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Musée Du Père Le Paige

Practical information on Musée Du Père Le Paige

  • Museums
3 / 5 - One review
How to get there
In San Pedro de Atacama
When to go

All year round

Minimum stay
A few hours

Reviews of Musée Du Père Le Paige

Caroline Gourmaud Seasoned Traveller
221 written opinions

The R. P. Gustavo Le Paige Archaeological Museum is dedicated to Atacama's indigenous people. It is the museum with the greatest number of ancient relics in the whole of Chili.

My suggestion:
Don't speak Spanish? Not a problem, the museum conducts guided tours in English.
My review

Open since 1957, the R. P. Gustavo Le Paige Archaeological Museum is located north of Chili, in the town of San Pedro de Atacama. Named in honour of Belgian missionary Father Gustavo Le Paige, the museum houses an unusual and surprising collection of items from the pre-Colombian era: ceramics, iron arrowheads, tools, utensils, gold coins and jewellery.

The entire collection belongs to the indigenous groups residing in the Atacama Desert, among them the Tiwanaku Indians, descendants of a  pre-Inca civilisation who dominated the southern half of the central Andes area from the 5th to the 11th century.

However the most important and impressive of the museum's treasures were the mummies, which are famous for being so incredibly well preserved. I say 'were' because unfortunately it is no longer possible to actually see the real mummies. The remains were returned to the region's indigenous people in order to be buried in accordance with their traditional rites. 

Of course it's no Louvre, but the R. P. Gustavo Le Paige Archaeological Museum is actually quite good for what it is. If you happen to visit San Pedro de Atacama when staying in Chili, don't miss the opportunity to have a look around, as it has a collection of more than 380,000 pre-Hispanic items!

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