Back in 1996 we went to the Jade Museum which was free and was in the top of an insurance building. In 2014, a NEW building was been built for this museum which covers the life in Costa Rica from 500 B.C. to 900 A.D. Not just jade but other aspects of life. This museum might be best visited before the Gold Museum which starts at about 900 A.D. All the websites (as of 2015) still have the information (address, hours,admission) of the old museum. The current museum hours are 10 to 5 every day.
This is a very fancy and very well done museum which has five floors. The admission was $15.00 each, but the girl looked at me on the scooter and said "I will only charge you $5.00 each". Maybe there is a discount for old people.
There were six "Halls" to visit.
1) Threshold - ground floor - level 1. This has the jade item which is the museum logo
2) The Jade - level 2. This area shows where Jade comes from (no natural jade in Costa Rica) and how it is prepared and used.
3) The Day - level 3. Activities of daily life
4) The Night - level 3 Mythology and war
5) Ancestral Memory - level 4. What archaeology teaches us
6) Visitable Collection - level 5. Many cases of objects made from different materials from the three regions of Costa Rica.
We spent about a hour here and concentrated mostly on level 2 and 3 and just scanned through level 4 and 5. You could easily spend several hours in this museum.
The museum is located on the 11th floor of the Institute for National Security (INS). The building is easy to locate but the museum entrance is off to the left side as you approach the main entrance. The exhibit is the largest American jade collection in the world (over 6,000 works of pre-Columbian art and jewelry). Open Monday through Friday, 8 am-4:30 pm. Small admission.
I really loved the museum! It was so amazing to see the way in which Jade was elaborated and how people lived in the precolumbian aera. If you have any question the people there will help you (at least if you speak Spanish)
Moreover they have not only Jade but also a lot of other pieces, just like metates or ceramics and a lot of more things.
Thus, I would recommend everybody to visit the Jade Museum!
The Jade Museum was a very nice museum displaying some of the jade peices that were found in Costa Rica. Shows the importance of jade in hte variety of objects produced and the use by the members of the village. The jade part takes up about 25% of the museum, with the other part being about history of Costa Rica, ancient practices, and historical facts. Others made of ceramic & stone.
$7 8:30- 3:30pm m-f, sat morns.
Maybe because I had just had a dental makeover but this really caught my eye when I visited the Jade Museum . There are ceramices and bone depicting the mayans teeth . As prove of bravery and their rank they would serrate their teeth and have jade jewels inserted....
They have a very good collection of pre columbian works. It includes jade from interchange all over the Americas from the precolumbian , olmera and the mayan cultures. There are also ceramics, stone , gold and bone relics. It provides a fascinating loook at the life of the early cultures in this area of the world.
Open 8:30-3:30 Mon- Fri
Worth a visit but an hour is probably enough. Apart from what is probably the largest display of jade in the world, there are some interesting gold exhibits and good views from the museum itself over the capital.
Definitely make a point of visiting this museum. It was recently refurbished and has excellent informational placards and a wonderful atmosphere. When I went it was about 500 colones, I think. (almost 3 dollars) Worth the trip and the cash!
Open during the week: 8:30 - 4:30...but double-check on that.
I have tried invain (or it was closed - I was in San José around Christmas - or I hadn't enough time, had to go to the airport) to visit the Jade Museum so it has remained a must see activity even if not done :-(...
In the pic a navidad lit on the facade of the building of the museum