Chilean Museum of Pre-Colombian Art
The Chilean Museum of Pre-Colombian Art is housed in the old Royal Customs House in Santiago. The collection is impressively large compared to many other museums in a similar vein, and it spans 4,500 years and about 80 pre-Colombian civilisations of South America. The Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino is a fascinating place to spend a few hours and is a great find for art and history enthusiasts. The exhibit displays are well lit and beautifully arranged throughout four rooms set around a central courtyard. The collection provides an informative insight into the cultures of the Incas, Mayans, Aztecs and other once proud civilisations of the continent, illustrating their artistic diversity. It is worth paying a bit extra for a guided tour though, because the labels are not translated into many languages and are not as comprehensive as some might like. Having said that, the museum is a worthwhile attraction in Santiago, especially if travellers are not familiar with the intriguing ancient cultures on display.
Address: Calle Bandera 361
Telephone: (0)2 688 7348
Transport: Metro to Plaza de Armas
Opening times: Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 6pm. Free guided tours are offered Tuesday to Friday at 1pm and 5pm, and Saturday 10am to 2pm (advance registration required)
Admission: CLP 6,000