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Museo Del Oro – Bogota’s Fabulous Gold Museum

Museo del Oro – Bogota’s Fabulous Gold Museum

The first thing we did on arriving in Bogota was to visit the Museo del Oro – the world’s largest gold museum and one of the highlights of Colombia with over half a million people visiting yearly.Interestingly only about 15% of its collection containing roughly 50,000 pieces is on display. And what a display it is. Even if you’re not normally a museum person this one is worth visiting. It’s likely to be one of the highlights of your stay in Bogota. 

At the Museo del Oro there isn’t just gold to be seen. The pieces in stone, pottery and metal are equally captivating. It’s not only the pieces that are so remarkable; it’s the way they are presented.  They provide a glimpse into the lives of the people from pre-Hispanic times.

The fantastic workmanship and the volume of gold pieces is astounding. The only other place I’ve been that rivals this for gold is the Topkapi Palace Museum in Istanbul.

The displays are first class and the lighting is sophisticated. Grab an audio guide so you get some understanding of the objects you’re seeing. And don’t miss the pitch black room on one of the upper floors. You start in the dark and over the course of many minutes the walls light up revealing gold pieces – and the cylinder in the center of the floor fills with gold objects.

The curators want to leave you with an unforgettable feeling about Bogota’s gold museum – and they accomplished that in spades.

Gold mask in the Gold Museum
Gold mask
Gold breast plates in the Museo del Oro
Gold breast plates
The flying fish
The flying fish
At the Museo del Oro it looks like a yoga pose to me
It looks like a yoga pose to me
Gold objects are beautifully displayed
Gold objects are beautifully displayed
Display showing how images were worn on the body
Display showing how images were worn on the body
Pottery mask with penetrating eyes
Pottery mask with penetrating eyes
The jaguar-man statues of St. Augustine
The jaguar-man statues of St. Augustine
"Sacrificial victim tied to a post"
Sacrificial victim tied to a high post and pierced with arrows until he bled to death. His blood was then offered up to the sun.
Seen
Reminds me of ‘The Thinker’
They were way ahead of us with regards to using nose rings
They were way ahead of us with regards to using nose rings
 At the Museo del Oro pottery pieces are spectacular
The pottery pieces are spectacular
Museo del Oro and a figure who looks like he's got a mouthful of cocoa leaves
Looks like he’s got a mouthful of cocoa leaves
The Museo del Oro boasts beautifully lit displays
The Museo del Oro boasts beautifully lit displays
Masks beautifully lit up at the Museo del Oro
Masks beautifully lit up at the Museo del Oro
The final stop in the Museo del Oro - a cylinder in the floor filled with gold art objects
The final stop in the Museo del Oro – a cylinder in the floor filled with gold art objects

Useful information about Museo del Oro

The museum is open from Tuesday until Saturday from 9 AM until 6 PM. It is closed on Mondays.

On Sundays and public holidays it’s open from 10 AM until 4 PM.

The entry fee is 3,000 Colombia pesos (about $1.50) but on Sundays it’s free.

Audio guides can be rented in English, French or Spanish.

There is a restaurant and cafe on site.

For more information on Colombia visit the Colombia Tourism website.

Further reading on Colombia

Click on the photo to bookmark to your Pinterest boards.

A visit to Bogota's fabulous gold museum

 

 

Leigh McAdam

Leigh McAdam is a Calgary based writer, author, photographer and social media enthusiast with over 61,000 followers. Her blog: HikeBikeTravel is frequently cited as one of the top travel and outdoor adventure blogs in Canada.

Author of Discover Canada: 100 Inspiring Outdoor Adventures
Co-author of 125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta

This Post Has 32 Comments
  1. Wow! What a place. . .I think I’d love spending a few hours there. You’ve about convinced me that we need to expand our future travels list to include Bogota. . .someday . . .

    1. @Jackie Bogota is another big city – but there were three very worthwhile things we did – that didn’t include shopping or dining in the higher end district – the Bogota bike tour, the tour of this gold museum and a tour of the underground salt cathedral.

  2. What an amazing museum. I can just imagine what it’s like if it is similar to the Topkapi Palace. The intricacy of their work is fascinating for pieces that are so old….and our teenagers thought they invented nose rings!!

    1. @Jenny The Topkapi Palace blew me away years ago – more with the sheer volume of the gold I saw – candlesticks weighing 66 kgs – that sort of thing. This wasn’t weight per se – but the sheer number of pieces with intricate workmanship on display. They were very sophisticated designers all those centuries ago.

  3. WOW..It must have been blinding in there. I would love to visit this museum and you did a great job capturing some of the objects up close. They’re all very interesting pieces but I’m drawn to that one that looks like the Thinker.

    1. @Mary There was a lot of reflection happening off the glass in many of my shots. I was actually surprised that we were allowed to take photos of almost everything. There were a few exhibits off limits but only a few.

  4. I’m surprised they show only 15% of their collection. I wonder if some of it travels. I saw an exhibition of gold either in DC or Ottawa years ago but it was so long ago, I can’t remember if it came from Columbia.

    1. @Billie There was one section of the museum – and my photo didn’t turn out – but it was a vault you entered – with big thick doors. I bet they id have a lot of security in place but it wasn’t visible under than the usual security guard in every room that you get in any museum.

  5. This museum trip will be one of those that I never forget. As much as ALL that gold is fabulous, the story it told was more amazing. The head sets were worth their weight in gold as they add a richness to the visit that you’d never get otherwise. It was a great introduction to Colombia and entices you to areas that were not on the radar. Go stand in that round room of gold and you’ll live in the world of rainbows and butterflies forever!
    John aka Hubby of Leigh

  6. I’ve visited the Museo del Oro in Cartagena, which is much smaller, I think, but otherwise similar. Very interesting – and perhaps unique to Colombia(?), these gold museums.

    1. @Sophie I hadn’t realized Cartagena had a gold museum too. A friend emailed me after this came out and let me know of great gold that she saw while visiting some of the museums in the Ukraine last summer.

  7. All that gold is mesmerizing! I do remember all the gold in the King Tut exhibit at the Egyptian museum; one of my favorite museums in the world.

    “The Thinker” is really cute 🙂

  8. Beautiful clear shots from the museum. I haven’t been to the museum (or to Colombia, at all yet), but you’ve reminded me that I should go there. When I was in my twenties, the Art gallery of New South Wales, in Sydney, held a major exhibition from the Museo de Oro. I wish I still had the catalogue, but don’t know what happened to it.

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