We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Improve this listing
Sponsored by:
Map
Satellite
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Your filters are still active.
There are no pins in your viewport. Try moving the map or changing your filters.
Sponsored by:
Get directions
Address: Panama City, Panama
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Fee: No
Description: Built soon after the first Spanish settlement in the 16th century, this...
Built soon after the first Spanish settlement in the 16th century, this small church features the famous Golden Altar (Altar de Oro), which is made entirely of pure gold.
read more
Book ahead on Viator
Top Rated
$105*
and up
Panama City and Canal Sightseeing Tour

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 239 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 111
    Excellent
  • 95
    Very good
  • 28
    Average
  • 3
    Poor
  • 2
    Terrible
Most recent review
Worth your time

20 min of your time to see some amazing altars. Even if not for religious experience the historical significance is worth this stop.

4 of 5 starsReviewed March 15, 2015
1538cls
,
Baltimore, Maryland
Add Photo Write a Review

239 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Baltimore, Maryland
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 attraction reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2015

20 min of your time to see some amazing altars. Even if not for religious experience the historical significance is worth this stop.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Norwalk, Connecticut
Top Contributor
164 reviews 164 reviews
23 attraction reviews
135 helpful votes 135 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2015

It was wide open we walked in to light candles but they had these new wire up candles I put my money in but it didn't light up...could see why the priest painted it black so captain Morgan could not take it...what a great idea...

Was this review helpful? Yes
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
14 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2015

Very details and amazing to see it. Also they can keep it for so long without any damages. Amazing. Thanks to our guide, Rudy, we know the history behind it. You definitely need a tour guide or read it before you go.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Petersburg, Virginia
Top Contributor
82 reviews 82 reviews
14 attraction reviews
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2015

My tour group visited this church for about 30 minutes. The views were spectacular. The golden alter is an amazing tribute to God. The architecture is something special. We were able to walk around and take pictures without disturbing the parishioners who were very nice as well as understanding that we were touring the establishment.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Top Contributor
213 reviews 213 reviews
95 attraction reviews
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2015

I have seen a lot of old churches, but I cannot remember that I have ever been so impressed by an alter as I have by this one, - gold everywhere. It was a big surprise because it was hard to see from outside that the Church was going to be so impressive inside!

Was this review helpful? Yes
Edmonton, Canada
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
14 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2015

This beautiful church has the most ornate alter-piece entirely made of gold. A walk through any old church is always a delight, and this one is beautiful. Welcoming and reverent.

Was this review helpful? Yes
parisf
Top Contributor
204 reviews 204 reviews
130 attraction reviews
149 helpful votes 149 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2015

This church is located right in a rather narrow, dilapidated street in Viejo Panama (Old Panama) city. It is in a residential area near Plaza Herrera on Calle 8/9 Avenida A. Upon entering the Church, it is dark but the sight of the famous golden altarpiece is located right in the center of the church. It was saved from being... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
5 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2015

This old church for its history and beautiful sculptures and art. The church itself is rather non-descript inside and out. But, I guess that helps these details shine.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Top Contributor
104 reviews 104 reviews
19 attraction reviews
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2015

Well my family and I had a very interesting experience here. Like most people, the church was closed and locked when we went by the first two times. However, we were lucky because there was a baptism later that day that allowed us a glimpse of the alter. (Even longer story :) We were rushed through the church but I... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 4
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Top Contributor
2,028 reviews 2,028 reviews
1,108 attraction reviews
1,054 helpful votes 1,054 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2015

This church is located in a narrow street of Casco Viejo, a must visit neighborhood. The facade is very simple and old but pretty. The interiors are more spectacular, it has a golden altar. It is made of carved wood and it's covered in gold flake Take a quick look if you are visiting this area.

Was this review helpful? Yes

Travelers who viewed San Jose Church also viewed

Panama City, Panama Province
Panama City, Panama Province
 
Panama City, Panama Province
Las Cumbres, Panama City
 

Been to San Jose Church? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Register now for free — and start getting automatic notification of new reviews, responding to traveler feedback, adding new photos to your listing and much more.

Manage your listing

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of San Jose Church and other visitors
1 question
Ask a question
Questions? Get answers from San Jose Church staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?