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Get to know the Mario Vargas Llosa House Museum

Tierras Vivas Travel > Get to know the Mario Vargas Llosa House Museum

After an efficient reconstruction and conditioning, the house in which the Nobel Prize for Literature, Mario Vargas Llosa, was born, became the first museum that has innovative technological services and an educational exhibition located on two floors that narrate, in chronological order and through holograms and 3D movies, the writer’s life. There are a total of 17 rooms and the tour begins in the room where the character was supposedly born. It also details his time at the Leoncio Prado military school, the Universidad Mayor de San Marcos, his first trips to Europe, etc. The museum house also shelters the international recognitions and other personal objects of MVLL.


The Mario Vargas Llosa House Museum is one of the new tourist attractions in the city of Arequipa. It is the house where the Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa (Nobel Prize for Literature 2010) spent the first years of his life. The museum has 16 spaces that chronologically display the achievements and publications of the novelist.

The rooms that exhibit some books and paintings donated by Mario Vargas Llosa himself stand out. Likewise, there is audiovisual material, holograms as well as the original manuscript of his first novel: The City and the Dogs. The museum is a few blocks from the city’s Plaza de Armas. The cost of admission is very cheap.


The museum is located just 1 kilometer from the Plaza de Armas in Arequipa. Its address is Avenida Parra 101.

How to get there?

One way to get there is to go on foot from the Plaza de Armas, taking La Merced street straight ahead (approximately 1 kilometer away). If you don’t like to walk, you can take a taxi (cost 5 Peruvian soles on average).

Nobel Prize winner Mario Vargas Llosa

Jorge Mario Pedro Vargas Llosa was born in Arequipa on March 28, 1936. The house where he spent his early days is at 101 Parra Street (current museum). A few years later, his family moved to Cochabamba (Bolivia where he spent part of his childhood). When he was a teenager, his family moved to Piura and, after a few years, to the city of Lima.

In the city of Lima, Mario Vargas Llosa studied high school at the La Salle school and the Leoncio Prado military school. The last year of secondary education he studied at the San Miguel de Piura school where he collaborated with the newspaper La Industria. He completed his higher studies at the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos (studying Law and Literature).

His literary career began at the age of 23 with the publication of the stories ‘The bosses’. Later, he left for Europe with a scholarship from the Complutense University of Madrid. In Paris he wrote his first novel The City and the Dogs (Brief Library Award). From then on, with Carmen Balcells as literary agent, he dedicated himself to writing his best novels La casa verde and Conversation in the Cathedral.

In 2010, after several works published between novels, newspaper articles, essays and theater; Mario Vargas Llosa received the Nobel Prize for Literature. In 2014, the authorities of Arequipa (his hometown) decide to open a museum in the house where he was born. For this, the Nobel donated books, portraits and various personal belongings. Today, it is one of the new tourist attractions of the city.

Novels of Vargas Llosa

  • The city and the dogs (1963).
  • The Green House (1966).
  • Conversation in the Cathedral (1969).
  • Pantaleón and the visitors (1973).
  • Aunt Julia and the writer (1977).
  • The war of the end of the world (1981).
  • History of Mayta (1984).
  • Who killed Palomino Molero? (1986).
  • The talker (1987).
  • Praise of the stepmother (1988).
  • Lituma in the Andes (1993).
  • Don Rigoberto’s notebooks (1997).
  • The Feast of the Goat (2000).
  • Paradise in the other corner (2003).
  • Bad Girl Shenanigans (2006).
  • The dream of the Celt (2010).
  • The Discreet Hero (2013).
  • Five corners (2016).
  • Hard times (2019).

The museum

The museum has 16 didactic rooms where audiovisual projections, holograms of the writer stand out, as well as the exhibition of some personal belongings of the Nobel Prize winner, such as the original manuscript of The City and the Dogs (first novel), an original of Conversation in the Cathedral and the speech he gave at the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Upon entering the museum, a hologram of the writer greets visitors. “Welcome to this virtual museum. I was born in this house and here I spent my first year of life with my mother and my maternal family. And here it is gathered now, in a lively synthesis, my entire career as a writer”, says the hologram on the desk of his grandfather Pedro.

The following rooms chronologically recreate the different stages of the Nobel Prize winner’s life. In the first rooms you can see the room where he was born (the hologram of his mother giving birth). Likewise, the recreation of his room in Barranco (Lima), his attic in Paris as well as didactic material that shows his time in London and Barcelona stand out.

It is worth highlighting the ‘Del boom’ room, where he shares a table with some of the representatives of this literary movement. Likewise, another hologram shows Vargas Llosa chatting with some of his most famous characters: Zavalita (Conversation in the Cathedral), El ‘Poeta’ (The city and the dogs), Sergeant Lituma (The Green House) and the bad girl (Bad Girl Mischief).

What to do in the Mario Vargas Llosa House Museum?

Visit the birthplace of de Vargas Llosa. The beautiful house where Vargas Llosa was born is in perfect condition and was restored with the purpose of housing his museum and promoting tourism. Mario usually visits her on March 28 of each year, on his birthday.

Know the life and work of the writer. The most salient aspects of the author’s life, his books, the relationship he had with his peers from the “Latin American boom” and his active participation in the politics of his country are described in detail. In addition, you can see the numerous diplomas, awards and recognitions achieved in his life.

See a replica of the Nobel Prize. At the end of the tour you can see a fragment of the speech he gave in Stockholm, Sweden, on the day of his award and a replica of the medal he was given on December 7, 2010.

Delve into the recent history of Peru. In addition to delving into the life of the writer, parallel events can be seen in the social, cultural and political life that the country went through during all those years.

Visit price

The ticket costs 10 Peruvian soles for foreign tourists, 5 soles for Peruvian tourists and 3 soles per school.

Business hours

From Monday to Sunday from 8.30 in the morning until 4 in the afternoon.

More information

The tour of the museum can be done in groups of a maximum of 12 people. It lasts approximately 1 hour 30 minutes.

The house where Nobel Prize winner Mario Vargas Llosa was born in Arequipa was declared Cultural Heritage of the Nation.

The museum house had the collaboration of several professionals, including the filmmaker Lucho Llosa, the writer’s cousin.

Some advices

Haven’t you read anything about the Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa yet? Dare to discover the universe of the Nobel Prize. One of the works with which his adventure can begin is The City and the Dogs, his first novel and one of his most famous.

If you like literature, another Arequipa venue you can visit is the Mario Vargas Llosa Regional Library, located at 309 San Francisco Street (just two blocks from the Plaza de Armas). The enclosure has 24 thousand books donated by the Peruvian writer. Some books even include annotations and dedications to the writer.

Tourist attractions near Mario Vargas Llosa Museum House in Arequipa

Andean Sanctuaries Museum of Arequipa

The museum is famous for housing the mummy Juanita, also known as The Lady of Ampato. She is about a girl sacrificed to the gods in the Inca era.

Santa Teresa Viceregal Art Museum

The museum has 13 rooms that exhibit canvases, sculptures, murals and other treasures preserved in the more than 300 years of history of the Arequipa convent.

Santa Teresa Viceregal Art Museum

The mansion of the founder of Arequipa.

In the countryside of Arequipa is located this museum dedicated to the historic colonial mansion of Don Garcí Manuel de Carbajal, the founder of the city in 1540.

Best Tours in Peru

Many are the routes that take you to Machu Picchu, but none is like the Inca Trail Tours, the most famous pedestrian path in the Americas. After flying from the capital of Perú, Lima, you will arrive in Cusco to walk for four days along a path through forests and dense fog, millenary stone steps and discovering the ruins of ancient fortifications and Inca cities, and all the time enjoying majestic views.

If you want to visit Machu Picchu, we recommend you to book your Machu Picchu Ticket in advance, so you will enjoy your Vacation in Machu Picchu without any problem.

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