Jade Museum (Museo del Jade)
A visit to the Jade Museum sheds light on pre-Columbian societies and traditional Costa Rican culture. Thanks to its central location in downtown San Jose, the Jade Museum can easily be added on to any city tour. Explore its collection of 7,000 artifacts on your own or go with a guide for a more comprehensive experience.
Things to know before you go
This site is a must-see for history buffs.
Plan to spend roughly two hours exploring the five floors of displays.
Engaging kid-friendly activities include an excavation role-play and giant puzzles.
The museum offers a souvenir shop, restaurant, and cafe; take your drinks to go while you tour the exhibits.
How to get there
The Jade Museum is located on Central Street in San Jose, just down the road from the National Museum of Costa Rica and two blocks south of the famed National Park, so it’s easy to visit while you’re exploring downtown. Multiple bus lines stop within a few blocks of the museum, and the Museo stop on the Tren Urbano rapid transit system is a five-minute walk away. Transport by taxi or private vehicle is also available.
When to get there
The Jade Museum is open daily year-round, but it’s best to confirm opening hours during the many national holidays. Thanks to one of the largest collections of pre-Columbian artifacts in all of Central America, the museum can attract crowds. Save time waiting in line by booking tickets ahead or exploring as part of a tour. Otherwise, expect the largest crowds during Costa Rica’s high season, which runs from late November through April.
You may want to download a translation app before visiting the museum, as much of the information is presented in Spanish. If you need a place to start, remember that jade is pronounced "ha-day," the Spanish word for gold is oro, and pre-Columbian is precolombino.
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