We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Shrunken Heads...”

Pumapungo Museum and Arqueological Park - MCYP
Ranked #9 of 177 things to do in Cuenca
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: The Museum and Ancestral Park of Pumapungo, are the two main elements that conform the cultural complex administered by Ecuador's Culture and Heritage Ministry in the city of Cuenca. These are public spaces, open to a variety of cultural activities, projects, and initiatives, that have a very profound meaning for Cuenca's citizens. Pumapungo Museum has a lot of different components. It has seven temporary exhibition rooms were a wide diversity of exhibitions are produced: art, history, photography, sculpture are some of them. It also has an archeology exhibition room - site museum, where the development of society is explained through time, as well as the Inca occupation and findings at the Pumapungo archeological site. In addition, the museum exhibits the national ethnography room, where Ecuador's multicultural diversity is displayed through vivid representations of every day's life, dresses, instruments and images. The museum also counts with a library and historic archive; both open for free and open access from the public, art, archeology and ethnography reserves, which are available for students as well as for national and international investigators. In total, the complex conserves around 160.000 cultural and heritage goods. Another important component of the cultural complex is the Ancestral Park. There are three main elements: The archeological park, where visitors can appreciate the remains of the once most important administrative, military and religious center of the northern part of the Inca Empire; the Ethnobotanic park, with more than 230 species of native Andean plants and trees, this space has become the last native ecological niche in the center of Cuenca, and it is the reason why it is visited by more than 30 local species of birds daily. The park is also a very important space for educational activities aimed at illustrate ancestral knowledge and traditions. The bird rescue center is the last element of Pumapungo's Ancestral Park. At the moment it contains about 200 birds of around 25 species. It complements the whole educative content of the park, as this animals are filled with significance and myths of our ancestors. We work together with the Ministry of environment to fight against the illicit traffic of native species. In this area we cure and feed the birds that are brought by the competent authorities. After the birds have reached its optimal shape, we coordinate its liberation in the birds original environment. Shamefully, in most of the cases, this liberation process is not possible, as the birds have suffered from irreversible injuries, and conditioning of their behavior. The park has a full time 13 people team, that carry the traditional knowledge needed to attend all of its areas. Biologists, veterinarians, agronomic engineers, are amongst them.
Reviewed February 13, 2013

My favorite museum in Ecuador.

I love the way the exhibits for the various tribes & groups from the different regions of Ecuador. Many exhibits feature a life size traditional home from the region. They include life size mannequins dressed in traditional clothing. 1 exhibit has a mannequin band playing traditional instruments.

1 unique exhibit has shrunken heads from a group that followed this practice until fairly recently.

Definitely worth a visit.

Thank jsaul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (728)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
  • More languages
All reviews
"shrunken heads"
in 44 reviews
"inca ruins"
in 33 reviews
"bird sanctuary"
in 13 reviews
"great displays"
in 5 reviews
"central bank"
in 11 reviews
"ethnic groups"
in 6 reviews
in 9 reviews
"three floors"
in 5 reviews
"cultural history"
in 6 reviews
"native birds"
in 6 reviews
"main floor"
in 6 reviews
"different areas"
in 6 reviews
"indigenous peoples"
in 7 reviews
"free entrance"
in 5 reviews
"archaeological site"
in 5 reviews
"few hours"
in 9 reviews
"couple of hours"
in 8 reviews

364 - 368 of 728 reviews

Reviewed January 29, 2013

Well laid out, with an easy to follow path directing visitors through the many very interesting exhibits of the various indigenous groups in Ecuador. Also, an excellent photographic exhibit of Machu Pichu, and a silver and gold exhibit. A highlight was certainly the shrunken heads on display.

Thank aurayah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 28, 2013

If you like coin and note collections you wont be dissappointed as this has everything dating back to year1.

Thank mycityofsydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 25, 2013

This museum is definitely worth a stop. The museum also had a great exhibit by a modern painter and we all enjoyed the botanical gardens and aviaries.

Thank Diana5101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
See more reviews
Reviewed January 23, 2013

The collection is magnificent, including the temporary exhibits. Don't forget to leave time for the ruins out back, and the wonderful gardens that were not mentioned in our guidebook. Good for spotting birds.

Thank melano
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Pumapungo Museum and Arqueological Park - MCYP also viewed


Been to Pumapungo Museum and Arqueological Park - MCYP? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing