El “Museo de la Nacion” (National Museum), located in Avenida Javier Prado Este 2465, San Borja district, in Lima, Peru, is one of the most complete museums in Lima displaying the chronological cultural evolution of Peru. Not an easy task if you take into consideration that civilizations in Peru like Caral, located north of Lima, was inhabited between 3000 BC and 2000 BC is considered one of the most ancient cities of the Americas and possibly the entire world, achieving a metropolis status around the same time that Egypt’s great pyramids were being build.
The exhibitions are ordered chronologically and following the flow of the floors will take you from different areas depicting the life of the first inhabitants that lived in the coast of Peru (14000 BC), Caral (3000 BC), Chavin (1100 BC – 700 BC), Nazca (100 BC – 500 AD), Moche (100 AD – 500 AD), Wari (500 AD – 1000 AD), Chimu (1450 AD), culminating with the majestic Inca Empire (1432 AD – 1532 AD).
There are lots of scale models in El Museo de la Nacion representing most of the major ruins, temples and archeological sites in Peru. There are also displays that replicate the Tomb of the Señor de Sipan (Lord of Sipan). Besides the many ceramics you will also find fine examples of metallurgic objects, textiles and many utensils used by the early Peruvians in their daily activities.
To get to El Museo de la Nacion you need to find your way to Avenida Javier Prado. From Miraflores and Lima you can take any of the buses displaying the “Todo Arequipa” sticker, and once there find a “Todo Javier Prado” bus or combi. An easier way is to take a taxi, which can cost between $3 and $4. Do yourself a favor and hire a tour guide, this will help you make better use of your time and visit every important exhibit. El Museo de la Nacion is a big building with many exhibitions, is normal for a complete tour to take between 2 to 3 hours. To get some rest there is a cafeteria and a bookstore in the lower level.
Hours: Tuesday to Sunday (9 am to 5 pm)
Closed major holidays
Cost: 7 Nuevos Soles