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.

San Jose Church

Panama City, Panama
Improve this listing
Book ahead on Viator
Top Rated
and up
Panama City and Canal Sightseeing Tour
Ranked #15 of 67 Attractions in Panama City
Type: Religious Sites, Historic Sites, Cultural
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Owner description: 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.
Write a Review

201 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Newport Beach, California
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
22 attraction reviews
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2014

I always visit the historical churches in every city I visit. The history, culture, and beauty will never be recreated, again, You're here...visit it.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
St. Asaph, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
21 attraction reviews
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 4, 2014

This is the church where the gold altar was taken from the old Panama City. You can see the gold altar that Captain Henry Morgan failed to take after the priest had disguised it by painting it black.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Singapore, Singapore
Top Contributor
1,052 reviews 1,052 reviews
645 attraction reviews
532 helpful votes 532 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2014

This is a pretty little church, quite well maintained inside. The altar is worth a few minutes to admire. Tricky to get good pics of the exterior.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Wildomar, California
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
16 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2014

The altar is impressive for its intricate carvings. This was even more impressive given how long ago the carving was done.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2014

The gold alter is beuatiful one can weep with joy. The church is in the old city, and easy to find. Sit and listen to the stillness despite the busy city outside. Ask abiut Henry Morgan, the pirate's, relationship to the church. So amusing. As good as Robin Hood.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
22 attraction reviews
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2014

Visit this little Church and see "L'altare de oro". This is the only valuable thing that the famous Captain Morgan did not steal.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Top Contributor
719 reviews 719 reviews
174 attraction reviews
181 helpful votes 181 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2014

We were told the church currently isn't operating on a normal schedule. We were lucky enough to go inside. The church itself is small but the gold plated alter was beautiful! And has a great story behind it.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
26 attraction reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2014

Beautiful Catholic church. Nicely decorated and stays open all day. There are two daily messes from Monday to Sunday. Time changes so, if you want to attend, you need to check at your hotel or at the church.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Boquete, Panama
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
12 attraction reviews
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2014

Very pretty church with a gold altar. Lots to look at and spend time in quiet contemplation. Nice and cool to sit inside. Free.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Fairfield, California
19 reviews 19 reviews
8 attraction reviews
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2014

the parishioners were very friendly & proud of their very historical place of worship.since it's in Casco Viejo every significant tourist venue is well within walking distance

Was this review helpful? Yes 1

Travelers who viewed San Jose Church also viewed

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

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