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“Even better now!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Jade Museum (Museo Nacional del Jade)

Jade Museum (Museo Nacional del Jade)
Avenida Central, Calle 11 | Costado Oeste de la Plaza de la Democracia, San Jose, Costa Rica
506-287-6034
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Top Rated
$48*
and up
San Jose City Sightseeing Tour
Ranked #11 of 81 things to do in San Jose
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Jade - the precious gemstone known as the 'stone of heaven' has been cherished for millennia and is believed to possess mystical powers, immortality, and invincibility. This is a place where visitors could indulge themselves with jade and be mesmerised by the sheer nature of these heavenly stones. A visit to the Jade Museum would definitely be a favourable experience and they do have an extensive range of souvenirs in jade which one could adorn themselves with or for gifts to their loved ones.
Wisconsin
Level Contributor
26 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Even better now!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2014

23 years ago I first visited the Museo de Jade in its old location in the INS building. It quickly became my favorite museum in Costa Rica. I was blown away today when I visited the new location. WOW WOW WOW just WOW. I ran into a Costa Rican friend after I visited and said, "Where did they have all that stuff all those years?"

I've been to many of the top anthropology museums in Mexico, as well as the unbelievable Gold Museum in Bogota. This is on par, world class just like those. As others have mentioned, it is the largest jade collection in the world. There are great interactive exhibits for kids. I kind of followed a CR high school group to listen to their guide and the students seemed into it.

My favorite part was the section explaining the connection of the jade and pre-Colombian art to the rain forest, with its stunning floor to ceiling display of color. That whole floor was amazing. The life size dioramas, the explanation of chamanism was all really interesting.

I'm also glad that they have changed the old "adults" section into a more academic, "Gender and Sexuality" section. That is a section that may make you blush a bit. It is handled in mature way but I saw some parents whisk their kids away from the giant penises.

Some reviewers said it only took them a half an hour to see this. I'm wondering if they realized it was six floors of exhibits? I am excited that they have more space to grow and do special exhibits. It was well worth the entrance price.

I do agree, however, that more needs to be done with signage of the smaller displays. I've been to many great museums...the British Museum, most Smithsonians, the Louvre, the Prado, Tokpaki Palace and they all include descriptions with most individual items. I don't expect it for every little amulet. Some of the electronic displays weren't working well either. This is something that is fixable. I'm also hoping a museum guide becomes available as well. I'd really like to know more about the individual indigenous peoples. When the different languages were used in one exhibit, I wanted to know more about these peoples. When I did ask a few questions of the security people, they offered to call me a guide. I snapped pictures (no flash) and asked when I got back to the lobby on a few things. Most signs are bilingual English/Spanish.

Still overall, an excellent experience. Beautiful new building. I loved all the windows.

Visited July 2014
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Sarchi, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Jade Museum reopens in new location”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2014

It was well worth the wait. Now called the "Museo del Jade y de la Cultura Precolumbina" sponsored by INS, the national Costa Rican insurance company, reopened at its new permanent location on 8 May in a six-story window-less building constructed solely to house this museum. The new is located across the Plaza de la Democracia from the National Museum. The Jade Museum is modern, greatly expanded and improved from its previous site, visually appealing (forward, backward, above and below) and exceptionally well done. It hit all of our hot buttons. Admission for non-resident adults is $15 and well-worth every penny.

The museum houses the largest collection of pre-Columbian jade jewelry and artifacts in the Americas. Each floor features a different element of pre-Columbian societies, displays ancient jewelry making techniques, pre-Columbian daily life, the importance of shamans and burial rituals, introduces surviving indigenous native tribes, and also displays a large collection of pots, vases, craved stone metates, flutes, pipes and hunting weapons. There's an awful lot to see, but don't give up until you've been to see the thousands of beautifully preserved and decorated pots, vases and jewelry displayed on Level 5 (the sixth and top floor).

Visited June 2014
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Escazú, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
22 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“There is a new location for this museum”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2014

A new five-story building has just open at the corner of Avenidad Central (Central Avenue) and Calle 11 (11th Street) on the West side of the Plaza de La Democracia (Democracy Square) in San Jose Downtown. This new building houses the Museo del Jade y Arte Precolombino (Jade Museum & Precolumbian Art) and is just, well, AMAZING!!! It houses one of the best collections of Jade work in Latin America and the displays of the new facility are well organized and very well executed. A MUST VISIT for museum lovers and a good teaching tool for high-school and college students related to history, art and architecture.

Visited June 2014
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San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
22 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“A must see.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 19, 2014

Not only is it the largest jade collection in the world, it's a world-class Pre-Columbian collection of many other goods as well. The 5 story multi-million dollar building is a beauty. There is a Shamanic collection of pieces that is truly memorable and lots to keep both children and adults interested.

The 7,000+ piece strong collection has never been exhibited in its entirety before now- the breadth of it and the quality is really something to behold. We are expats going on our third year here and it can be dicey to recommend museums and trips into San Jose which can quickly become an all too urban experience. However, the new location is a gem. Our guests liked the museum so much they stayed on to go back after a terrific lunch at an authentic Italian restaurant that is within striking distance of the museum and took a cab back. (on the corner just past the parking that sits behind the museum--- Sapore Trattoria 2222-8906)

The new location makes for a stellar San Jose itinerary-
1. The National Museum is almost next door
2. National Park: There is a beautiful park a couple block's away that is a green oasis and fun people watching.
3. The Gold Museum and National Theater are a stone's throw (my 80 year old Aunt/Uncle and 70+ parents walked this no problem).


*Be sure to take in the noon concert at the National Theater on Tuesday's. It is almost free and a great variety of entertainment is presented- you won't go wrong. Stay for a fascinating tour of the theater after with Jeff- he is extremely knowledgable and has excellent English. Coffee at the cafe is a great finish.

There are some rough spots in the new museum but they are minor and hopefully reflect that it's only been open since the end of May 2014. Ideally, the powers that be will invest in more labeling of the collection and not depend on the computer catalog which is really basic and adds little to understanding the outstanding pieces.


*They were still installing a cafeteria and gift shop when we visited in June 2014.
Good luck!

Visited June 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
23 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“World Class Museum”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2014

The recently inaugurated Jade Museum in San Jose, Costa Rica, provides a great reason to spend some time in Costa Rica´s capital city. The modern building hosts 5 floors and the largest collection of Jade in the whole world. It is beautifully organized and even features interactive games for young children to understand the country´s history.

Visited May 2014
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