Fodor's Expert Review Plaza del Banco Central
A widening of Avenida Central, this plaza is popular with hawkers, money changers, and retired men, and can be a good place to get a shoe shine and listen to street musicians. Outside the western end of Costa Rica's modern federal-reserve bank building, don't miss Presentes, 10 sculpted, smaller-than-life figures of bedraggled campesinos (peasants). La Chola, a bronze statue of a buxom rural woman, resides at sidewalk level on the small, shady plaza south of the bank. It's public art at its best. Beware: the money changers here are notorious for circulating counterfeit bills and using doctored calculators to shortchange unwitting tourists. Avoid them.