I spotted Museo Inkariy on the side of the road on our way to Pisac, or rather I noticed it’s enormous roadside sign – an 11m high deity that rises high above the buildings themselves. We decided to pull over on our return leg to Urubamba to take a look, and I’m so pleased we did. It was hands down the most family-friendly museum we visited on our Journey to Machu Picchu.
Recently opened in June 2014, this privately-owned museum was established by a group of artists and archaeologists who wanted to showcase the pre-Columbian cultures of Peru ‘through a modern language and easy reading texts’.
The museum is spread out over eight little houses, each house representing one of the major civilisations of the pre-Columbian past: Caral, Chavin, Paracas, Mochica, Nazca, Wari, Chimu/ Lambayeque and Inca.
Each house (culture) has two rooms. In the first room, objects are elegantly showcased in large glass cabinets or on walls and in the second room life-size (and alarmingly realistic!) statues are arranged in a theatrical stage setting, depicting a typical scene from that particular culture.
The props, backdrops, music and lighting are what you might expect in an Andrew Lloyd Webber production and I almost expected Jason Donovan to enter stage right in his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat!
The children howled with delight (and terror) and took in it turns to nudge each other from room to room. In the Chavin showroom the chambers are linked by an artificial tunnel which, in its low light, even had me reaching for the children’s hands (Warning: this may be the stuff of nightmares for very little kids!)
The museum also houses a rather good shop and a small café.
We raced round fairly quickly because my overly-excited children didn’t have the patience to wait for me to read the information in each room (which by the way is extremely well presented). If your kids allow you a more leisurely pace I’d recommend spending at least an hour here.
Museo Inkiary is located between Pisac and Urubamba (if coming from Urubamba it’s just after the village, Yucay).
At the time of visiting rates were Soles 55 per adult, Soles 30 per child (kids up to 7 years are free).
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Family Guide to Peru
To view all our blog posts and videos in the Peru With Kids series see our destination guide to Peru for Families.