sites as Machu Picchu, Chan Chan, Pachacamac, Puruchuco to name but a few and some can even be visited on this Peru trip.


Art in Peru

When it comes to art and architecture, there are certainly a few monuments and sites we would highly recommend you visit including:

Chan Chan, Trujillo

This is the largest earthen architectural cities in the world, and was the capital of the Chimu civilization. It dates back to 800 AD and lasted until 1470, when the Incas took over. This is definitely a piece of history, and indeed architecture you need to see when in Peru.

Kuelap, Chachapoyas

This is one of the largest ancients remains in the Americas, and has actually been called the ‘new’ Machu Picchu, believe it or not. It straddles the Amazon rainforest and the Andes mountains at 3,000 m, in Northern Peru, and is truly a sight to see.

Art in Peru

Caral, Supe

Being the oldest center of civilization in the Americas, dating back to a whopping 2600BC, it even has its own pyramids. The 626-hectare site is well-preserved, which is an amazing thing to see, and because of its size, there are many things to explore here, during your visit. This 5,000-year-old site has also been referred to as ‘the cradle of civilization in the western world’

Ventallias de Combayo, Cajamarca

This fascinating site contains the tombs belonging to the Cajamarca culture, which date back to 800AD.

Art in Peru

Sechin, Casma

This is by far, one of the most important archeological monuments in Peru and started out as a vast urban settlement, with many sites to see, as well as the gigantic mound which stands at 990 feet long and 145 feet tall. This will blow you away.

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