When you're visiting somewhere new, there are lots of different ways that you can experience that place, what it is now and what it used to be. If you're visiting a country with a history as rich as Peru then it is a good idea to take in some sites that will help you understand all of the different things that have taken place here. You can do that by looking into some local museums. You might find one in a smaller town that is devoted to one element of the culture and some that are in the large cities that might show you everything from art created by famous local painters to artifacts from hundreds of years ago.
There are several museums that might be of interest to those people who are going to be in Lima. The world's largest collection of pre-Columbian art is located at the Museo Arqueologico Nacional, which has more than 45,000 pieces. If you're interested in decorative art then you also might want to check out the Museo de la Nacion. This is the national museum and will take you through everything from the early inhabitants of the country all the way up to the time of the Inca Empire. Convento y Museo de San Francisco is also located in Lima and is a 17th century church in a Baroque style. If you like older architecture rather than modern art this might be a great place to visit.
Cusco also has a 17th century convent that has now been turned into a great local museum. It is called the Convento y Museo de Santa Catalina and this has a great collection of colonial and religious pieces that are more impressive then most of the contemporary art that you will see today. This city is also home to the Museo de Arte Precolumbino and has place for some of the pieces that do not fit on the walls at the Larco Herrera.
Those that are in Nasca might want to check out the Museo Antonini, which is a private museum that focuses on archeology. There is an ancient canal behind the museum and there are many painted textiles that you will find inside. Arequipa has two great museums in the Monasterio de Santa Catalina and the Museo Santuarios Andinos. The first of these is a religious monument that has been around since the 16th century and the latter is all about Juanita, the Ice Maiden of Ampato. This is one of the greatest stories in Peru and is definitely going to show you things that you won't see in average art galleries all over the world.