Museo del Oro Precolombino, San Jose

Museo del Oro Precolombino, San Jose (must see)

The Pre-Columbian Gold Museum is located in a subterranean building underneath the Plaza de la Cultura and is managed by the Banco Central de Costa Rica. The museum has a substantial collection of over 1600 artifacts of Pre-Columbian gold dating back to AD 500.

The collection includes Costa Rica's first coin, the Media Escudo which was minted in 1825, animal (notably frog) figurines, amulets, earrings, erotic statuettes and El Guerrero, a life-sized gold warrior figure adorned with gold ornaments in a glass case. In Costa Rican history, gold was considered a symbol of authority and the items are a testament to the craftsmanship of the Pre-Columbian period. There is also a replica of a pre-Columbian grave containing 88 gold objects which was unearthed on a banana plantation in southeastern Costa Rica in the 1950s.

The Museo Numismático (National Coin Museum) is also located in the same building on the ground level and features displays dating back to 1236, including coins, banknotes and unofficial items such as coffee tokens. The "Casa de Moneda" is also located on the ground level with information on the history of minting in Costa Rica and displays illustrating its development.

Tip:
The ground level focuses on currency while the lower two levels focus on pre-Columbian gold. There are also exceptional traveling exhibits, so keep an eye out!
There are free lockers for wet coats, umbrellas and bags, but you'll be asked to remove your hat so that security cameras have a clear view of your face.
The gift shop has some very nice reproductions as well as beautiful modern native art and offers a welcome antidote to cheap souvenir shops in the city.

Operation Hours:
Tue-Sun: 9:15-5pm (last admission 30min before closing time).
Open 11am-5pm every first Wednesday of the month.
Closed on New Year’s Day, Thursday to Sunday during Holy Week (offices open until noon on Wednesday), April 11, May 1, July 25, August 2, August 15, September 15, October 12, the second Friday in December, December 24 to 27, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve.
Sight description based on wikipedia

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of San Jose, Costa Rica within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Museo del Oro Precolombino on Map

Sight Name: Museo del Oro Precolombino
Sight Location: San Jose, Costa Rica
Sight Type: Museum/Gallery
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in San Jose, Costa Rica

Create Your Own Walk in San Jose

Create Your Own Walk in San Jose

Creating your own self-guided walk in San Jose is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Children's Entertainment Tour in San Jose

Children's Entertainment Tour in San Jose

As many other cities in the world, San Jose has a lot to offer to its young tourists to keep them occupied and happy. Museum of Children, for instance, is full of fun, with plenty of educational activities and adventures. Take this tour for an unforgettable experience for you and your family.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.0 Km or 2.5 Miles
Paseo Colon Tour in San Jose

Paseo Colon Tour in San Jose

The Paseo Colon is a modern area in San Jose where you will find most of the business centers and foreign embassies, as well as other architectural highlights and tourist attractions. At the end of Paseo Colon is Sabana Park, which stands out among the local metropolitan communities because of its proximity to the business district and its large area dedicated to recreation. Take this tour to...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.7 Km or 3.5 Miles
Museum Walk in San Jose

Museum Walk in San Jose

Although San José is one of the youngest capital cities in Latin America, its museums display a huge collection of traditional and pre-Columbian art. This walking tour should give you the perfect opportunity to explore the museums in the city and to familiarize yourself with its culture.

Tour Duration: 4 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 8.5 Km or 5.3 Miles
Places of Worship Tour in San Jose

Places of Worship Tour in San Jose

San Jose's churches are vivid examples of historical and architectural value. Whether you are a keen church goer or simply interested in places of spirituality from either architectural or historical standpoints, this tour will take you to the most important religious sites of the city.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.9 Km or 3 Miles
San Jose Introduction Walk

San Jose Introduction Walk

San Jose enjoys secluded location in the Central Valley of Costa Rica with its skyline dominated by the majestic Talamanca Mountains, hugging the city to the south, and a volcano ridge to the north. Local architecture reflects strong Spanish colonial influence manifested in places like Catedral Metropolitana in Calle Central, and the ornate, neoclassical National Theater presiding over...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.3 Km or 2.7 Miles
Souvenir Shopping

Souvenir Shopping

It would be a pity to leave San Jose without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to San Jose, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


17 Uniquely Costa Rican Things to Buy in San Jose

17 Uniquely Costa Rican Things to Buy in San Jose

Not to be confused with San Jose, the sunny California, San Jose, Costa Rica is the capital city of a wet (250 centimeters of rainfall per year) and colorful Latin American country renowned for its diverse craftsmanship (courtesy of the numerous indigenous tribes), splendid coffee and rich cultural...