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“Impressive” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Jade Museum

Jade Museum
Book In Advance
$15.00*
and up
San Jose Jade Museum General Admission Ticket
Ranked #3 of 111 things to do in San Jose
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: The Jade Museum and of precolumbian culture is positioned as an innovative state-of-the-art cultural proposal in the protection and conservation of archaeological heritage in Central America. Located in the center of Costa Rics's capital, the building was especially constructed to house the museum's collection, its architecture evoking a cut jade block. Its five levels exhibit objects crafted by artisans specialized in solving their daily subsistence needs, their spiritual and political world.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Food available for purchase, Stairs / elevator, Lockers / storage, Wheelchair access
Portsmouth, Virginia
Level Contributor
91 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
“Impressive”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2014 via mobile

Went to the former location some years ago, and couldn't wait to see the new one.
Wow! Five floors of galleries with almost the entire collection on display. Described as being over 7000 individual pieces.....at least that many. It is unquestionably world class.
We give it the highest recommendation possible. Do yourself a favor and visit!

Helpful?
1 Thank ed4_vida_rica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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629 reviews from our community

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Las Vegas, Nevada
Level Contributor
28 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
Helpful?
3 Thank Paseando
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sarchi, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 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
Helpful?
1 Thank Donald D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Escazú, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
29 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 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
Helpful?
Thank Ticoviajero_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
Helpful?
1 Thank Spokanistan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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