Museums in
Costa Rica

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Costa Rica museums showcase a rich and diverse cultural heritage.

National Museum of Costa Rica

The old Bellavista Barracks, today the National Museum of Costa Rica, houses natural history, pre-Columbian gold, and native archeological collections. Its walls hold more than 120 years of history including about the abolition of the military in 1948 and the opening, in 1910, of the national herbal exhibit and its hundreds of collections.

Located on Central Avenue and Second, 17th street, on Cuesta de Moras (Moras Hill), next to Plaza de la Democracia.

Hours:

  • Tuesdays to Saturdays, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Sundays, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Closed Mondays

Tel: 2257-1433 / 2257-1434

www.museocostarica.go.cr

Jade Museum

The Jade Museum preserves and displays the largest pre-Columbian jade collection in the Americas. It has a modern exhibition floor plan that also includes artifacts made of ceramic, stone, bone, shell, wood, and other materials in its permanent as well as its temporary exhibition rooms.

Located on the lower level of the National Social Security Institute, 13th Street, Centralo and Second Ave.

Business Hours:

  • Monday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Tel: (506) 2521-6610

Central Bank’s Museum - Gold and Currency

Here, all that glitters is really gold. This underground cultural center offers five different exhibitions including the Museum of pre-Columbian Gold, and the Currency Museum, with its collection of bills, coins, coffee tokens, die stamps, and other documents and photographs. There are three temporary exhibit galleries that offer visitors the chance to learn about visual arts, archaeology, and Costa Rican history.

Located below the Plaza de la Cultura on 5th Street, Central & 2nd Ave., San Jose.

Business Hours:

  • Monday to Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Tel: (506) 2243-4202 or (506) 2521-6610

Museum of Stamps of Costa Rica

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.

Business Hours:

  • Monday to Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Tel: (506) 2223-6918

Children’s Museum

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.

Business Hours:

  • School year: Tuesday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Vacation months: Monday to Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Tel: (506) 2258-4929

Calderon Guardia Museum

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.

Business Hours:

  • Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free admission.

Email: musecal@mcj.go.cr

Tel: (506) 2222-6392 or (506) 2255-1218

Rafael Obregon Loria Museum of the Grand Lodge

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

Business Hours:

  • appointment is required.

Tel: (506) 2222-5064

Chieton Moren Shop and Museum

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

Business Hours:

  • Monday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Sundays open to groups with previous reservation.

Tel: (506) 2221-0145 or (506) 8930-1371

Insect Museum

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.

Business Hours:

  • Monday to Friday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Tel: (506) 2207-5647

Sister Maria Romero Museum

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.

Business Hours:

  • Tuesday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free admission.

Tel: (506) 2222-7155

La Salle Natural Science Museum

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.

Business Hours:

  • Monday to Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Tel: (506) 2232-1306

Jewish Community Museum of Costa Rica

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.

Business Hours:

  • Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Except Wednesday from 2-6 p.m.
  • Also by appointment

Tel: (506) 2520-1013

Center of Culture and Technology - ICE Group

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.

Business Hours:

  • Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Tel: (506) 2000-6454 or (506) 2000-6497

Santa Ana Agricultural Technology History Museum

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.

Business Hours:

  • Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Tel: (506) 2233-6701 or (506) 2256-0012

Museum of Popular Culture

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.

Business Hours:

  • Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m..

Tel: (506) 2277-3834

Museum of Popular Culture

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.

Business Hours:

  • Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Tel: (506) 2277-3834

Juan Santamaria Museum of Cultural History

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.

Business Hours:

  • tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • Close Monday

Tel: (506) 2441-4775 or (506) 2442-1838

Jose Figueres Ferrer Cultural Center

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.

Business Hours:

  • Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.-19:00
  • Thursday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Tel: (506) 2447-2178

Email: ccehjff@ice.co.cr

San Ramon Historic Museum

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.

Business Hours:

  • Tuesday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Tel: (506) 2447-7137

Email: museo.regional.sanramon@gmail.com

Facebook: San Ramon Museo

San Jose de Orosi’s Religious Art Museum and Museum of Native Cultures

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.

Business Hours:

  • Monday to Saturdayfrom 1- 5 p.m.

Tel: (506) 2533-3051

Omar Salazar Obando Regional Museum

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

Business Hours:

  • Mondays to Fridays 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 1-4:30 p.m. & 13:00-
    16:30. Free admission.

Tel: (506) 2558-3615

Email: Email: museoturrialbaucr@gmail.com

Puntarenas City Historical Museum

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.

Business Hours:

  • Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free admission.
  • Closed Mondays

Tel: (506) 2661-5036 or (506) 2257-1433 or (506) 2256-4139

Email: casacultua@yahoo.com

Indigenous Boruca Community Museum

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.

Business Hours:

  • Monday to Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Tel: (506) 2721-2533 Fax: (506) 2730-0259

Islita Art Museum (Open-Air Contemporary Art Museum)

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.

Business Hours:

  • Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m

Tel: (506) 2290-4259 or (506) 2661-4044 Fax: (506) 2232-2183

Email: museo.dir@hotelpuntaislita.com

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.

Business Hours:

  • Monday to Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Tel./Fax: (506) 2681-1583

Eco-museum of the Abangares Mines

The Eco-museum of the Abangares mines was founded in 1991 and showcases the history of the mines and native culture. The museum features machinery once used to extract and melt gold as well as other mining tools and equipment from years past.

Located at the Abangares mountain range, Guanacaste.

Business Hours:

  • Monday to Sunday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Tel: (506) 2662-0310

Email: abangarestourism@mail.com

Lord of Agony Religious Art Museum

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.

Business Hours:

  • Monday to Sunday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Tel: (506) 2666-0518 or (506) 2666-0494

Email: ermita.liberia@yahoo.com

Santa Rosa Mansion History Museum

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.

Business Hours:

  • Every day from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Tel: (506) 2666-5051

Email: mlarias@acguanacaste.ac.cr

Cacao Museum

The Cacao Museum blends in with the Cahuita landscape in the heart of the Southern Caribbean. This particular exhibition recreates the story of this fruit and the zone that produced it. Visitors can also enjoy the delicious cacao flavor made here, in an environment similar to that of the early 20th century surrounded by an exquisite display of local flora and fauna.

Located on Cahuita, Limon, 3 miles before Hone Creek.

Business Hours:

  • Monday to Sunday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Tel: (506) 2756-8186

Turtle Museum / John H. Pipps Biological Center of the Caribbean Conservation Corporation

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.

Business Hours:

  • Monday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. & 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Tel: (506) 2709-8091

Email: canals@racsa.co.cr

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