Museo Nacional de Chavín

Huaraz & the Cordilleras

This outstanding museum, funded jointly by the Peruvian and Japanese governments, houses most of the intricate tenon heads carved with horror-stricken expressions from Chavín de Huántar, as well as the magnificent Tello Obelisk, another stone object of worship with low relief carvings of a caiman and other fierce animals. The obelisk had been housed in a Lima museum since the 1945 earthquake that destroyed much of the original museum, and was only returned to Chavín in 2008.

The museum is located around 2km from the ruins on the north side of town – an easy 25-minute walk.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Huaraz & the Cordilleras attractions

1. Mirador de Shallapa

0.96 MILES

After admiring the Chavin ruins from ground (and underground) level, you can climb up to this trio of crosses grafted onto a crag high above town for a…

2. Chavín de Huántar

1.14 MILES

In most people's minds, Chavín is less a town and more a set of ruins – not any old ruins, but the erstwhile ceremonial center of one of Peru's most…

3. Laguna Purhuay

18.14 MILES

In a scoop of a valley 8km above Huari and just inside the Parque Nacional Huascarán, this idyllic lake is well set up for day excursions, but is…

4. Huellas de los Dinosaurios

20.34 MILES

When the Antamina Mining Company needed a paved road to move mining equipment from Yanacancha to the Conococha crossroads (some 200km east of Huaraz),…

5. Pastoruri Glacier

23.17 MILES

Still hanging on by the skin of its teeth high up in the Cordillera Blanca, the rapidly retreating Pastoruri glacier is one of the few remaining glaciers…

6. Mirador de Retaqeñua

23.2 MILES

Mirador de Retaqeñua is about a 45-minute walk southeast of the center and has great views of the city and its mountainous backdrop. Unfortunately,…

7. Jirón José Olaya

23.62 MILES

On the east side of town, Jirón José Olaya is the only street that remained intact through the earthquakes and provides a glimpse of what old Huaraz…

8. Monumento Nacional Wilkahuaín

23.65 MILES

This small Wari ruin about 8km north of Huaraz is remarkably well preserved, dating from about AD 600 to 900. It’s an imitation of the temple at Chavín…