This attractive museum, built in colonial style at the end of the 20th century, focuses on the history of the region. It's the largest private natural-history collection in the country, and second only in size to Santiago's Museo Nacional de Historia Natural. Exhibits include pre-Columbian mummies; extinct insects set in amber that must be viewed through special lenses; the world's largest collection of silver work by the indigenous Mapuche; and the only known original
copy of Chile's proclamation of independence. A few early vehicles and wine-making implements surround the building. The museum is the creation of Santa Cruz native and international businessman Carlos Cardoen. The placards are in Spanish only, but a video provides some information in English about the museum's collection. This building suffered significant damage during the February 2010 earthquake and, as of this writing, was closed until further notice. Please check to see if the property has opened prior to your visit.