One of the best museums in Chile if not Latin America, this attractive museum, built in colonial style at the end of the 20th century, focuses on the history of the region back to pre-history 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 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. Expect to spend around four hours here.