On a short trek of less a kilometer, you can visit three of the most important museums in the Costa Rican capital.
The ticket covers the Central Bank Museum, the Museum of Jade and Pre-Columbian Culture, and the National Museum of Costa Rica. They are located in the lower part of the Plaza de la Cultura and on the west side of the Plaza de la Democracia, respectively.
This initiative, called “The Museum Walk”, creates a dialogue among the archaeological, historical and artistic collections of the three museums, featuring different exhibitions in each museum based on a common theme. Although each of the exhibits can be visited and understood on their own, visitors to all three will round out their knowledge and identify the connections between the research that each exhibit has on display.
It is the oldest museum in the country, located in the historic Cuartel Bellavista building, where, in 1948, former President Figueres abolished the army.
It features an important archeology exhibit, with unique pieces such as the stone spheres of Diquís.
It also has one of the most important historical collections on display, which articulately recounts the history of Costa Rica from the time of contact and conquest up until present day.
It is seen as a novel, avant-garde cultural offering in the realm of Central American archaeological heritage protection and conservation.
Located in downtown San José in a modern building, which has an architectural component that visually communicates the concept of a block of jade divided in half, it holds a collection of around 7,000 objects from the pre-Columbian era, including those made of jade, ceramic, and stone, among others, and has a collection of art and ethnography.
The Costa Rican Central Bank Museum holds part of the archaeological, numismatic and artistic heritage of the country in an iconic building located in the heart of San José. Its main room features the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum, where you can get a closer look at the worldview of pre-Hispanic cultures through extraordinary gold artifacts. The Museum of Numismatics room boasts the largest collection worldwide of Costa Rican coins and banknotes, taking you on a journey through different stages of economic, social, political, and even architectural history. In addition to these exhibits, there are temporary exhibits related to the three collections. They display visual art collections made up of works by Costa Rican artists.
Costa Rica museums showcase a rich and diverse cultural heritage.
This museum features the country's mail process, while showcasing the rise of the various communication systems dating back to 1849. The museum's primary activities include stamp collecting courses and advice to stamp collectors, as well as preserving and classifying world stamp collections.
Located on 2nd Street, between 1st and 3rd Avenue. Second floor of the San Jose Central Post Office.
Tel: (506) 2223-6918
Popularly known as the Children’s Museum, this beautiful structure, dating back to the beginning of the 20th century, was inaugurated in 1994. It is the first interactive museum in Central America with themes related to sciences, history, technology, and arts. The National Art Gallery, the Youth Knowledge Complex, and the National Auditorium are also located here.
Located at the Costa Rica Science and Culture Center, 4th Street, Ninth Avenue, the Old Penitentiary Building.
Tel: (506) 2258-4929
This museum seeks to preserve, recover, and make people aware of the legacy of social reform achieved from 1940-1944 by the distinguished countryman Dr. Calderon Guardia, one of the most important political leaders of the country. It has four historical rooms, which recreate the life and work of the ex-president, as well as an art gallery for temporary exhibits.
Located on 11th Avenue, between 25th and 27th Street.
Tel: (506) 2222-6392 or (506) 2255-1218
The Rafael Obregon Loria Museum allows you to admire many representative elements of the Masonry in Costa Rica, its history and some of its practices. Get to know the contributions that illustrious Masons have made to the development of the country, such as Jose Maria Castro Madriz and Rafael Obregon Loria, among others.
Located: 19th St., Central Avenue
Tel: (506) 2222-5064
The Chieton Moren Project is a section of the Costa Rican Indigenous communities located in San Jose where craftsmen and women exhibit their products openly, without the middle-man. The craftsmen and women and a group of volunteers are responsible for it.
Aside from the shop, it has a museum about the Indigenous communities and its cultural creation with special emphasis on the crafts. Here you can have an idea of the diversity, long history and huge cultural heritage of the Costa Rican Indigenous people. You will also receive information to visit each one of the Indigenous territories.
Located: 1st St., 10-12th Ave., San Jose
Tel: (506) 2221-0145 or (506) 8930-1371
The Insect Museum’s main objective is to inform the public about the country’s biodiversity as well as show the importance and benefits that insects offer the environment. There is an exhibition room which displays insect samples with information cards and guided tours.
Located on the lower level of the School of Musical Arts, University of Costa Rica, Rodrigo Facio University Square, San Pedro de Montes de Oca.
Tel: (506) 2207-5647
Featuring plastic art from 19th century artists to present-day, this museum stimulates critical thinking around national plastic art within an international context. It is located within the old international airport built in 1940.
Located at Paseo Colon, 42nd Street, La Sabana Metropolitan Park.
Tel: (506) 2222-7155
This museum has more than 70,000 items on display in areas such as paleontology, geology, malacology (some 14,000 samples), invertebrates (a unique butterfly collection with 8,400 samples), fish, reptiles, birds, and mammals. A visit to this museum is worth the trip.
Located at the entrance of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, Sabana South.
Tel: (506) 2232-1306
This museum offers a walk through history within the Jewish community in the country. You can learn about their migratory journey to America, the Holocaust, their religious traditions and artifacts, among other exhibitions.
Located at the Israeli Zionist Center, adjoining the National Water and Sewer building, in Pavas.
Tel: (506) 2520-1013
The goal of the Center of Culture and Technology is to inform the public about the history and evolution of electricity and telecommunications services, highlighting the contributions of ICE in the technological and socio-economic development of the country.
Located four blocks north of ICE’s Central Offices in Sabana North.
Tel: (506) 2000-6454 or (506) 2000-6497
The Agricultural History Museum includes the mansion, the mill, the coffee processing plant and the exhibition room.
The tour takes visitors back to the end of the 19th century, with coffee storage bins, levers and agricultural machinery of the time. The exhibition illustrates the history and historical importance of agriculture in the Central Valley.
Located two blocks north of the Santa Ana Institute (Liceo de Santa Ana) on Ross Street.
Tel: (506) 2233-6701 or (506) 2256-0012
The Museum of Popular Culture deals with present day traditions. It researches, recovers, preserves and communicates the traditions of present-day Costa Rican popular culture in the Central Valley in a traditional building.
Located on Santa Lucia de Barva, Heredia. One block north of Musmani, six blocks east.
Tel: (506) 2277-3834
The museum’s collections relate historical aspects of the Central American war waged against the filibuster invaders between 1856-1857. Visitors can see oils, portraits, documents, weapons and various objects linked to this heroic exploit.
Located on 3rd Avenue, 2nd Street and central (one block north of Central Park), Alajuela.
Tel: (506) 2441-4775 or (506) 2442-1838
The Jose Figueres Ferrer Cultural Center exhibits a small and interesting sample that includes information on the persona and political life of the national leader of the same name. The Center also has a large variety of cultural activities such as concerts, art expositions and educational courses, among others, all within a comfortable and apt space for all types of visitors.
Located in San Ramon City in Alajuela, in front of the north side of the Catholic Church.
Tel: (506) 2447-2178
This museum, attached to the University of Costa Rica, is found in the center of San Ramon in the province of Alajuela. It seeks to strengthen the local identity through conservation, dissemination and study of the San Ramon Cultural Heritage.
This place has various art and history exhibition halls and a reading nook, among others.
Tel: (506) 2447-7137
Facebook: San Ramon Museo
The museum is in the old Franciscan monk monastery dating back to 1743. Here you can find paintings, a tomb, religious objects and images from the Colonial period. The monastery is still used for special occasions and offers a beautiful panoramic look at the history of Catholicism in the Orosi valley.
Located next to Orosi Church, Paraiso de Cartago.
Tel: (506) 2533-3051
The rooms of this museum look to preserve the native roots of the area by means of an archeological display, which shows the way of life of the first inhabitants of Turrialba, as well as information about the Guayabo National Monument. Also on display are ceramic and lithic figures including scrapers, chisels, knives, etc.
Located at University of Costa Rica in Turrialba
Tel: (506) 2558-3615
Email: Email: email@example.com
Located in the Old Police Station, this museum displays the natural beauties of the port area, the richness of its history and the charm of the Puntarenas people. The different displays of natural history, archeology and history tell the story of the way of life that this region has experienced for thousands of years until the present.
Located at the Old Police Station Building, Plaza Puntarenas.
Tel: (506) 2661-5036 or (506) 2257-1433 or (506) 2256-4139
The Boruca community has retained, in the middle of the hills of the Brunqueña Line, all of its history and traditions, supported by the rich artistic heritage of its artisans. The museum, located on a genuine Boruca ranch, displays the work of hundreds of years of traditional craftsmanship. The drums, carved masks and multicolored fabrics take one through the history of our country’s Southern Pacific.
Located on Indigenous Boruca Land, Buenos Aires, Puntarenas.
Tel: (506) 2721-2533 Fax: (506) 2730-0259
Living amidst art. Created in 2003, this contemporary museum features more than 15 works of art with houses, the community center, the town plaza and even the forest serving as their canvas. The idea behind this museum is to promote a social concept of art and creative thought as a means for sustainable development.
Located in Punta Islita, Nandayure, Guanacaste.
Tel: (506) 2290-4259 or (506) 2661-4044 Fax: (506) 2232-2183
The San Vincente community, together with the Peace Corps, have been promoting and supporting this community museum since 1992. It highlights the Alfarera traditions of the area dating back hundreds of years. Located next to the San Vicente de Nicoya Sports Complex, Guanacaste. Business Hours: Tel./Fax: (506) 2681-1583
San Vicente de Nicoya, Chorotega Ceramic Eco-Museum
The San Vincente community, together with the Peace Corps, have been promoting and supporting this community museum since 1992. It highlights the Alfarera traditions of the area dating back hundreds of years.
Located next to the San Vicente de Nicoya Sports Complex, Guanacaste.
Tel./Fax: (506) 2681-1583
This museum showcases cultural heritage and Liberian religious traditions such as Holy Week, the Holy Rosary, wakes, the dwellings and the Passing of the Child (Pasada de Niño). Its structure reflects the most traditional and native Guanacaste architecture of the Colonial period.
Located five blocks east of Liberia’s Central Catholic Church, Guanacaste.
Tel: (506) 2666-0518 or (506) 2666-0494
The Santa Rosa Mansion History Museum tells the history of the Santa Rosa Estate, including the famous battle of 1856 against the filibusters.
Located in the Santa Rosa National Park, Guanacaste.
Tel: (506) 2666-5051
This research center is created to educate visitors about everything related to different turtle species found in Costa Rica’s land and surrounding seas, as well as the diverse flora and fauna in Tortuguero.
Located at the John H. Pipps Biological Center of the Caribbean Conservation Corporation in Tortuguero.
Tel: (506) 2709-8091