While traveling, you can't limit yourself to popular attractions and visits to restaurants. Learning about the local culture and history is also a great part of traveling. That's why I recommend that on the first you visit city you should go on some sort of city tour. Those are normally in the form of bus tours, bike tours or walking tours. In them you learn tons about the city.
The second way to learn about locals is visiting it museums. However each country has tons of them how do you choose among them with the limited time you have while traveling?
This article is part 2 of a list of some of the best in Central America. Click here to check out part 1.
The Second Part of the Guide to Museums in Central America
Museums in Costa Rica
1. Museo del Oro Precolombino - Its name means "Museum of pre-Columbian gold". You will find it in San Jose City within the central bank of Costa Rica. In it you will find an impressive collection of Artifacts made of gold from the civilizations that lived in the area before the Spaniards set foot on the region.
2. Museo de Arte Costarricense - This is another museum in San Jose. The Costa Rican Art museum houses the largest and most important collection of artwork from Costa Rican artists. Aside from some temporary exhibitions they have over 6,000 pieces that are permanently shown.
3. The Jade Museum - You will be astonished when you walk along this place. The museum houses the world’s largest collection of American jade. It was moved to its present place in early 2014 and has five floors where all of the unique pieces are displayed.
4. The National Gallery of Contemporary Art and Design - The museum was founded in 1994 to showcase some of the best works of art from Central American artists. This place is home to 900 pieces and they are all rotated in the exhibits. You will also find it in San Jose City.
5. Museo nacional de Costa Rica - Or The Costa Rican National Museum is set on a beautiful building that used to be a fortress from 1917. You can still see the bullet wholes from the civil war. In it you can see pre-Columbian artifacts, some other from colonial days and modern ones.
Museums in Panama
1. History Museum of Panama - It is located in the second floor of the municipal building of Casco Viejo in Panama City. In it you will find all sorts of documents, artifacts, paintings and sculptures that will take you along Panama´s history.
2. Panama Interoceanic Canal Museum - The building where it is set was built in 1874 but it was originally a hotel. The actual museum opened in 1997. In it you will be able to learn everything there is to know about the process that led to the construction of the Canal and ts importance through the years.
3. Biomuseo - It is set on a modern building that is a work of art. You have to see it. The museum consists of eight exhibitions that tell the story from the origin of the region seen from a biological perspective.
4. Afro-Antillian Museum - This one may not be as spectacular as the previous one but it is just as interesting. In its small exhibits you can learn all about the history of Panama´s West Indian community and how they were crucial in the construction of the railroad and canal.
5. Natural Science Museum - The museum has been opened since 1975 and is located in Panama city. In it you will find a large collection of well preserved specimens of geology and paleontology from the region and some other international.
As you might be able to guess, there are tons of other museums all over the regions. This list is only a reflection of some of the mos popular or interesting ones.
Have you ever visited any of these? I would love to learn all about your experience. Leave your recommendations in the comments.