This list of 5 fantastic museums are a must while you are visiting Lima, Peru. There is no better way to spend some free time in Lima than to visit their colorful museums, full of history and art. There is also one museum I think you should skip for now. Don’t get me wrong, it is a beautiful museum, but right now most of its expositions are closed to the public due to renovations.
If you are looking for the best museums when traveling to Lima, Peru you need not look further this concise guide to tell where to go and what you can expect to see.
1. Museo Arqueologico Rafael Larco Herrera
The Larco Museum in the Pueblo Libre District in Lima was established in 1926. Best known for its erotic pottery from the Pre-Columbian era, this privately-owned museum has 4,000 of Peruvian history on display.
You can expect to a wide array of ancient objects including headdresses, masks, jewelry, pottery and pitchers used in ancient ceremonies. The museum building itself is also something to behold making this museum a definite must-see.
Address: Av. Bolivar 1515, Pueblo Libre, Lima 21 – Perú
Phone: (+511) 461-1312, 461-1835 or 461-5640
Visiting Hours: Monday – Sunday 9 am. To 10 pm.
2. Museo Nacional de Arqueologia, Antropologia e Historia del Peru
Smaller than the Museum of the Nation, the Peruvian National Museum of Archaeology, Anthropology and History is the oldest and one of the topmost history museums in Lima. The colonial building in the Pueblo Libre District incorporates the home of Simon Bolivar and Jose de San Martin.
With over 100 thousand artifacts on display, you will learn about the entire history of people that lived in what we know as Peru today. You can anticipate tools made from stone, figurines, metalwork, and extensive assortment of textiles, ceramics and more Favored tourist attractions to the museum include the Tello Obelisk from Chavin de Huantar, the Raimondi Stele, a striking scale model of the famous Incan Machu Picchu and art from the Cusqueña School.
Address: Plaza Bolivar s/n Pueblo Libre.
Phone: (+511) 321-5630
Mon – Sat: 8:45 a. m. a 5:00 p. m. (ticket sale closes at 4pm.)
Sun – Holidays: 8:45 a. m. a 4:00 p. m. (ticket sale closes at 3:30pm.)
3. The Lima Art Museum (MALI)
Set in an eye-catching building of beaux-arts architecture in the Distrito de Lima, MALI has been recently renovated to include a contemporary art wing in the basement which displays modern painting and photography.
This chief art museum has over 12,000 exhibits in the museum which span over 3,000 years of culture in Peru years ranging from Pre-Columbian and Columbian artworks to Republican and Colonial textiles, ceramics, silverware, and furniture
Address: Paseo Colón 125, Parque de la Exposicion, Lima 1, Perú
Phone: (+511) 204-0000
Visiting Hours: Tuesday – Sunday: 10 am. to 7 pm. Saturday open only until 5 pm.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or http://www.mali.pe/contactenos.php
4. Mario Testino Museum (MATA)
If you are looking for something more modern, then you should definitely plan to go to the MATA in the center of the thriving cultural Barranco District. The museum is housed in an attractively restored townhouse dating back to the 19th century.
This museum was specially opened in 2012 to display the photographs of the famous Mario Testino. MATA is a non-profit institution that also endeavors to encourage and support local talent in Peru by regularly hosting temporary displays showcasing their work. They also offer photographs and contemporary art from various international artists.
Address: Av. Pedro de Osma 409, Barranco Lima 4. Peru
Phone: (+511) 200-5400
Visiting Hours: Monday (closed), Tuesday – Sunday: 10 am. to 7 pm.
5. Pedro de Osma Museum
The marvelous Pedro de Osma Museum built in 1906 in a diverse French Style was once the home the Osma family. On display at the museum is the personal art collection of Pedro de Osma Gildmeister. This is an extensive collection of 16th to 19th-century Peruvian art highlights many different styles and techniques of the time.
Address: Av. Pedro de Osma 421, Barranco
Phone: (+511) 467-0063
Visiting Hours: Tuesday to Sunday: 10 am. to 6 pm.
Which Museum Should You Skip?
Museo de la Nacion
The Museum of the Nation houses thousands of relics from various Peruvian cultures such as Moche, Wari and Nazca people. The most famous items to view at the Museum of the Nation is the Revolt of the Objects Mural, the Lazón from Chavin de Huantar, and a reproduction of the Lord of Sipan’s burial chamber.
Sadly, most of the Museo de la Nacion has been closed to the public for some time now (it was still closed as of this writing, March 2017) and only few expositions remained, but disappointedly might not have English available, so skip this Museum for now.