|Museums & Exhibits||| Print ||
Costa Rica's museums are many and varied, from the Pre-Columbian art displays in the Gold Museum to the Children's Museum just north of San Jose. Most are located in downtown San Jose, and are easy walking distance from the Plaza de la Cultura.
Located in downtown San José, this museum is unlike any other in Central America. At one time an old military prison, this complex was converted into an interactive and educational experience for its children. Costa Rica was sending the message that the future of this tiny country was not going to be that of bloodshed and strife. Instead, its future would be the education and care of its children.
The Gold museum, in downtown San José, is easily the country's best with thousands of different examples of Pre-Colombian gold artifacts. The pieces in the collection date from 500 BE to 1600 AD, when the new world was discovered by Christopher Columbus an the artifacts range from simple round earrings to intricately worked representations of local animals. Tastefully exhibited with great lighting and clear concise descriptions, the museum opens a window into the past and into lives of those indigenous groups that lived in Costa Rica.
Joyas del Tropico Museum
Located in Santo Domingo de Heredia, 100 meters east of the cementery, this natural history museum exhibits insects from tropical rainforests throughout the world. Open Tuesday-Sunday and requires a $5.00 fee for tourists/foreigners.
A former fortress from the revolution of 1948, this renovated yellow building contains exhibits on Pre-Columbian art, religious art, and the history of Costa Rica. In addition, the garden courtyard offers visitors a pleasant view of the city of San José. Located on Calle 17, between Avenidas Central and 2, this museum is open from Tuesday-Saturday from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Sunday 9:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. There is a 200 colones entrance fee, children under 10 years of age receive free admision.
Museum of Costa Rican Art
Located on the eastern end of Sabana Park, this museum exhibits a permanent collection of Costa Rica's most highly recognized artistic achievements. Open Tuesday-Saturday, 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., there is a 400 colones fee, students enter for 200 colones.
Serpentarium (Snake Exhibit)
Located in downtown San José, just across from the casino called Colonial (Avenida 1 between Calles 9 & 11). This exhibit contains an exotic collection of tropical reptiles and amphibians, including venomous snakes from Costa Rica, deadly Cobras from Asia and Africa, Giant Pythons, as well as the extraordinary colors of tropical lizards and poison dart frogs. Open everyday from 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. (Monday-Friday) and 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. (Saturday-Sunday). The entrance fee is 500 colones for locals and 1000 colones for foreigners.
Monteverde Butterfly Garden
The Monteverde Butterfly Garden represents about 40-50 species of local butterflies. It provides an excellent opportunity to take photographs.
Butterflies With a Sense of Smell
Some male butterflies have a better sense of smell than the best dog. Butterflies "noses" are many smell glands that are found on the antennae. Some males are able to detect females up to 10 Km away. Male moths (Bollilas) develop large antennae capable of very acute sense of smell. Thanks to these antennae, they are able to locate females that are far away, thanks in part to a peculiar smell they release.
The first Monteverde Butterfly Garden has over 13 years of experience in raising butterflies and insects. We also have a leaf cutter and nest under glass, a medicinal plant trail, and the NEW Bug Theator featuring, "The Insects of Costa Rica". Our mission is education and all visitors receive an hour-long guided tour through the facility.