Museo de Numismática
Who doesn't like money? While not exactly the US Mint, this place too is pretty cool. A lot of the early coins are really quite beautiful and displayed to perfection.
There are about 4,000 items on display including bills, coins and many early documents showing the early history of Costa Rica.
Costa Rica ha a symphony and a really nice symphony hall to go with it. In addition, shows are scheduled here throughout the year, many including world famous performers.
Visiting the theater is free. So is taking pictures!
There are guided tours and they are also free.
The theatre sits next to the Hotel Costa Rica, a once favorite haunt of mine. There once was nothing finer than to sit in front of the hotel, drink coffee and people watch. There used to be a ton of street people there hawking their wares and offering shoe shines (even though you were wearing sandals!).
Sadly, the hotel has built a barricade around the outdoor coffee area, which, while probably a bit safer for the unknowing, sadly removes one of the most enjoyable places in Costa Rica for just hanging out. I will not return.
San José has also removed most if not all the street vendors, so now you are left with something like a Columbus Ohio, but in Spanish! There are still the shops surrounding this area, but some of the soul of San José is now gone.
Teatro Popular Melico Salazar
The Theater Melico Salazar is an important center for culture in Costa Rica. There are shows year around including live theatre, dance, art, and so on.
This is such a cool place. We go there all the time, most recently to see a Tango show. It is the classic proscenium theatre and there is always a wide variety of performances.
It is a beautiful old building representative of some of the finest architecture in the country. This theater should definitely be put on your list. It is located in Central San José on Paseo Colon.
Web Site: http://www.teatromelicosalazar.go.cr/
A note about tickets to both theaters!
You can buy tickets online, but the system is REALLY weird! Elect if possible to pickup the tickets on the day of the performance. I made the mistake of arranging a pickup at one of the remote locations and brother whatta hassle!
Located in downtown San José, this is a great spot to take the kids. It used to be an old military prison, but was converted into The Costa Rican Center of Science and Culture or simply the Children's Museum.
The museum is located just north of downtown San Jose. There are a ton of cool and interactive exhibits that kids find to be a lot of fun.
Sadly, they appear to have no web site. The hours are Monday through Sunday and it opens at 10AM.
Museo de Arte y Diseño Contemporáneo - Museum of Art and Contemporary Design
Located about 30 minutes from Sam José, just past the airport is Zoo Ave. Pronounced Zu-Avay. Now THIS is worth a visit!
Zoo Ave is a marvelous zoo here in Costa Rica, but something very few tourists ever visit. The times I have been there, it was almost all Costa Rican visitors. This is a shame as Zoo Ave is a marvelous place covering 59 hectares of beautifully landscaped grounds. It is also a wildlife rescue center for injured wildlife.
Zoo Ave is one of only two zoos in the world to display the incredible and resplendent quetzals. To see one, read my Blog post about my attempt to photograph the little buggers. You will also read how my wife saves dead birds!
There are also crocodile, deer, turtles, ostrich, tapirs, peccaries, pumas, and all the indigenous monkeys housed in large enclosures.
We found an injured owl not long ago and took it to the excellent Zoo Ave animal rescue. If you would like to read more, here is the story.
Zoo Ave is located in La Garita, maybe 10-15 minutes past the airport heading for the beaches (NW). Admission is $15.00 for adult tourists. Much cheaper if you are a citizen or legal resident.
Located in Grecia, about 45 minutes northwest of San José is the World of Snakes. From their web site, they are an open-air-exhibition with snakes from all over the world. They also say that you can,, if you wish, "...get in close contact with snakes.". Hmmm! Bring the kids!
Serpentario El Mundo de las Serpientes
|Location:||Grecia, Costa Rica, not far from the metal church (which is another thing you should see!)|
|Hours:||Monday thru Sunday from 8.00 a.m to 4.00 p.m|
Web Site: Snake Tour
|Location:||Santa Elena, Monteverde, Costa Rica|
|Hours:||There are guided tours all day, from 9:00 a.m. to 06:00 p.m.|
There is also a cool poison frog museum in Monteverde.
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