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  • Excellent48%
  • Very good38%
  • Average12%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
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“golden altar”(51 reviews)
“henry morgan”(14 reviews)
“gold alter”(12 reviews)
Built soon after the first Spanish settlement in the 16th century, this small church features the famous Golden Altar (Altar de Oro), which is made entirely of pure gold.
Suggested duration: < 1 hour
As featured in 3 Days in Panama City
Avenida A & Calle 8, Panama City, Panama
+507 228-8943
Ways to Experience San Jose Church
from US$104.99
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Reviews (591)
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All reviewsgolden altarhenry morgangold altercasco viejobeautiful altargold leafde orogold platednativity sceneold townlots of historywalking tourpiratespriestlegendbaroquestatues
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1 - 10 of 258 reviews
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This is probably the most beautiful church in the old town in terms of its highly-decorated high altar (altar de oro). In addition to the altar, the church also has a very large nativity scene that features many different Bible stories. It is almost like...More

Thank The_Traveling_Expat
Reviewed 27 May 2018

I went to San Jose because I had been told that the gilded altar had been hidden from Morgan the pirate. However, the plaque at the front of the church explained that the altar had been gilded much later than the sack of Panama. That...More

Thank ecmenendez
Reviewed 20 March 2018

Incredible church. Absolutely gorgeous inside. But be careful not to overdress like we did when attending a wedding 4 years ago...there is no AC. But worth the sweat.

Thank pajaritosteeves
Reviewed 14 March 2018

Not only is the golden alter beautful but this is one of 3 churches in Casco Viejo that have the most elaborate Nativity Scenes within the church. You need to ask about it because it is in a back room but well worth your time.

Thank Tony L
Reviewed 10 March 2018

very nice, we enjoyed the peaceful visit, make the time for a service if possible, get the real appreciation for the place

Thank Ken J
Reviewed 6 March 2018

We saw this church on a tour and inside was a nativity scene unlike anything I have ever seen. It tells the story of the birth of Christ. A must see.

Thank njeromchek
Reviewed 4 March 2018

The gold leafed altar is quite the attraction and when there is a wedding there, wonderful to see how it has been decorated.

Thank ICanTravelPanama
Reviewed 17 February 2018 via mobile

This charming church has a gorgeous altar of note and a cresh in the back room that tracks Jesus’ early life. The Spanish influence is felt throughout and the staff was very helpful and offered tours.

Thank Jodi F
Reviewed 16 February 2018

The church is very beautiful. The alter is a must see. We were surprised that they allowed people in with shorts and tank tops.

Thank OttawaPixie
Reviewed 15 February 2018

this is a beautiful church. is located in casco viejo. its a must visit in Panama. is has a golden altar. it has air condition. you can walk from Plaza Herrera or from the Cathedral

Thank racrich2000
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Questions & Answers
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Elaine H
6 April 2018|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from Jodi F | Reviewed this property |
It is free and open to public
Allen B
11 December 2016|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from rhamba k | Reviewed this property |
Sorry dont know
Sara G
9 January 2015|
Response from Grace H |
Hi Sara the cost is free and is open all day im not really sure for the hours maybe from 12:00 pm until 8:00 pm.