When compared to cities like Trujillo and Cuzco with their wealth of archaeology, modern day Lima can sometimes seem like a city without a past. For what it lacks in ruins, however, it more than makes up for with its fascinating museums and collection of ancient artifacts. At the National Museum of Archaeology, Anthropology, and History, visitors can easily spend 2-3 hours exploring the trove of artifacts. In fact, not only do the 100,000 artifacts comprise the largest collection in Peru, but seeing as the museum was first opened back in 1826, it’s also the oldest state run museum anywhere in Peru. During your stroll through Peruvian history, look at ceramics, arrowheads, and jewelry that date back thousands of years, and read through exhibits of the Spanish occupation that led to modern Peru. Browse through one of the world’s most important displays of traditional textile art, or ogle at over 15,000 human skeletal remains. This one stop shop for Peruvian history can rival any museum in Peru, and along with the nearby Larco Museum, is the best way to explore the past when visiting Lima today.
The National Museum of Archaeology, Anthropology, and History is located in Plaza Bolivar in the Pueblo Libre district. The museum is open on Tuesday-Saturday from 9am-4pm, and on Sundays and holidays from 9am-3:30pm. Admission is approximately $3-$4, and English tours are available.