What is the MAPRAE Museum in Puerto Ayora, Galapagos?
The Augmented Reality Museum of Pre-Columbian Art (Museo de Arte Precolombino de Realidad Aumentada – MAPRAE) in Puerto Ayora is the first of its kind in Galapagos. It was opened in 2016 and currently showcases over 50 archaeological pieces of work in conjunction with augmented reality. It is located right next door in the nearby city of Puerto Ayora, which is less than 15 minutes away from the Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel.
What’s it like inside the MAPRAE Museum in Galapagos? How does the exhibit work, exactly?
Upon entering the exhibit, visitors are given an iPad that comes pre-installed with an application that allows visitors to access and experience the augmented reality feature of the museum. Visitors only need to carry and point their iPad at one of the over 50 pieces that are displayed to begin the experience, at which point they will receive historical and cultural information regarding the three-dimensional image they are viewing on their device.
Not only does this serve as an excellent and interactive opportunity for locals and foreigners alike to learn a little bit about the anthropological history of Ecuador, but it also provides a way for visitors with a limited time (that won’t be stopping in Quito or Guayaquil for extended periods) to get a quick but decent dose of Ecuadorian history.
While other museums in Galapagos might provide visitors with an adequate level of insight into the archipelago’s human history, MAPRAE Museum in Puerto Ayora allows them to go way back into the cultural and anthropological roots of mainland Ecuador. In many ways the MAPRAE Museum in Puerto Ayora is a way of bringing the continental history of Ecuador over into the remoteness of the Galapagos, provided the steady flow of international tourists with an excellent, albeit small way, of getting some history.
And while most visitors come to the Galapagos obviously for its highly unique flora and fauna, visiting the MAPRAE Museum in Puerto Ayora within the fascinating natural context of Santa Cruz Island is a great way to combine both natural history and human history. Who knows? It might even allow us to get a more integral perception of our connection and dependence on nature, perhaps fostering a greater sense of duty and responsibility towards this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Even if you’ve only come to Galapagos to experience the natural aspect, a visit to MAPRAE Museum in Puereto Ayora is a great way of complementing your trip with the anthropological aspect of the natural world at large. Visitors will be sure to see the unmistakable effect that nature has had on our ancestor’s ways of thinking and their everyday activities.
It’s just a stone’s throw away when you stay the Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel! Start planning your trip, today!