Day 379: La Casa Concha + Inca Museum

Neither museum lets you take photographs inside. So, there went my plans for today’s minute. Luckily there are what feels like a bajillion women and young girls milling about Cusco asking if you want to buy something, or get your picture taken with them. Andrew and I were sitting in the Plaza of San Blas soaking up the sun after Español, when this woman decided to join us. She tied her portable loom (not womb, like I almost say in the video) to our bench, sat down, and went to work weaving a new belt. She had a bag full of them she was trying to sell. We humored her, watched for a little while, and gave her a little tip before we left for La Casa Concha, or more informally; The Machu Picchu Museum.

We actually went to La Casa Concha and the Inca Museum on two different afternoons. We heard the Inca Museum wasn’t great, so we decided to check out La Casa Concha first, mostly after reading this Peru Travel post about the museum dedicated to Machu Picchu raving about how much better it was than most museums in Peru. It has a more modern feel to it, thanks to the life-like dioramas, videos, and English descriptions. However, despite having ten exhibition rooms, the rooms are often bare and while the museum suggests two hours for your visit, I think Andrew and I were in and out in an hour tops. It was nice, but I cannot stress enough how bare we thought it was and definitely not worth the entry fee.

Another afternoon, we decided we may as well check out the Inca Museum. When in Cusco… This museum was much bigger, had a lot more to offer than ten half-filled exhibition rooms… but it’s in desperate need of some updating. I wish these two museums had combined forces to make one really great museum. Neither is better than the other… they are just different. La Casa Concha is more modern however, offers less. The Inca Museum is quite large and has a LOT to offer, but it’s poorly organized, poorly displayed, and at times even dusty! It kinda felt like a school science fair with an Inca theme. Some displays were great, you could tell the smartest kid put forth some effort… But others weren’t so great and I felt sorry that such an interesting culture was being displayed so poorly. I almost wished I would have spent my money on a really great Inca and Machu Picchu book instead of entry to the two museums. If only I had spare room in my bag!

At least our dinner more than made up for the lackluster museum visits this week. Yep, in case you can’t tell, that’s not Peruvian you’re looking down on… Andrew found a Korean restaurant for us to try! And it was spectacular. By far the best Korean food we’ve had on this trip. If you’re in Cusco, you have to take a night off of eating ceviche (I know, it’s a hard thing to do) and try Sa Rang Che Restaurant. My mouth was blissfully burning just like it would in Seoul. Before we left, the owner came out to talk to us about a problem with the credit card machine. She was Korean, speaking to us in Spanish. We in turn, told her we understood, and wished her a Happy Chuseok, in Korean. Then there was a flurry of Spanish, Korean, and even a little bit of English. We walked out, and Andrew and I exchanged a look that somehow summed up how incredibly strange it was to be in Peru, speaking Spanish and Korean simultaneously.