National Museum of Archaeology, Anthropology, and History
Lima is rife with fascinating museums, covering all manner of specialization, from history and archeology to art and anthropology. The National Museum of Archaeology, Anthropology, and History, in the Pueblo Libre district is a cultural space covering all bases. Housed in an old colonial mansion, the cultural space is the oldest state-run museum and features the country’s largest collection, with over 100,000 artifacts.
Opening 1826, the Museo Nacional Arqueología, Antropología e Historia Perú (MNAAH) offers a journey through Peruvian history. Its vast collection of ceramics, arrowheads, and jewelry date back thousands of years, and continues through special exhibits documenting the Spanish occupation that led to modern Peru. Within this all-encompassing museum are some of the world’s most important displays of traditional textile art and human skeletal remains—15,000, from 10,00 BC to AD 1500.
Travelers may explore the museum as part of an extended private tour of Lima’s top cultural spaces including the Larco Museum, which features the largest collection of pre-Columbian art in Peru. End this personalized and comprehensive journey through Peru’s entire history from antiquity to modern times, through art and artifacts with a Pisco sour.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Suitable for solo travelers, couples, and families.
- Admission is approximately US$4.
- English and Spanish tours are available; most exhibitions are in Spanish.
- Tours may include round trip hotel transfers and snacks. Check specific tours for details.
- The museum is connected to the Larco Museum via about a mile-long path.
How to Get There
The National Museum of Archaeology, Anthropology and History is located in Plaza Bolivar in the Pueblo Libre district. Take a taxi or public transportation. From Miraflores take bus # 8306 to the Óvalo stop; expect about a 35-minute ride. From farther south, in the Barranco area, take either bus #7501 to the Canevaro stop or #3707 to the Avenida Canadá stop.
When to Get There
The museum is open year-round, Tuesday - Saturday, from 9am—4pm, and on Sundays and holidays from 9am—3:30pm. In general, the best time to visit Lima is wintertime (May–September), when there is the least amount of rain, especially important if planning a trip to Cusco or trek to Machu Picchu. The summer months (December–March) are warmer, but wetter, and in Lima especially, quite foggy.
Thousands of Years of Civilizations In this 19th-century mansion, where independence heroes José San Martín and Simón Bolívar once lived, the history of the country is illustrated, by traveling Peruvian civilizations from prehistoric times to the colonial and republican periods; from the people of the Nazca, Paracas, Moche, and Chimú cultures to the Spanish conquest. One of the highlights is a replica of the Tello Obelisk, a prismatic granite monolith, one of the most intricate made, during the Early Horizon (900 BC to 200 BC) before metal tools.
- Things to do in Paracas
- Things to do in Ica
- Things to do in Huaraz
- Things to do in Sacred Valley
- Things to do in Cusco
- Things to do in Chiclayo
- Things to do in Arequipa
- Things to do in Puno
- Things to do in South Coast
- Things to do in North Coast
- Things to do in Altiplano
- Things to do in Amazon
- Things to do in Andes
- Larco Museum (Museo Larco)
- Church and Convent of Saint Francis (Iglesia y Convento de San Francisco)
- Park of the Reserve (Parque de la Reserva)
- Lima Cruise Port
- Huaca Huallamarca (Pan de Azucar)
- Magic Water Circuit
- Lima Art Museum (Museo de Arte de Lima - MALI)
- Love Park (Parque del Amor)
- San Isidro
- Plaza San Martin
- Palomino Island (Isla Palomino)
- Sanctuary of Las Nazarenas (Iglesia de las Nazarenas)
- San Pedro Church (Iglesia de San Pedro)
- Cathedral of Lima (Catedral de Lima)
- Lima Plaza Mayor