Among Bogota’s most popular and spectacular attractions, the Museo del Oro sparkles with more than 55,000 priceless archaeological and artistic treasures. Only a fraction can be displayed at any one time within the main edifice, itself a work of art, ensconced in elegantly and eloquently designed displays of Colombia’s dazzling bounty.
There are four floors of exhibits, signed in both Spanish and English, with audio guides available in a handful of other languages. From delicate filigree nose rings to carefully crafted containers for coca leaves to the famed “Muisca Raft,” depicting the legend of El Dorado, the “Golden Man,” these objects have been innovatively arranged to tell tales of pre-Colombian mining, manufacturing and metallurgy, as well as offer insight into the daily life, society, war and worship of these ancient Colombians.
The grand finale is the Offering Room, less an exhibit than light-and-sound show designed to recreate the experience of a shamanic religious ceremony, using tens of thousands of golden artifacts. The gift shop is also worth a wander as you exit the building.
Of course, all that glitters in Colombia is not gold, which is why you could consider crossing Santander Park to the Emerald Museum, actually a private collection of some 3000 Colombian emeralds. Views from the 23rd story of the Avianca Building are spectacular, but you must have picture ID to enter.