Guayabo National Monument

Guayabo National Monument

Guayabo National Monument is Costa Rica’s most significant archaeological site with one of the highest degrees of socio-cultural development found from Costa Rican pre-Hispanic societies. This is a prehistoric Indian village with ancient dwellings, carving and bridges over 3000 years old! It is estimated that between 1400 – 2000 people lived here and that it was abandoned somewhere around 1400 AD, possibly because of disease or starvation.

The settlement was occupied from 1000 BC to 1555 AD and was ruled by a chief. The Guayabo National Monument is actually the chief’s house and the ruins of the large settlement. You can take a guided tour through the rainforest, which is mostly an evergreen forest, to a lookout where you can view the ruins and the layout of the excavated buildings. Admission is $4 and open daily from 8 – 3:30.

Guayabo National Monument is located on 536 acres about 60 miles east of San Jose on the slopes of the Turrialba Volcano. You can reach the summit of Turrialba Volcano by foot or by horseback. You will see many birds (including toucans), and about 80 different species of orchids, but not much wildlife.

The Guayabo National Monument was established in 1973 and excavation continues in the area. The dry season is December – April and temperatures range from 45 degrees F to 75 degrees F with an average yearly rainfall of 140″. The GPS coordinates are Lat – 9.94907, Long – 83.702774.

Note: you might need a 4 wheel drive vehicle for the approximately 45 minute drive from the main road to the park.

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