Museo de Arte Precolombino
To the left of the cathedral, toward the Plaza de las Nazarenas, is the fabulous private Museo de Arte Precolombino (MAP, Plaza de las Nazarenas 231, tel. 084/23-3210, www.map.museolarco.org, 9 a.m.–10 p.m. daily, US$7).
MAP opened its doors in June 2003 and contains an exquisite array of ceramics, painting, jewelry, and objects made of silver and gold. Unlike at other archaeological museums, the pieces here are not meant to be viewed as artifacts representative of their cultures. They are ancient works of art, pieces of elaborate craftsmanship and beauty that were handpicked from the Museo Larco in Lima.
The museum has an elegant layout designed by Fernando de Szyszlo, one of Peru’s most respected contemporary painters, and in the courtyard is an interesting glass box containing the MAP café, one of Cusco’s most upscale restaurants.
Near the end of the plaza is the 400-year-old Seminario San Antonio Abad, which has been converted into the Hotel Monasterio, Cusco’s first five-star hotel. Even if you are not a guest, sneak a peak at the courtyard and the 17th-century Iglesia San Antonio Abad.
© Ross Wehner and Renée del Gaudio from Moon Peru, 3rd Edition