Lima: 10 Things to Do

4. Larco Museum

Travel Guide Lima Lyndsay Ruell
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There are many public and private museums in Lima, but none as unique or pleasing as the Larco Museum. Housed in a former mansion, itself built on the site of a pre-Columbian temple, the museum offers a varied collection of 3,000 years of ceramic, textile and precious metal artifacts. There are also mummies that show off the different ways ancient cultures, including the Incas, preserved their dead.

Two things really set this museum apart. First, visitors are allowed into the museum's store rooms to see what's not on display: a vast array of ceramic objects crafted by ancient Peruvians; there are tens of thousands of pots in the shapes of animals, plants and people. Second, there's a special room devoted to erotic archaeological treasures. These are not your run-of-the-mill phallic symbols, but a collection of ceramic pots portraying a variety of sexual positions and acts — the Kama Sutra in clay, basically. Many such erotic pots were destroyed by Spanish conquerors, who were mortified by the explicit depictions, which makes this collection all the more important.

The Larco Museum is about 25 minutes by taxi from San Isidro/Miraflores. It's open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily; admission is $11.50.

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