The 10 Best Museums in Callao

Imagine stepping into a world where history, art, and culture collide, creating a vibrant tapestry that tells the story of a city’s soul. That’s exactly what you’ll experience when you explore the museums in Callao, Peru. Each museum is a treasure trove of knowledge, waiting to be discovered. So, let’s embark on a journey through the top 10 museums that are the heart and pride of Callao.

Real Felipe Fortress Military Museum

Standing guard at the entrance of Callao’s port, the Real Felipe Fortress is not just a bastion of history; it’s a living museum. As you wander through its ancient halls, you’ll be transported back to the times when pirates and corsairs were a real threat. The museum showcases Peru’s military history, with exhibits that include colonial-era cannons and uniforms that whisper tales of bravery.

Museo Naval del Perú

For those fascinated by maritime exploits, the Museo Naval del Perú is a must-visit. Housed in a historic building, it chronicles the Peruvian Navy’s past with artifacts that have sailed through time. You’ll find model ships, nautical instruments, and even remnants of the War of the Pacific. It’s a deep dive into the naval heritage that has shaped Callao.

Museo de Sitio Naval Submarino Abtao

Ever wondered what life under the sea would be like? The Submarine Abtao Museum offers a unique glimpse into the life of submariners. Climb aboard the Abtao, a real submarine, and feel the thrill of being in a confined space, surrounded by the tools of underwater navigation. It’s an immersive experience that’s both educational and exhilarating.

Museo del Ejército Fortaleza del Real Felipe

Back at the Real Felipe Fortress, the Army Museum awaits. Here, you’ll find a collection that honors the Peruvian Army’s history. From antique firearms to detailed dioramas of historic battles, the museum paints a picture of the military’s evolution over the centuries. It’s a salute to the soldiers who have defended the nation.

Museo de Arte Contemporáneo MAC – Lima

Art lovers, rejoice! The MAC in Lima, a short drive from Callao, is a contemporary art haven. With rotating exhibitions featuring both local and international artists, the museum is a canvas for creativity. The modern architecture itself is a work of art, making it a perfect backdrop for the masterpieces within.

Museo de la Nación

While not in Callao, the Museo de la Nación in nearby Lima is too significant to omit. It’s a comprehensive repository of Peruvian culture, showcasing artifacts from ancient civilizations to the present day. The museum offers a narrative of Peru’s rich history, with exhibits that include textiles, pottery, and goldwork.

Museo Larco

Another gem in the neighboring city of Lima, Museo Larco, invites visitors to explore over 5,000 years of Peruvian history. The museum is renowned for its exquisite collection of pre-Columbian art, including the world’s largest assortment of erotic pottery. The beautifully landscaped gardens are the cherry on top of this cultural feast.

Museo Nacional de Arqueología, Antropología e Historia del Perú

As Peru’s oldest state museum, this institution is a testament to the country’s archaeological, anthropological, and historical legacy. Located in Lima, it’s home to an extensive collection that includes the famous Tello Obelisk and the Paracas textiles. It’s a journey through time that you won’t want to miss.

Museo Pedro de Osma

In the Barranco district of Lima, the Museo Pedro de Osma showcases Peruvian colonial art in a setting that’s as elegant as the pieces it houses. The museum’s collection includes paintings, silverware, and furniture from the 16th to the 19th centuries, all displayed in a stunning mansion surrounded by lush gardens.

MATE – Museo Mario Testino

Last but not least, MATE – Museo Mario Testino is a contemporary space dedicated to the works of Peru’s most famous photographer. Located in Lima’s Barranco district, it features an impressive collection of Testino’s fashion and portrait photography, as well as temporary exhibitions that highlight emerging artists.


  • What are the opening hours for the museums in Callao?

    Most museums in Callao are open from Tuesday to Sunday, typically starting at 9 or 10 AM and closing around 5 or 6 PM. However, it’s always best to check the specific museum’s website or call ahead for the most accurate information.

  • Are there any combined tickets available for multiple museums?

    While there isn’t a combined ticket for all museums, some museums offer joint tickets with nearby attractions. It’s worth inquiring at the ticket office or online to snag a deal.

  • Can I take photographs inside the museums?

    Photography policies vary from museum to museum. Some allow photography without flash, while others may have restrictions or require a special permit. Always check the museum’s guidelines before snapping away.


Callao’s museums are a testament to the city’s rich tapestry of history, culture, and art. From the military might displayed at the Real Felipe Fortress to the contemporary masterpieces at MAC Lima, there’s a museum to satisfy every curiosity. These institutions not only preserve the past but also inspire future generations. Whether you’re a history buff, art aficionado, or simply looking for an enriching experience, the museums in Callao offer a window into the soul of Peru. So, next time you’re in town, make sure to add these cultural jewels to your itinerary and immerse yourself in the stories they have to tell.

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