Artifacts and Insects at Costa Rica's 10 Best Museums

While it's easy enough to fill each day with exploring the great outdoors of Costa Rica, carving out some time to visit some of the best museums will do much to enhance one's overall experience and deepen appreciation for this tiny, precious Central American country. A massive collection of artifacts collected from pre-Columbian monuments are on display at the Museo de Oro Pre-Columbino (Pre-Columbian Gold Museum) and its sister museum, Museo de Jade (Jade Museum), where the craftsmanship of ancient artisans is etched into gold objects, stone metates, and jade figures. At the Children's Museum, interactive displays educate and inform visitors about topics as diverse as bananas and coffee to astronomy and ecology. Insect enthusiasts will be enraptured with the live exhibits at the Museo de los Insectos (Museum of Insects) in Monteverde, which offers nocturnal tours, too. Nearby, the Bat Jungle sheds lights on Costa Rica's most populous, if not popular, mammalian species, with special flashlights that let's one witness these winged creatures in a simulated natural environment. Discover the works of some of Costa Rica's own national artists at El Museo de Arte Costarricense (MAC), which features rotating artist exhibits, and enjoy a stroll through the adjacent sculpture garden.

INBio Park
Photo courtesy of Dave McCracken


InBio Park is Costa Rica's national institute for biodiversity and conservation, and it's main attraction is a theme park for all ages that introduce's Costa Rica and many of its natural wonders to the public. InBio collaborates with government...  Read More



Despite its nondescript name and facade, the interior of the Hidden Art Gallery is an expansive space. The gallery currently has over 400 pieces of art, representing more than 50 artists in its 3,000 square feet of wall space. Fourteen rooms...  Read More



Cacao Trails is an easily accessible place to get acquainted with Costa Rica's cacao, from the important role of the fruit in local indigenous communities to the process it goes through from the bean to the bar, complete with a traditional...  Read More



High in the mountainous town of Monteverde, Costa Rica, the Bat Jungle is a museum with a live menagerie of this mysterious and maligned mammalian species on display. It's an otherwise unheard of exhibit in this country, even though these...  Read More



The Museo de Oro Pre-Columbino, or the Museum of Gold, is a crown jewel of Costa Rica's rich history. In addition to a stunning collection of over 1500 gold artifacts that date from date from 500 – 1500 AD, the collection includes other...  Read More



The Museo de los Ni�os is the children's museum of Costa Rica, housed in a former penitentiary that is built like a castle, now painted a bright sunny yellow, this inviting museum is part of the Centro Costarricense de la Ciencia y la...  Read More



Jade gems date from 500 BC to AD 800 and are showcased with special lighting, spacing and groupings to allow visitors to appreciate their intricate detail. In addition to the outstanding jade displays, the museum also houses pre-Columbian...  Read More



Once upon a time, El Museo de Arte Costarricense (MAC) was Costa Rica's main airport terminal. Now it is home to a diverse collection of works by some of the country's most revered artists and serves as a celebration of national talent....  Read More



Stamp collectors should seek out this unassuming three room museum tucked upstairs in the Edificio Correos, or the main post office building in Barrio La Merced of the capital city of San Jose. In addition to its extensive stamp collection, the...  Read More



If ever there were a better host for Mundo de los Insectos than the lush mountain of Monteverde, Costa Rica, it would be hard to imagine. As its name suggests, this roadside attraction features a most impressive collection of a high number of...  Read More


Meet Sophia LaMonica

On Sophia's first trip to Costa Rica, she came face to face with white-faced monkeys, gasped at the sight of giant purple crabs, and rode horseback through plunging waterfalls. Costa Rica...  More About Sophia