The biggest city in Peru and with an impressive historic and cultural past, it comes as no surprise that Lima is also home to the largest number of museum collections in the country. A huge diversity with exhibitions dedicated to anything from archaeology to modern art ensures that there is a museum for everybody in Lima. Here’s a small sampling of the must see highlights on your cultural tour through Peru.
The most highly recommended and our favorite Lima museum here at Encounter Latin America is Museo Larco. With no doubt, this is one of the must visits during your Lima stay, and a good way to get an overview of different periods and art forms. Founded in 1926 and housed in the 18th century mansion of the Spanish viceroy that itself was built on the foundations of a pre-Columbian pyramid it gives an overview of 3000 years of that same pre-Columbian culture through pottery, textiles and an impressive silver and gold collection. That it’s one of the few museums in the world where people can visit the parts of the collection not on regular display as well and that it’s surrounded by beautiful gardens may serve as the cherry on the cake.
Upon your arrival you’ll first enter to the regular galleries, which are chronologically organized, each room with its own color, theme and historical materials. You guide will accompany you during you complete visit, explaining and highlighting the most important elements of the collection. After the regular visit there’s time to walk through the amazing storage area of the museum, as said before this is one of the only museums that doesn’t only open their regular collection to the public, but also their storage rooms. These rooms include more than 45,000 archaeological objects, which were all found by Larco and his team of archaeologists.
After the museum visit you’ll continue to the restaurant, which is part of the complex. During a wonderful ‘tasting’ lunch you will sample the best of Peruvian Cuisine, while surrounded by the colorful gardens.
This museum is not located on the ‘regular’ tourist routes, but definitely worth a visit. Take some time to be drenched in history and culinary wonders during you visit to the Larco Museum and restaurant.
Other interesting museums for your Lima visit:
The National Museum of Anthropology, Archaeology and History
The National Museum of Anthropology, Archaeology and History (Plaza Bolivar) is the oldest museum in Peru and has the broad goal of documenting the country from its earliest history till the beginnings of the republic. South American independence fighters and national heroes in many countries Jose de San Martin and Simon Bolivar both lived here at different times as well.
For a change from the more classic museums, the Coleccion Nicolini (Avenida La Molina cuadra 37) supposedly houses the biggest collection of vintage and classic cars in South America ranging from 1901 to 1973. Restored in the own on site restoration shop, they are unique in that they are all in perfect running order and are often used in displays and shows outside of the museum.
Gold and Arms museums
The Gold and Arms museums (Alfonso de Molina 1100) finally are the combined dreams of a wealthy Peruvian businessman and private collector Miguel Gallo who founded them in 1968. A more commercial venture with all kinds of stores and souvenir shops in the gardens around the museum, both have impressive collections with more than 20,000 objects on exhibition. The Gold Museum especially was one of the most visited museums in the country up to a scandal in 2001 when it was discovered that a lot of the pieces were imitations that had been sold to the unwitting collector.
Lima the perfect city to start your Peru tour, learn about the pre-Columbian culture and history and don’t forget that Lima is considered the culinary capital of South America. Explorer it’s many excellent museums, historical sites, restaurants and markets on your Peru Vacation Package with Encounter Latin America.