Costa Rica is steeped deep in culture and if you have plans to visit this wonderful land of enchantment, you will want to breathe in as much of it as you can during your limited stay. Fortunately, since remaining within a tight budget might be a concern, the country is home to many museums which are free to low-cost. Costa Ricans are proud of their heritage and want visitors to become familiar with it. Citizens in Costa Rica generally rank high in education, and as such have developed an insatiable and demanding taste for the arts. As a traveler to their country, regardless of budget, these museums should be high on your list of places to visit.
Depending upon your interest, there is a museum to suit your tastes. They range in focus from history, contemporary art, technology, natural sciences, biology, and there is even one devoted to criminology. Costa Rican’s have a fond desire to be educated and informed in as many areas as possible, so the only difficulty you may encounter is in deciding which museums to squeeze into your travel schedule. The majority of museums are centrally located near the downtown San Jose area, but if nature is your thing, you may have to travel into the rainforest for the thrill of a lifetime.
Though there are many from which to choose, the following is information on two of the better known and most frequently visited.
The National Museum of Costa Rica – This head honcho museum of them all was established in 1917 in the former headquarters of the now-defunct Costa Rican Army. The museum’s primary focus is in the preservation of Costa Rica’s cultural and natural heritage. Since its inception the National Museum of Costa Rica has had primary focuses on education, scientific investigation, exhibitions (permanent and traveling), and is home to many important historical artifacts and national works of art. One could easily devote an entire day to visiting and still only scratch the surface.
The Costa Rican Art Museum (El Museo de Arte Costarricense) – Established in 1977, this museum is easily accessible in downtown San Jose by the La Sabana Metropolitan Park. Only the most talented of Costa Rican artists have their works of contemporary art and sculptures on display here. Of particular interest may be the section of wood carvings which tend to astound visitors.
A huge mural by noted French sculptor Louis Feron, adorns the second floor, and depicts Costa Rica’s rich history from pre-Columbian times to present day. It is truly a wonder to behold and contains historical images of prominent figures to include native people.
For fans of chamber music, they often play host to musical quartets performing in an area referred to as the Golden Hall.
As stated, one could easily spend their entire visit to Costa Rica just museum-hopping. Hopefully, the two referenced in the article will get you started. Happy travels!