Mario Vargas Llosa house museum in Arequipa
In 2010, the Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa won the Nobel Prize for Literature. In 2014, the Arequipa authorities valued the house where the novelist was born and spent the first years of his childhood. The museum includes 16 rooms with 3D animation along with high-tech equipment that recreates the life and achievements of the writer. The entrance to this place costs only 10 Peruvian soles for foreign tourists (3 US dollars approximately).
All about the Mario Vargas Llosa house museum
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 (2010 Nobel Prize in Literature) spent the first years of his life. The museum has 16 spaces that chronologically display the novelist’s achievements and publications.
The rooms that display 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 Main Square. The cost of admission is very cheap.
The museum is located just 1 kilometer from the Main Square in Arequipa. Its address is Avenida Parra 101.
How to get there?
One way to get there is to go on foot from the Main Square taking La Merced street (1 kilometer away, approximately) in a straight line. If you don’t like walking, you can take a taxi (cost of 5 Peruvian soles on average).
According to literary critics, the 3 best books by Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa are: The city and the dogs, The green house and Conversation in the cathedral. However, the Arequipa nobleman has more than 15 novels and 10 essays as well as plays, children’s stories and even newspaper articles. In 1990 he ran for president of Peru. He was defeated by former President Alberto Fujimori.
The nobel Mario Vargas Llosa
Jorge Mario Pedro Vargas Llosa was born in Arequipa on March 28, 1936. The house where he spent his first days is on Calle Parra 101 (current museum). A few years later, his family moved to Cochabamba (Bolivia where he spent part of his childhood). As 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 attended the San Miguel de Piura school where he collaborated with the newspaper La Industria. Higher studies were carried out at the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos (study Law and Literature).
His literary career began at the age of 23 with the publication of the short stories ‘Los jefes’. Later, he went to Europe on a scholarship from the Complutense University of Madrid. In Paris he wrote his first novel The City and the Dogs (Short Library Prize). From there, with Carmen Balcells as a literary agent, he dedicated himself to writing his best novels The green House and Conversation in the Cathedral .
In 2010, after several published works including novels, newspaper articles, essays and theater; Mario Vargas Llosa received the Nobel Prize for Literature. In 2014, the Arequipa (hometown) authorities decided to open a museum in the house where he was born. For this, the nobel donated books, portraits and various personal items. Today, it is one of the new tourist attractions of the city.
The museum has 16 didactic rooms where audiovisual projections, holograms of the writer stand out as well as the exhibition of some personal objects of the nobel, 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 awarding of the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Upon entering the museum, a hologram of the writer welcomes visitors. “Welcome to this virtual museum. In this house I was born and here I spent my first year of life with my mother and my maternal family. And here it is gathered now, in an animated 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 nobleman’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 educational material that shows his time in London and Barcelona stands 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 prank).
Works by Vargas Llosa (novels)
- The city and the dogs (1963).
- The green house (1966).
- Conversation in the Cathedral (1969).
- Pantaleón and the Visitors (1973).
- Aunt Julia and the Scribe (1977).
- The war of the end of the world (1981).
- History of Mayta (1984).
- Who killed Palomino Molero? (1986).
- The Talker (1987).
- In Praise of the Stepmother (1988).
- Lituma in the Andes (1993).
- Don Rigoberto’s notebooks (1997).
- The Goat Festival (2000).
- The paradise in the other corner (2003).
- Mischief of the bad girl (2006).
- The Celtic’s Dream (2010).
- The discreet hero (2013).
- Five corners (2016).
- Hard times (2019).
Price of the visit
The ticket costs 10 Peruvian soles for foreign tourists, 5 soles for Peruvian tourists and 3 soles for school children.
Hours of operation
From Monday to Sunday from 8.30 in the morning until 4 in the afternoon.
The museum tour can be done in groups of maximum 12 people. It has a duration of 1 hour 30 minutes, approximately.
The house where the Nobel Prize winner Mario Vargas Llosa was born in Arequipa was declared Cultural Heritage of the Nation.
The house museum had the collaboration of several professionals, among which the filmmaker Lucho Llosa, the writer’s cousin, stands out.
Haven’t you read anything about the Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa yet? Dare to discover the universe of the nobel. One of the works with which you can start your adventure is The City and the Dogs, his first novel and one of the most famous.
If you like literature, another Arequipa site that you can visit is the Mario Vargas Llosa regional library, located on Calle San Francisco 309 (just two blocks from the Main Square). The enclosure has 24 thousand books donated by the Peruvian writer. Some books even include annotations and dedications to the writer.