Frog Pendant. Costa Rica, Chiriqul. 11th-16th century. Cast Gold. Frogs are frequently depicted in the gold work of Costa Rica and Panama,. (Photo by Universal History Archive/UIG/Getty Images)

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Museo de Oro Precolombino y Numismática

Top choice in San José

This three-in-one museum houses an extensive collection of Costa Rica's most priceless pieces of pre-Columbian gold and other artifacts, including historical currency and some contemporary regional art. The museum, located underneath the Plaza de la Cultura, is owned by the Banco Central and its architecture brings to mind all the warmth and comfort of a bank vault. The interactive 360-degree videography display of Bribrí cultural hierarchy in the basement is worth the admission price alone.

Security is tight; visitors must leave bags at the door.

A three-museum pass (US$33; covers this one, Museo de Jade and Museo Nacional) saves money if you plan to visit all – it has no expiration date.

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