Museo de las Culturas Aborigenes, Cuenca

4.3
#5 of 26 in Museums in Cuenca
Take an extensive tour through Ecuador's indigenous history at Museo de las Culturas Aborigenes. The museum displays over 5,000 archaeological artifacts from 20 distinct pre-Hispanic indigenous cultures--some dating back 15,000 years. Bring your visit alive with detailed stories on a guided tour in English; especially informative are the observations into pre-Inca vanity, with a number of combs and obsidian mirrors used as evidence. Look out for the striking designs of the cooking equipment. Take a break to digest everything you've learned with a hot drink out in the tranquil and scenic courtyard. For Museo de las Culturas Aborigenes and beyond, use our Cuenca holiday maker tool to get the most from your Cuenca vacation.
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Museo de las Culturas Aborigenes Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
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4.4
TripAdvisor
  • This is a lovely little museum. A friend told us to look for the jazz hands and we weren't disappointed. I was surprised ar all of the happy little faces.  more »
  • Located on the edge of the Historic Center (on Calle Larga, in front of Todos Santos), the Museum of Aboriginal Cultures is promoted as a place that exhibits five thousand pieces of pre-Hispanic art. It's a particular collection actually. Income is $4. It is forbidden to insert backpacks, you must leave it at the entrance. Before entering, they provide you with a booklet that serves as a printed guide to better understand the rooms and the pieces they house. The book is something ancient and its quality is already bad (discolored or stained paper, some of its leaves are dried and it is noticed that it was printed decades ago), however, it contains very useful information about the pre-Hispanic cultures of Ecuador. In other words, you'll have to read the book as you go, as there aren't many information plates in the rooms. If you don't like to read, when you go through the rooms you will only see pieces and more pieces without finding much meaning in them. The halls are ordered chronologically, beginning with the Valdivia cultures (famous for their female representations known as "Venis de Valdivia") and ending the Incas culture (whose presence was brief in Ecuadorian territory). All periods and regions of the pre-Columbian history of Ecuador are represented, so it is important to read in the book-guide the information to understand well the distinctive features of a certain culture, region or period. In addition to the general information, the book contains descriptions (accompanied by illustrations) of some important pieces exhibited in the museum. In this way, you can read the details of a piece that catches your attention and thus appreciate it much better in the display cases. In some rooms there are benches to be able to sit, very useful to read the information in the book before continuing. In addition to the ceramic pieces, the halls exhibit some paintings by recent artists that combine elements of indigenous and mixed influence, characteristic of Ecuador. The museum has a restaurant on the ground floor, as well as a souvenir shop where, among other things, replicas of some ceramics can be purchased.
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  • Brilliantly put together. Vast amount on display, but wonderfully low-key, almost touchable, there to be appreciated.
  • Really interesting artifacts organized by area of Ecuador. Not a lot of information about the artifacts sort of a warehouse. Left with more questions than I came with—not a bad thing. I think tours are available. Great gift shop. 2 dollar students, 4 dollar adults. Got a dollar off for being a teacher.
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