Institute of Archaeological Research and R. P. G. Le Page Museum (Instituto de Investigacio Tours and Activities
The R.P. Gustavo Le Paige Archaeological Museum is a good place to start time in San Pedro de Atacama, as a visit here serves as a low-stress activity while you grow accustomed to the area's altitude and extreme dryness. The museum was founded by a Belgian priest who settled in the area in 1955 and opened the museum eight years later with the help of a local university, the Universidad Católica del Norte, which currently owns and runs the site.
The museum previously housed mummified remains of a young girl, but due to pressure from the local indigenous Lickanantay (Atacameño) community, the remains have been removed and replaced with a replica. This is also the case for all human remains at the museum. The museum shows a short film that explains how the decision to change the exhibits came to be. Other than those replicas, everything else onsite is genuine, including 1,000 samples of region discoveries. Some of the more popular parts of the public collection are in the Treasure Room, which features many gold items. Also on display at the museum are examples of clay pottery, old textiles and stone items, with different rooms dedicated to various epochs of pre-Colombian history up until the arrival of the Spaniards in the area.