Here are some of the best museums to visit in Lima on your Peru tour. When planning a Peru vacation, most travelers have Machu Picchu at the top of their itinerary. However, the capital city of Lima is also home to a wealth of cultural and historical treasures that should not be missed. From pre-Columbian artifacts to contemporary art, Lima’s museums offer a glimpse into the country’s rich past and present.
Photo: Luis Gamero / PROMPERÚ
The National Museum of Anthropology, Archaeology, and History is a must-see for anyone interested in Peru’s pre-Columbian history. The museum’s collection includes more than 100,000 artifacts, including ceramics, textiles, and metalwork, from various ancient cultures such as the Moche, Nazca, and Inca. The highlight of the museum is the impressive collection of ceramics from the Moche culture, which flourished on the northern coast of Peru from 100 AD to 800 AD. The museum also has a section dedicated to the Incas, including a replica of a royal Inca tomb and a collection of Inca textiles.
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The Museum of the Nation is another important museum for those interested in Peru’s history. The museum covers the period from the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors to the present day. The museum’s collection includes artifacts from the pre-Columbian era, colonial art, and a collection of artifacts from the War of the Pacific (1879-1883) between Peru, Chile, and Bolivia. The museum’s most notable piece is the mummy of an Inca child, who was sacrificed as an offering to the gods during the reign of the Inca emperor, Huayna Capac.
Photo: Musuk Nolte / PROMPERÚ
The Museum of Art, also known as the Ricardo Palma Museum, is a great place to see the works of Peru’s most famous artists. The museum’s collection includes paintings and sculptures by artists such as José Sabogal, Felipe Pinglo, and Francisco Zegarra. The museum also has a section dedicated to the works of the Peruvian artist and writer, César Vallejo. The museum’s highlight is the “El ángel exterminador” (The Exterminating Angel) painting by Francisco Zegarra.
The Gold Museum is a must-see for anyone interested in the art and craftsmanship of ancient Peruvian cultures. The museum’s collection includes more than 4,000 pieces of gold, silver, and copper objects from various ancient cultures such as the Moche, Nazca, and Inca. The museum’s highlight is the collection of Moche gold and silver objects, which are considered to be some of the finest examples of ancient American metalwork.
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In the entire American continent, there is no other house where the same family has continuously lived since the city’s official foundation. The Aliaga family, for instance, has resided in the same home for 16 generations and over 480 years. Apart from its remarkable family history, Casa Aliaga is a valuable example of viceregal and republican architecture. Its rooms display the popular styles that prevailed in Lima from the 17th to the 19th centuries. The house is also adorned with a significant art collection, enhancing its overall beauty.
If you plan to visit the house, it’s important to remember that simply approaching and knocking on the door won’t suffice. As it is the family’s private residence rather than an open museum, it is crucial to make a reservation and engage an Official Tour Guide to accompany and conduct the visit. The house’s website provides a list of recommended guides, or you can alternatively contact Oscar Oviedo, the creator of the Museos de Lima website and an Official Tour Guide, to inquire about their availability.
Lima is home to a wealth of cultural and historical treasures that should not be missed on your Peru tour. The National Museum of Anthropology, Archaeology, and History, the Museum of the Nation, the Museum of Art, and the Gold Museum are some of the best museums to visit in Lima. These museums offer a glimpse into Peru’s rich past and present and are sure to enhance your understanding and appreciation of the country’s culture and history.
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