In 2002, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, being the Minister of Foreign Affairs the jurist Diego García Sayán, entrusted the poet and cultural manager Alonso Ruiz Rosas to elaborate a “Plan of Cultural Policy of Peru abroad.” The plan included, among other proposals, the creation of the Centro Cultural Inca Garcilaso of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as an institution called to play a gravitational role in the international promotion of Peruvian culture and whose headquarters should be in the Casona Aspíllaga, adjoining to the Palacio de Torre Tagle. The plan was approved and made legal in 2003, when Ambassador Allan Wagner Tizón was the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Director of Cultural Affairs, Ambassador Alberto Carrión Tejada. In 2004, the new Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Manuel Rodríguez Cuadros, decided to complete the restoration and implementation of the Casona Aspíllaga, with the technical support of the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation, and was able to inaugurate the CCIG on 15 July 2005. The Centre opened its doors with a retrospective exhibition of the painter Fernando de Szyszlo, then taken to the Book Fair of Guadalajara, where Peru was that year’s guest of honor.
The first director of the CCIG was the remembered poet Antonio Cisneros, who remained in the post until his death in October 2012. The director was then journalist Fernando Carvallo. Between 2014 and 2017, the Centre was led by Alonso Ruiz Rosas, who was succeeded by the diplomat and writer Alejandro Neyra and archaeologist Ulla Hollmquist, after having been both Ministers of Culture. Subsequently, the ambassador and writer Carlos Herrera Rodríguez took over the leadership, to continue it the ambassador and art collector Guido Toro Cornejo. Its current director, from May 2023, is the diplomat and pianist Hernando Torres-Fernández. The curatorship of the CCIG is in charge of Gredna Landolt Pardo, responsible for many of the nearly 200 exhibitions presented in its galleries, some of which have also been exhibited abroad. The CCIG also has a team of professionals dedicated to covering its different areas.
Since its creation, the CCIG has pursued a State policy of promoting the great values and diverse expressions of Peruvian culture, and has hosted numerous cultural events in friendly countries, projecting some of its activities in other regions of the country. More than a hundred books have been presented at the CCIG, and dozens of talks, conferences, music recitals, audiovisual projections and other cultural events have been held. In 2017, the CCIG signed an agreement with the Instituto Cervantes, which hosts an activity coordination office at its headquarters in Madrid. The CCIG has initiated the publication of the Biblioteca del Perú/Colección Bicentenario, with the complete works of Inca Garcilaso de la Vega and the Nueva crónica y buen gobierno by Felipe Huaman Poma de Ayala. It is also, together with the Instituto Cervantes, the Universidad Autónoma de México and the Instituto Caro y Cuervo of Colombia, a founding member of the Canoa network for the internalization of pan-Hispanic culture.