Costa Rica's Museums

Museo de Arte Costarricense Costa Rica

Costa Rica has a wide range of museums housing all sorts of things from historical artefacts to contemporary artwork. In the smaller towns and villages there are often little exhibitions of local art and crafts specific to the region so it's worth investigating when you get there. Here's our guide to the most popular museums in Costa Rica:

Museo de Arte Costarricense

    Housed in a beautiful colonial building in the centre of the lovely Sabana park, the Costa Rican art museum is full of interesting paintings and sculpture from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The permanent collection contains many Costa Rican self portraits painted between 1864 right up to today. There are many temporary exhibitions as well as a permanent exhibition of sculptures and drawings by Costa Rican Juan Manuel Sánchez (1907-1990).
  • Address: Parque la Sabana, San José City

Museo Nacional de Costa Rica

    This is a great place to learn all about Costa Rica's history, see pre-colombian artefacts and a collection of things excavated in Costa Rica's main archeological site, Guayabo (Cartago Province). There is also a large collection of religious art on display. The museum is housed in a very intersting building known as 'La Fortaleza', which used to be a penitentiary.
  • Address: Calle 17, between Central and 2nd Avenue, San José City.

Museo de Jade

Museo de Jade Costa Rica
    This impressive museum houses the world's largest collection of American jade. You can see vast quantities of stunning Indian jewelery and detailed animal carvings made out of this rare and precious mineral.
  • Address: INS Building, 7th Avenue between Calle 9 and 11, San José City.

Museo de los Niños y Galeria Nacional

    Get the kids cultured at this unique children's museum which features interesting exhibits on geography, music, science and culture. For the older visitor, the National Gallery contains some interesting contemporary artwork.
  • Address: Calle 4, north of 9th Avenue, San José City.

Museo Etnohistórico de Limón

    This is a great place to see Afro-caribbean artefacts and learn a bit more about distinctive culture of the Limón province. There is also some artwork exhibited here.
  • Address: Calle 4, between 1st and 2nd Avenue, Puerto Limón City, Limón.

Museo de Sabanero

    This is the best place to learn about the Costa Rican folk and cowboy culture which is so apparent in the Guanacaste region. Whilst the province is not quite as traditonal as it used to be, it still retains a lot of pride in its culture as part of Costa Rica since it was considered as part of Nicaragua until 1824.
  • Address: Tourist Office, Avenida 25 de Julio, Liberia City, Guanacaste.
Butterfly Farm Costa Rica

Butterfly Farm

    Not strictly speaking a 'museum', Alajuela's butterfly farm makes for a really unforgettable day out for children and adults alike. Costa Rica is home to 10% of the world's butterfly species and you can see a wide range of these beautiful animals here. You will also learn all about the life cycle of these amazing creatures and their various methods of protection and camouflaging. The gardens are spectacular and there are some really lovely views from the farm.
  • Address: La Guácama, Alajuela Province.