The Museo Arqueologico Nacional Brüning, located in the town of Lambayeque on the north coast of Peru, was once the preeminent museum in the north of the country. Lambayeque’s larger, more modern Museo Tumbas Reales de Sípan has since stolen top spot from its neighbor, but the Brüning Museum remains a worthy destination in its own right.
The museum was built around the collection of Hans Heinrich Brüning Brookstedt (1848-1928), a Peruvian archaeologist of German descent. Today, the collection includes metal, ceramic and textile artifacts from the region’s pre-Inca civilizations, such as the Mochica (Moche), Wari, Lambayeque and Chimú cultures.
The town of Lambayeque is located just a few miles north of Chiclayo, a more popular base for travelers. You can visit both the Brüning Museum and Museo Tumbas Reales de Sípan as an easy day trip from Chiclayo (tours from Chiclayo are available, but it’s easy enough to go independently).
The Brüning Museum is open every day from 9 am to 5 pm. There is an S/.8 (US$3) entrance fee; English-speaking guides are available for S/.20 (US$7.30). The museum is short on written information, so a guide is a good option (if you can find one -- they seem to be scarce at times).
The Brüning Museum has one distinct advantage over the more formal Museo Tumbas Reales de Sípan. While the latter has a strict no photography policy, the former lets you snap away to your heart’s content...