Museo Santuarios Andinos
La Merced, Arequipa, Peru
Museo Santuarios Andinos Arequipa Reviews
You see a real Inca mummy! Doesn't get better than that! Dec 04, 2013
First off, this will be my first review without pictures because none are allowed inside. I really didn't bother taking one of the museum from outside because it looks like any other colourful building.
So, the Museo Santuarios Andinos aka the Juanita museum is just incredible, and will go down as one of the most powerful things I've seen in my life. All through the trip we heard about Incas, we saw pictures of them and displays of their artifacts....but now, to actually see a mummy?! A real mummy! Way cool!
So, let's get down to the basics - you can't tour the museum on your own. There are guided tours that leave twice on the hour and the guides speak very good English. You have to tip them, usually 10 soles is the going price. The tour lasts for about an hour?
They start with a video presentation on how the German Johann discovered the body (and hence came to be known as Juanita). The two things that struck me was 1) how well the body (except the head) has been so well preserved because she was sitting inside a pool of ice when they discovered her and 2) how they had to send the body to the US to do a scan to figure out what had happened - did she die of natural causes? Turns out NO - she died from a blow to her head (which sounds very sacrificial).
After the video, the guide walked us into the first of 2 rooms. In the first room, it was nothing we haven't seen before. The same selection of pots and jewels, but the focus here was how they were all paired. They also have bare slippers the Inca men used to go up the mountain to leave the girl's body (wow, the slippers look so bare. Compare it to my 150$ REI hiking shoes!).
And then you walk into the 2nd room and THE MOMENT IS HERE! Yes, the body! It was something! I'd never seen a real mummy before. It's really protected, like think of it as this thick incubation box. Juanita was all wired up, it looked like someone in the ICU. But more importantly, for a teenage girl, she was so bloody tiny! Apparently there was another mummy discovered (whom they've also named Juanita) and the 2 mummies kind of interchange between the museum and a lab (for 6 months). When I asked them where the other mummy was, I didn't get any response. Mum's indeed the word!
Anyway overall, GREAT GREAT experience. This, and the Monastery are the 2 redeeming features of this otherwise commercial and not so exciting city.
Part of the Peru travel blog
5 / 5 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!