Five Top Museums in Lima, Peru

Things to Do — By Isabel Guerra on November 11, 2011 at 2:00 pm
museo rafael larco herrera lima peru

Museo Larco (Photo: Hesterr/Flickr)

A multicultural country with such a long history and so many different historic periods has many museums. However, there are a few that you don’t want to miss.

 Museo Rafael Larco Herrera:  it houses impressive collections of ancient Peruvian pottery and metalurgy, including the finest collection of silver and gold objects in Peru. It also has a famous collection, the “Sala Erótica” (“Erotic Hall”), dedicated to ancient pottery pieces depicting many sexual practices of Moche’s civilization. Remember: due to the extremely explicit nature of most of this particular collection, minors are not allowed in. But they can play in the Museum’s gardens and then the whole family can enjoy a delicious treat at the cafeteria.

Museo Nacional de Antropología, Arqueologia e Historia:  The oldest and the most important state-owned museum, it preserves more than 10,000 of artifacts: pottery, textiles, metal and stone objects, but also many testimonies, maps and other written and graphic documents from different historic periods. Located at a beautiful colonial manor house, it has been equipped with a virtual exhibition room, and also features a permanent exhibition on Amazonian cultures.

 Museo de Arte Religioso: This the museum located at the Lima Catedral, and is usually included in the Archbishoprics’ Palace entrance tickets (although, it’s optional, you may choose not visiting… but we suggest you do visit!). Whether you are a religious person or not, you will find that this place is well worth a visit, due to its invaluable collection of artistisc pieces; paintings, sculptures, religious ornaments and handicrafts, and historic documents.

Iglesia de San Francisco y Museo: San Francisco temple and monastery, located in Lima Downtown, too, represent some of the best of the Colonial Baroque, and houses many artistic treasures from Colonial times: but the main attraction here are the Catacombs, which were in fact the  first official Catholic cemetery in Lima: experts have not been able to estimate the number of burials that took place here, but it could range between 25,000 and 70,000, according to several different sources. One you’re done with the visit, you may have supper at the monastery’s small restaurant.

Museo Amano: Dedicated to the preservation of ancient textiles, this privately-run museum receives visitors only with a previously made telephonic appointment. The collection focuses specially on the Chancay culture and other ancient civilizations that used to live on the coastal areas, and the staff will give you a guided tour, showing you some of the most representatives pieces and explaining you some of the main facts related to this civilization. They will not charge you any fixed fee, but tips are expected.