Juan Santamaria Historical Cultural Museum

Juan Santamaria Historical Cultural Museum

Juan Santamaria Historical Cultural Museum
4.5
Speciality Museums • History Museums
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Tuesday
9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
About
Juan Santamaria Cultural Historical Museum is the national institution to acquire, preserve, preserve, research and disseminate cultural heritage, related to the National Campaign and the province of Alajuela. It is located in the Old Headquarer and Old Alajuela's City Jail. The Museum have historial and art exhibitions, cafe, bookstore, library and an auditorium where cultural activities take place.
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  • Phil G
    London, United Kingdom36 contributions
    Free museum entry
    If you're in Alajuela then this is somewhere you must visit, along with the central market!! Here you can learn all about the history of the country and see many interesting historical items of clothing, tools, stonware, army weapons, etc... It doesn't take more than an hour to walk round and it's a good place to take a break from either the heat or the rain. I think the entry was free and the staff that were working at the museum were very helpful.
    Visited July 2021
    Written July 31, 2021
  • Jacinda B
    35 contributions
    Helpful staff, informational exhibits, breathtaking rooftop views
    The customer service here was exceptional! We were the only people there at the time, so they gave us a lot of special attention and showed us the suggested order to view the rooms. They also made sure we got a chance to go to the roof, which was definitely the highlight of our visit. The views were amazing and the staff member who brought us up there took photos of us upon our request and allowed us to take our time looking out over the city. As English-speaking tourists, we weren't able to fully understand the exhibits because only about half of the signs had English translations, but we saw enough to learn a lot about the history and culture of Alajuela.
    Visited November 2022
    Written November 22, 2022
  • CiscoTax
    Lexington, South Carolina16 contributions
    Worth it
    The history of the building and the ticos were beautifully represented. The museum was very clean. The views from the roof were amazing. What set this museum apart was how helpful and knowledgeable the staff were. Wish we had longer as and hour was not enough. 5 teens/2- 40s and a 70s
    Visited July 2022
    Traveled with family
    Written August 10, 2022
  • Type-A-Mother
    84 contributions
    Okay Museum in an Okay City
    The day I visited the museum was free for some reason. There are some very official men upon entering that describe the rules (no flash photos, drinks, food) of the museum and have you sign in. It was a good place to escape the noise and heat of the square. Some signs in English which was surprising because very few people speak English in this city.
    Visited March 2016
    Traveled solo
    Written March 19, 2016
  • MissDCWilson
    Costa Rica455 contributions
    A Hero?
    Over the last few years the Costa Rican government has changed his teaching curriculum and Juan Santamaria is no longer a hero. Yet, this cultural museum stands and reminds the public of the famous battle that took place near the border between Costa Rica and Nicaragua. A crazy guy from the US, William Walker figured he could take over every country in Central America and make his own. Of course he fought with his own army and the rest of the story is right at this museum in Alajuela. Go ahead, visit this museum and learn more about Juan Santamaria and why he is famous.
    Visited May 2015
    Written November 21, 2015
  • Phil J
    Buda, Texas168 contributions
    Excellent synopsis of the war for Costa Rican independence
    Costa Rica was invaded by mercenaries, hoping to enslave the people and gain admittance into the United States. The Costa Rican people rose up to expel the bastards, and this museum goes into great detail about that struggle, and many other aspects of Costa Rican life. It's free, you just sign in at the guard desk. The toilets in the public restrooms have been stripped of their toilet seats, for some reason, both men's and women's
    Visited September 2019
    Written September 18, 2019
  • Cathleen B
    Cairns, Australia95 contributions
    not worth it
    This Museum was undergoing remodeling and there was very little to see. I also almost got clobbered by a rope a guy dropped down out of an attic from a ladder. I was glad it was free. I do not recommend whatsoever.
    Visited November 2016
    Traveled solo
    Written November 23, 2016
  • jannelupita
    Dolores, Colorado78 contributions
    Interesting
    I really learned a lot here- not just about Juan Santamaria but they provide an in depth history of the context of the battle at Rivas. Who knew that a US lawyer and his "filibusters" could have such an impact on Central American history. walker wanted to turn the region into a slave colony- no wonder they are so proud of his defeat! There's a great piece on the US policy of "manifest destiny" and a lot of interesting objects including swords, bayonets, and rifles used in the US civil war. Definitely worth a visit if you want to know more about Costa Rica than "pura vida" jungles and beaches...
    Visited July 2016
    Traveled as a couple
    Written August 10, 2016
  • 2Islandhands
    Marco Island, Florida41 contributions
    It's free to go see..... Interesting History of Costa Rica
    Did you know? who tried to claim Costa Rica during the US Civil War? Well, go visit & enjoy the time to understand why Costa Rica is a beautiful Place. Plenty of information on the culture... plan on a few hours, then walk to the park or market for a cup of coffee or ice cream.
    Visited November 2015
    Traveled with friends
    Written May 24, 2016
  • MartyJean B
    Lakewood, Ohio101 contributions
    History not taught in the U.S.
    We had a bit of difficulty because the electricity was off at the museum so we had to get flashlights. A lot of the explanations are only in Spanish which added to the challenge. However, the story of how a U.S. citizen tried to take over Central American countries in order to profit from slavery was news to me. It's a nicely laid out museum, right on the very busy square in Alajuela.
    Visited March 2016
    Written March 24, 2016
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.5
188 reviews
Excellent
85
Very good
70
Average
30
Poor
1
Terrible
2

Type-A-Mother
Colorado84 contributions
Mar 2016 • Solo
The day I visited the museum was free for some reason. There are some very official men upon entering that describe the rules (no flash photos, drinks, food) of the museum and have you sign in.
It was a good place to escape the noise and heat of the square. Some signs in English which was surprising because very few people speak English in this city.
Written March 19, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MissDCWilson
Costa Rica455 contributions
May 2015
Over the last few years the Costa Rican government has changed his teaching curriculum and Juan Santamaria is no longer a hero. Yet, this cultural museum stands and reminds the public of the famous battle that took place near the border between Costa Rica and Nicaragua. A crazy guy from the US, William Walker figured he could take over every country in Central America and make his own. Of course he fought with his own army and the rest of the story is right at this museum in Alajuela. Go ahead, visit this museum and learn more about Juan Santamaria and why he is famous.
Written November 22, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Phil J
Buda, TX168 contributions
Sep 2019
Costa Rica was invaded by mercenaries, hoping to enslave the people and gain admittance into the United States. The Costa Rican people rose up to expel the bastards, and this museum goes into great detail about that struggle, and many other aspects of Costa Rican life. It's free, you just sign in at the guard desk. The toilets in the public restrooms have been stripped of their toilet seats, for some reason, both men's and women's
Written September 18, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Cathleen B
Cairns, Australia95 contributions
Nov 2016 • Solo
This Museum was undergoing remodeling and there was very little to see. I also almost got clobbered by a rope a guy dropped down out of an attic from a ladder. I was glad it was free. I do not recommend whatsoever.
Written November 23, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

jannelupita
Dolores, CO78 contributions
Jul 2016 • Couples
I really learned a lot here- not just about Juan Santamaria but they provide an in depth history of the context of the battle at Rivas. Who knew that a US lawyer and his "filibusters" could have such an impact on Central American history. walker wanted to turn the region into a slave colony- no wonder they are so proud of his defeat! There's a great piece on the US policy of "manifest destiny" and a lot of interesting objects including swords, bayonets, and rifles used in the US civil war. Definitely worth a visit if you want to know more about Costa Rica than "pura vida" jungles and beaches...
Written August 10, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

2Islandhands
Marco Island, FL41 contributions
Nov 2015 • Friends
Did you know? who tried to claim Costa Rica during the US Civil War? Well, go visit & enjoy the time to understand why Costa Rica is a beautiful Place. Plenty of information on the culture... plan on a few hours, then walk to the park or market for a cup of coffee or ice cream.
Written May 24, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MartyJean B
Lakewood, OH101 contributions
Mar 2016
We had a bit of difficulty because the electricity was off at the museum so we had to get flashlights. A lot of the explanations are only in Spanish which added to the challenge. However, the story of how a U.S. citizen tried to take over Central American countries in order to profit from slavery was news to me. It's a nicely laid out museum, right on the very busy square in Alajuela.
Written March 24, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

jkatz15
Palo Alto, CA14 contributions
Jul 2015
For a free exhibit it's fine. There are well-kept exhibits about the political history of Costa Rica on the ground floor, with some of the signs in English. It's not worth going far out of your way to visit, but is a fine place to wander around for a few minutes if you're in the area already. There were a couple small exhibits on the second floor with some very contemporary paintings, which I believe were temporary exhibits, and may be enjoyable if you're into that.
Written July 22, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

jolen6
Central Oregon, OR203 contributions
Jun 2014 • Friends
Very nice museum, lots of interesting displays and information about Costa Rican history. Great way to start your trip and learn about the country
Written July 10, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jude K
Chicago, IL11 contributions
May 2012 • Friends
This is a wonderful free museum across from the Parque Central in Alajuela. There is a permanent exhibit that provides a great overview of the history of Costa Rica. The traveling exhibits change regularly and are representative of the culture of Costa Rica. A "must see" if you have some time in downtown Alajuela.
Written May 31, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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  • Tue - Sun 9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
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