Showcasing Peruvian heritage

By | Category: Travel destinations

© El ComercioVisitors know that Peru is a country rich in history, tradition and cultural diversity. Getting to see some of the sites has been less than easy particularly for those with less mobility than the most agile. That’s about to change.

Next year, 2016, is set to be a remarkable year for historical and cultural tourism to Peru with the long-awaited Kuelap Cable Car opening in spring. This will mean that there will be better access to the pre-Inca ruins of Kuelap referred to by Peru’s president as a “second Machu Picchu”. The fortress of Kuelap was built and developed between the sixth and sixteenth centuries by the Chachapoyas culture, on a ridge approximately 3,000 metres above sea level.

It is the largest stone structure in South America, containing around 450 stone houses. Rediscovered in 1843 and declared a cultural heritage site in 2003, the cable car will save the trek that visitors have had to do in the past. Covering four kilometres, the cable car will take 20 minutes to reach the site and begins from the district of Tingo Nuevo, Amazonas and runs to an area near the Kuelap ruins.

What Peru has needed for a long time are more museums to house some of the tens of thousands of artefacts that have been found in the country over the centuries. One site gets its own next year when the National Museum of Peru in Pachacamac opens. It is just 40km south of Lima and is considered to be the most important archaeological complex on the Peruvian desert coast. In the pre-Inca and Inca periods, pilgrims travelled there from the farthest reaches of ancient Peru. At least 17 pyramids have now been identified in the complex along with palaces, plazas and temples. The new museum will also house pieces from the Museo de la Nacion in San Borja and the Museum of Archaeology, Anthropology and History in Pueblo Libre.

In addition to a new museum, two old favourites re-open after being closed for a while for refurbishment. The Museo de Arte de Lima (MALI), in Lima’s historic downtown district, re-opened to the public on 9th September 2015. It is the only museum in Lima that showcases a comprehensive exhibition of Peruvian art. The MALI has been updated to become a modern infrastructure and is expected to bring in around 250,000 visitors by the end of 2015. While the permanent galleries are shown on the second floor, visitors can enjoy the best selection of international and Peruvian art at the four temporary galleries, located on the main floor.

The other museum that has re-opened is the AMANO Pre-Colombian Textile Museum. Textiles are an integral part of Peruvian heritage and here, visitors can see 8,000 textiles from different cultures as well as 15,000 pieces of pottery. The artefacts in each room have also been ordered chronologically and demonstrate the differences in style between each Inca and pre-Inca culture.

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