I live in San Jose and often find myself at this museum with groups of all ages. The building itself is fun to see - a big, yellow fort overlooking San Jose. You can still see the bullet holes from the last battle fought there. The museum itself is moderately well done, and takes you from pre-colombian history (Pre-Columbus-discovery-of-America) to modern day. Plus, there is a beautifully restored period house, a gold exhibit, a jade exhibit (San Jose has a gold and a jade museum, but you can see what is in those museums in these rooms). There are old canons, massive rock balls, an old sugar cane processor and even a butterfly garden. One visit to this museum and you feel like you've had a taste of the country.
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