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The Tumbas Reales de Sipán Museum in Lambayeque, Peru


By Tony Dunnell
Peru Travel Expert, about.com

The Museo Tumbas Reales de Sipán is the best museum north of Lima and one of the finest in all Peru. Even if you’ve already seen enough museums to last a lifetime, the impressive architecture, the collection, and the overall presentation of Tumbas Reales will leave you certain that you’ve visited a truly world-class museum.

The Permanent Exhibition[post_ads_2]

The Museo Tumbas Reales de Sipán (Royal Tombs of Sipán Museum) was opened in November 2002 to house and display artifacts discovered during the excavation of the Huaca Rajada (Sipán) archaeological site.

The site, found in 1987 by Peruvian archaeologists Walter Alva Alva and Luis Chero Zurita, became an international sensation thanks to the riches discovered in the tomb of El Señor de Sipán, a Moche lord buried in lavish fashion. A total of 14 tombs have been found during the ongoing excavation, with most of the important artifacts going to the Museo Tumbas Reales (with some others staying at the on-site Museo de Sitio de Huaca Rajada-Sipán).

The museum currently holds more than 5,000 artifacts, including thousands of ceramic and metal pieces (including gold), as well as human and animal remains.
Key exhibits include the tomb of El Señor de Sipán, as well as the tombs of the Sacerdote (Priest) and the Viejo Señor de Sipán (Old Lord of Sipán) -- all recreated using the original artifacts from the Huaca Rajada site.

The Tumbas Reales Museum Building[post_ads_2]

The Museo Tumbas Reales de Sipán is instantly recognizable thanks to its impressive design, a form inspired by the truncated pyramids built by the Moche civilization. The red color of the building’s exterior, as well as the touches of yellow ochre, also reflects the typical coloration of Moche facades.

Visitors enter the museum through the third and highest floor, accessed by a large ramp that mirrors the ritual ramps often found at Moche archaeological sites. They then make their way through the museum -- guided or independently -- down through the second floor and finally the ground floor.

A guided tour is three times the prices of a standard adult ticket. A guide might not be necessary if you already have a working knowledge of the Moche culture and the civilizations of northern Peru. If not, you’ll certainly get a lot more out of the museum if you go with one of the highly knowledgeable guides.

Tumbas Reales de Sipán Location and Other Information[post_ads_2]

The Museo Tumbas Reales de Sipán is located in the city of Lambayeque in the Lambayeque Region of northern Peru. Most tourists stay in Chiclayo, which is only a few miles from Lambayeque, and visit Lambayeque as a daytrip. It’s easy to get between the two neighboring cities by local bus or taxi.

If you’re a big museum fan, it’s also worth visiting the Brüning Museum while you’re in Lambayeque. The Brüning Museum is one of four major museums located in the Lambayeque Region of Peru, and it’s just a few blocks from the Museo Tumbas Reales (you can also take photos in the Brüning Museum, something that’s prohibited in Tumbas Reales).


Museo Tumbas Reales de Sípan Visitor Information:
  • Address: Av. Juan Pablo Vizcardo y Guzmán 895, Lambayeque
  • Website: www.museotumbasrealessipan.pe
  • Email: tumbasdesipan@hotmail.com / tumbasdesipan@gmail.com
  • Phone: (051) 074-283977 / 074-283978
  • Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Entrance: adults S/.10; guided S/.30
  • Time required: two to four hours

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Travel Magazine: The Tumbas Reales de Sipán Museum in Lambayeque, Peru
The Tumbas Reales de Sipán Museum in Lambayeque, Peru
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