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Home to the country’s finest collection of Pre-Colombian pots – and some naughty / NSFW works that make it worth the trip.

Named after Rafael Larco Hoyle (1901-1966), the collection houses 45,000 pieces in all in a former mansion. It’s easily one of the country’s finest collections, and allows you to look inside the storage rooms to see what’s not on display.

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A quipu / khipu, a large collection of knotted strings that may contain messages – no one as yet has decoded them, however.

To be sure, I’m skipping over or through a lot of stuff – the museum can easily keep you occupied for hours if you let it. It’s home to pottery, textiles, and a tiny piece of handmade cloth with 398 threads per square inch, a world record. Most exhibits here have Spanish, English, and French with Italian, German, and Japanese around on some panels as well.

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One highlight is the storage area – most museums have them, but very few allow the general public into them – and with no barriers between you and them! They’re tightly grouped and are obviously not to be touched, but there’s plenty of variety to take in.

OK, the kids and the squeamish can move on now – if you’ve brought them to the museum, you’ll be happy to know there’s no need to even show them the separate building that houses the erotic side of things.

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More than simply being erotica for the sake of being erotic, it’s thought these Moche-era pieces are a sort of ‘Kama Sutra’ preserved in the dominant form of art: pottery. Numbers near the exhibits correspond to pages in a laminated guide, though you find these to be unorganized. There’s plenty of humor and “mischievous allusions” in their worldview, as one sign puts it.

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Pregnancy is just one part of the life cycle…

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…as are some of the fun positions people can get themselves into.

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Yep, exaggerated in size just a little.

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It’s unclear how exactly this piece would have used..

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Beyond coitus with the living…? There’s coitus with the dead, naturally.

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It’s sometimes difficult to tell which characters are male and female…

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The signs do note the mischievous sense of humor – taking a drink out of some of these pots would have forced the drinker to put their lips on the head of the penis.

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Sex in all its forms.

Not pictured is the souvenir shop, which is a great place to pick up smaller replicas of the pottery you’ve seen here. Overall, there’s all kinds of fun times, even if it’s a little out of the way.

Name: Larco Museum / Museo Larco
Address: Av. Simón Bolivar 1515, Pueblo Libre, Lima, Peru (GPS: -12.072508, -77.070857)
Directions: From the popular Miraflores area, a series of buses are the cheapest way to arrive. Lima’s system is a bit chaotic, but in general, head west on Avenida del Ejercito along the waterfront until you reach Avenida Brasil or Avenida Antonio Jose de Sucre. If your bus continues on one of these roads, great – otherwise, jump off and take a second bus along one of these roads. Jump off when you get to Avenida Simon Bolivar (about 3-4 kilometers), then head left (west) onto Bolivar. You can jump on another bus, but it’s also about a 1 kilometer walk from the intersection.

Alternatively, a 15-20 minute taxi ride should get you there – do agree on a fare before jumping in.
Hours: 9:00am-10:00pm, open daily.
Admission: 30 soles, photos OK
Phone: +51 1 4611312
Website: www.museolarco.org

Ratings out of 5 globes (How do I rate destinations?)

Ease to arrive:

3globes

Foreigner-friendly:

4globes

Convenience facilities:

4globes

Worth the visit:

4globes

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