From the colonial grandeur of the Plaza de Armas to its pre-Columbian huacas (ruins, often tombs), Lima serves up a melting pot of Peruvian culture and history, but the city’s proud heritage is also on display at its many museums. Here are some of the best.
Lima’s many museums showcase Peruvian culture and history with pride and prestige. Beyond the capital’s other don’t miss cultural attractions, including its pre-Columbian huacas (ruins, often tombs) and the grand Plaza de Armas, here are some of the best museums in which to explore the city’s rich heritage.
Larco Museum (Museo Larco)
The Larco Museum (Museo Arqueologico Rafael Larco Herrera), one of the city’s most famous, is set in a magnificent 18th-century mansion that today houses a vast assemblage of pre-Columbian artifacts and ancient ceramics, including the world’s largest private collection of pre-Columbian art. Combine your visit to the Larco Museum with a city sightseeing tour, dinner, or a guided visit to the Magic Water Circuit sound and light show within Lima’s Park of the Reserve (Parque de la Reserva).
Osma Museum (Museo Pedro de Osma)
Set in an exquisite beaux-arts mansion, the Osma Museum showcases one of the world’s top collections of colonial furniture, housewares, and silver, with pieces dating back to the 16th century, plus lovely Peruvian paintings from the same time period. Visit the museum as part of a tour through the bohemian neighborhood of Barranco.
Gold of Peru Museum (Museo del Oro)
Among the most mesmerizing museum collections in Lima is the Gold of Peru Museum’s glittering display of pre-Inca and Inca gold, silver, and brass. Some 8,000 pieces highlight Nazca, Icna, Vicus, and Moche cultures. Combine your museum visit with a stop at the nearby Arms of the World Museum (Museo Armas del Mundo). Here you can admire one of the most comprehensive weapons collections in South America, comprising approximately 20,000 weapons from various time periods and regions across the globe.
Lima Art Museum (Museo de Arte de Lima)
Nicknamed MALI, the Lima Art Museum sits within a recently renovated beaux-arts building, and its collection highlights fine art from the pre-Columbian to contemporary periods. The 17,000 pieces represent more than 3,000 years of art history, making it a must-see for art lovers visiting the Peruvian capital.