We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Book In Advance
All photos (255)
Full view
Certificate of Excellence
Traveller Overview
  • Excellent49%
  • Very good37%
  • Average12%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“golden altar”(53 reviews)
“gold alter”(12 reviews)
“henry morgan”(14 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
Improve This Listing
Ways to Experience San Jose Church
from US$104,99
More Info
from US$95,00
More Info
Reviews (616)
Filter reviews
270 results
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
More languages
Show reviews that mention
All reviews golden altar gold alter henry morgan casco viejo beautiful altar gold leaf de oro gold plated nativity scene old town lots of history walking tour pirates priest baroque statues beauty
Updating list...
1 - 10 of 270 reviews
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

I visited this church as part of a walking tour of the city and I was in awe at the altar and the grand nativity scene.

Date of experience: November 2018
Thank micheas85
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

This “church with the golden altar” is not to be missed in the part of town known as “Old Panama.” The outside of the building is unremarkable, but the golden altar within is breathtaking. The people inside who run the gift area are friendly, and...More

Date of experience: November 2018
Thank cvsIII
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

This church may not look like much on the outside, but once you enter the gold alter in front of you will spellbound you. The pope is visiting this church to dedicate this alter I believe in early 2019, so its no pushover. No entry...More

Date of experience: November 2018
Thank Studio69
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Lovely, smaller church, with some. Different characteristics...the altar is gold leaf...with a story....legend may or may not be true, but fun to read about it anyway. Go all the way to the front to see the story.

Date of experience: November 2018
Thank WorldTvlerParker_CO
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Most amazing artistry ... the details of the town of Bethlehem transported you back to the time of Jesus' birth

Date of experience: November 2018
Thank Carol R
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

Our private guide took us here on our walking tour. Impressive simple architecture with of course, the famous gold altar. The subject of many suppositions throughout its life, it probably did survive being pillaged by pirates! Maybe!

Date of experience: September 2018
Thank PasssionateTraveler
Reviewed 26 October 2018

The old cathedrals in Panama City were gorgeous. Even as a non-Catholic, the beauty of the old cathedrals was stunning. This was part of the tour we got when we booked for the Panama Canal tour and it was fascinating.

Date of experience: October 2018
Thank Judi Z
Reviewed 8 October 2018

Fascinating detail on a large (miniaturized) scale. There are signs directing to the inner room, but you might miss them if you get bored with the initial rooms off the main sanctuary.

Date of experience: October 2018
Thank twbriscoe
Reviewed 8 October 2018

was impressed by the altars here. the day I came there were many children rehersing a performance. worth a quick visit

Date of experience: October 2018
Thank yuanxiz2016
Reviewed 23 September 2018 via mobile

Part of our city tour we stopped off at San Jose church. Restored church that’s mostly for tourists is free to go in. The alter was once made of all gold now just plated.

Date of experience: September 2018
Thank nhvacabadfood
View more reviews
Nearby HotelsSee all 112 nearby hotels
Central Park Hotel
104 reviews
3.09 km away
Best Western El Dorado Panama Hotel
383 reviews
3.17 km away
Novotel Panama City
959 reviews
3.83 km away
Hotel Aramo
79 reviews
3.85 km away
Nearby RestaurantsSee all 1 284 nearby restaurants
123 reviews
1.60 km away
Ferretti Gelato E Caffe
24 reviews
.67 km away
Restaurante Portogalo
34 reviews
.88 km away
Starfish Grill
18 reviews
.98 km away
Nearby AttractionsSee all 462 nearby attractions
Panama Pelican
20 reviews
.05 km away
Manakin Adventures Panama
17 reviews
.90 km away
Catamaran Charter Panama - Day Sails
25 reviews
.98 km away
Questions & Answers
Ask a question
Elaine H
6 April 2018|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from jodif128 | 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.