Pre-Columbian and Indigenous Art Museum (MAPI)
Dive into Latin America’s ancient history at the award-winning Pre-Columbian and Indigenous Art Museum (MAPI). Small but comprehensive, with more than 700 artworks and artifacts in its permanent collection; it’s one of Montevideo’s most important archaeological museums.
Explore the museum’s two permanent exhibition halls, which feature artifacts from all around Latin America and offer insight into the continent's many indigenous cultures. Highlights include the collection of pre-Columbian art and sculptures, with items up to 3,000 years old; an exhibit devoted to Uruguayan art and archaeology; the ‘Food’ exhibit which focuses on food, agriculture, and eating habits throughout the ages; and a collection of rare and unique Latin American musical instruments. The museum also hosts regular temporary and touring exhibitions.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Pre-Columbian and Indigenous Art Museum is a must for history buffs.
- Admission fees include a downloadable audio guide (available in multiple languages); children under 12 are free.
- The museum has storage lockers, a gift shop, and a café, which serves lunch and snacks.
- The museum is accessible for wheelchairs and strollers.
How to Get There
The MAPI is located on 25 de Mayo avenue in Montevideo’s Old Town. Multiple bus routes stop close to the museum. The museum is also easy to reach on foot from anywhere in downtown Montevideo; it's about a 15-minute walk from Plaza Independencia.
When to Get There
The museum is open Monday to Saturday from 10.30am to 6pm. Travelers on a budget should time their visit for a Monday, when entrance is free.
Best Museums to Visit in Montevideo After pouring over ancient artifacts at the MAPI, head to the Museum of Art History (Museo de la Historia del Arte), which has Egyptian mummies, ancient Samurai swords, and a prized collection of Mayan textiles. Art lovers can discover one of Uruguay’s most influential modern artists at the Torres Garci?a Museum, or admire contemporary works at the Diana Saravia Art Gallery. For something a little different, head to the Gaucho Museum (Museo del Gaucho) to learn about the life and work of Uruguay’s cowboys; visit the Carnaval Museum to relive Montevideo’s colorful carnival celebrations; or immerse yourself in Uruguay’s favorite sport at the Museum of Football (Museo del Futbol).
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