Museo Andes 1972 - Atlas Obscura

Museo Andes 1972

Curated with the cooperation of the passengers and their families, this museum tells the story of the 29 victims and 16 survivors of Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571. 

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On October 13, 1972, a chartered Uruguayan Air Force plane was taking a men’s college rugby team and their friends and family to a match in Chile when the plane dropped off the radar in the high Andes Mountains. After eight days of searching, all 45 individuals aboard were presumed dead.

Months later, 16 of the passengers—young teammates and one family member—were found alive. They survived 72 days among the plane’s wreckage, trapped at high altitude with no food or water and their light clothing in the freezing climate. Some on the plane died in the crash, or soon after. Some were killed by a suffocating avalanche. And a few were pushed to their absolute limits and managed to live.

The events are famous and have spawned books and films, including the 2023 film Society of the Snow. But this understated museum in Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay, an understated museum tells the story of Flight 571. Curated with the cooperation of the passengers and their families, this museum gives an intimate window into the incident and the lives it impacted.

The museum is frank, honest, and unblinking. The exhibits do not shy away from the absolute horrors of the ordeal, nor do they encourage over-sentimentality. One cannot help but be genuinely moved by the accounts and be awed by the real artifacts from these events.

Know Before You Go

This museum includes graphic details of the victims of Flight 571 and may not be suitable for all ages. 

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