MASP - Museu de Arte de São Paulo

South America boasts of a rich history, culture, and art. No doubt it is a home to many diverse and spectacular museums. To name a few, here are the top museums to visit when backpacking South America.

1# Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires

Among the finest museums in the world, MNBA houses the biggest collection of Argentine art which includes paintings, drawings, and sculptures created during the 19th and 20th century. It also features modernistic European art, as well as those dating back in the Renaissance period. Some of the very notable collections include works of Goya, Gauguin, and Manet. This is certainly one of the leading Argentina tourist attractions.

#2 Museo de Arte de Sao Paulo

This museum of art in Sao Paulo, Brazil houses over 8,000 works from various artists around the world. Aside from Brazilian art, these include European sculptures, paintings, engravings, and drawings, notably those coming from Italian, Spanish, and French schools. It also features some masterpieces from Dutch, English, and German artists.

#3 Museo de la Nación, Lima

If you want to take a glance of the art and history of the Incan people, this National Museum in Lima contains all the information you need. It holds thousands of artifacts from all civilizations that flourished Peru, including the ancient Moche, Wari and Nazca.

#4 El Museo del Oro, Bogota

Backpacking South America is truly remarkable with a visit in The Gold Museum. This extraordinary museum in Colombia holds over 20,000 pieces of gold, offering the largest collection of its kind in the world. It provides a visual history of the country from the pre-Colombian Era up until the conquest of Spaniards. The so-called “gold room” is perhaps the best attraction of the place, with 8,000 gold pieces on display that are sure to leave you breathless.

#5 Casa de la Moneda, Potosi

Also known as the National Mint, this museum in Potosi is the booklet of Bolivia’s history, art, and culture. Due to its rich silver mining, Potosi had once become a valuable city for the Spanish Empire. The exhibits at the museum do an excellent job in explaining the city’s history of silver mining.

#6 Museo Nacional del Banco Central, Quito

This National Museum in Quito, Ecuador offers a wide outlook of the country’s rich culture, history, and art. The section of Sala de Arqueología provides the most impressive display of artifacts dating back to 4,000 BC during the pre-Ceramic Era until the Inca Empire. Here, you can also find sections featuring colonial and modernistic art, as well as the Ecuadorian culture.

#7 Museo Nacional de Artes Visuales, Montevideo

Offering the largest collection of Uruguayan art, this small museum is one of the most important museums in Uruguay. It features creative display of the works of local artists such as Joaquín Torres García, Carlos Federico Sáez, Rafael Barradas, Juan Manuel Blanes, as well as Pablo Serrano, one of the most celebrated artists in the country who had significant contributions to Uruguayan art.

#8 Chilean Museum of Precolombian Art, Santiago

A must-visit for history buffs, this unique museum was founded by Chilean architect Sergio Larraín García-Moreno. He collected pieces of indigenous art over a period of 50 years from all over Latin America, which are displayed here.

#9 Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Caracas

This Venezuelan museum is situated along the central park of Caracas. It features a small number, but high quality works by modern artists such as Picasso, Francis Bacon, and Henry Moore. It also contains the works of Venezuelan master Jesus Soto.

Add a little culture, art, and history to your backpacking South America trip by visiting these museums.