The 10 Best Museums in Arequipa

Imagine strolling through the cobbled streets of Arequipa, the sun casting a warm glow on the white sillar stone buildings. You’re surrounded by the rich tapestry of Peruvian culture, history, and art. Now, let’s dive into the heart of this experience by exploring the top museums this city has to offer. From the mummies of ancient civilizations to the intricate textiles of the Andes, each museum is a doorway to a different time and place.

1. Museo Santuarios Andinos (Museum of Andean Sanctuaries)

First up is the Museo Santuarios Andinos, a must-visit for anyone intrigued by ancient cultures. It’s home to the famous ‘Ice Maiden,’ Juanita, an Inca mummy discovered on the Ampato Volcano. The preservation is mind-blowing, and the story behind it is even more captivating. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time as you uncover the secrets of Inca rituals and offerings.

2. Museo Histórico Municipal de Arequipa

Next, we have the Museo Histórico Municipal de Arequipa. Nestled in the heart of the city, this museum offers a deep dive into Arequipa’s history. From colonial artifacts to photographs depicting the city’s evolution, it’s a treasure trove for history buffs. The building itself, a colonial mansion, is a piece of history worth admiring.

3. Museo de Arte Contemporáneo

For art enthusiasts, the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo is a breath of fresh air. It showcases a diverse collection of modern art pieces by Peruvian artists. The exhibitions are dynamic, often changing to feature new talents. It’s a vibrant space that reflects the city’s growing art scene.

4. La Recoleta Monastery Museum

La Recoleta Monastery Museum is a hidden gem, tucked away in a quiet corner of Arequipa. This former monastery houses an eclectic mix of Amazonian artifacts, religious art, and even a library with ancient manuscripts. The serene courtyards and the whispers of history make it a tranquil escape from the bustling city.

5. Casa del Moral

Step into the 18th century at Casa del Moral, one of Arequipa’s best-preserved colonial homes. The name comes from the ancient mulberry tree in its courtyard. Inside, you’ll find colonial furniture, artwork, and a coin collection that tells the story of Peru’s economic past. It’s like walking through the pages of a history book.

6. Museo Arqueológico de la Universidad Católica de Santa María

The Museo Arqueológico de la Universidad Católica de Santa María is a haven for those fascinated by pre-Hispanic cultures. The collection includes ceramics, textiles, and tools from various indigenous cultures. It’s a testament to the region’s rich archaeological heritage and a fantastic educational resource.

7. Museo de la Catedral de Arequipa

The Museo de la Catedral de Arequipa offers a unique blend of religious art and architecture. Located within the city’s grand cathedral, the museum displays religious relics, liturgical objects, and impressive paintings. The highlight is the panoramic view of the city from the cathedral’s rooftop.

8. Fundación Museo AQP

Fundación Museo AQP is a contemporary addition to Arequipa’s cultural scene. It focuses on promoting local artists and Peruvian culture through various forms of visual art. The museum’s innovative approach to art and culture makes it a stimulating visit for those looking to experience the city’s modern side.

9. Museo de Arte Virreinal de Santa Teresa

The Museo de Arte Virreinal de Santa Teresa allows visitors to step into the world of a cloistered convent. The art collection here is stunning, with colonial-era paintings and sculptures that evoke a sense of reverence. The convent’s peaceful atmosphere adds to the museum’s charm.

10. Complejo Cultural Chávez de la Rosa

Last but not least, the Complejo Cultural Chávez de la Rosa is part of the Universidad Nacional de San Agustín. It’s a cultural complex that includes art galleries, exhibition halls, and a historical archive. The focus on academic and cultural activities makes it a hub for intellectual and artistic exchange.


  • What are the opening hours for the Museo Santuarios Andinos?

    Typically, it’s open from 9 AM to 6 PM, but it’s always a good idea to check ahead for any changes.

  • Can I take photos inside the museums?

    Photography rules vary. Some museums allow it without flash, while others may restrict it entirely. Always look for signs or ask staff.

  • Are there guided tours available in the museums?

    Many museums offer guided tours, some even in English. They can provide deeper insights into the exhibits, so they’re definitely worth considering.


In conclusion, Arequipa’s museums are a testament to the city’s rich tapestry of history, culture, and art. Each museum offers a unique glimpse into different facets of Peruvian heritage, from the ancient Inca civilization to contemporary artistic expressions. Whether you’re a history buff, art lover, or simply curious about the world, these museums are sure to enrich your understanding and appreciation of this beautiful city. So next time you’re wandering through Arequipa, make sure to step into these cultural havens and let the stories of the past ignite your imagination.

Kurby Team

The Kurby Content Team is a diverse group of seasoned real estate experts dedicated to providing insightful, reliable information for homebuyers, real estate investors, and real estate agents. With backgrounds ranging from real estate brokerage, property investment, and residential home buying, our team combines decades of experience with a passion for demystifying the real estate world. We at Kurby are committed to helping you make informed, successful real estate decisions. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer, a seasoned investor, or a real estate professional, count on the Kurby Content Team to deliver the most relevant, actionable real estate content you need.