Museo de Cultura Popular Museum, Heredia

Visit the Museo de Cultura Popular (Popular Culture Museum) in Heredia and learn about its rural tradition

Museo de Cultura Popular, Heredia
Museo de Cultura Popular
© Museo de la Cultura popular de Barva

The visit to Barva’s Museo de Cultura Popular (Popular Culture Museum) is a travel in time by the Costa Rican rural traditions. The museum is located at a remodeled traditional house that was built between 1885 and 1887. It has been furnished with objects and daily tools, and it is a faithful representation of the architecture of a coffee estate.

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Museo de Cultura Popular Museum, Costa Rica
Museo de Cultura Popular Museum, Costa Rica
© Museo de la Cultura popular de Barva

It was built with adobe, a construction system that was developed in Central America from ancient times. This method uses reeds and interweaved sticks joined with a mix of wet soil and wicker as main construction materials.

There, you can discover a rooted rural and traditional way of life that prospered and was adapted to modern times through the progress in coffee production. The museum’s decoration will take you to the ancient Costa Rican way of life, since their habits, beliefs, and principles, as well as their way of interpreting the world, are portrayed in the different showrooms. The kitchen is a good spot in the tour: it has an iron structure, three grills, and simple tableware. Then, you have the humble bedrooms and the dining room, which is prepared to receive guests in special events.

At the exterior courtyard you can discover traditional constructions, for example, the barn, that was used to store agricultural tools; and the ditch and the sink, that were used for water resource exploitation. There is also a semi-circular oven made of volcanic stone attached to the house, over a base made of stone and mud. And attached to the oven, there is a woodshed. This exterior courtyard is packed with medicinal plant crops that were used for the daily needs of the family. The house and its adjoining area were delimited by stone walls, adobe garden walls, and flower fences made out of red poppies and indian cane, among others.

The museum has also a series of interesting collections about different aspects of the traditional Costa Rican culture: daily-use objects, photographs, different paper masks, traditional clothing, and a series of hand-painted ceramic murals about the agricultural seasons and the traditions and festivities related to those seasons.

You can take a guided tour and participate in some of the multiple workshops that are carried out there. For instance, there is a restaurant that serves traditional foods and beverages where you can participate in a cooking workshop and taste your own creations.

More information:


Santa Lucía de Barva, Heredia, Costa Rica.

Opening hours:

Sunday from 10 to 17 - It is NOT necessary to get an appointment

Telephone numbers:

(+506) 2260-1619, (+506) 2261-3462



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