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Guayabo National Monument - Ruin Turrialba - Costa Rica

Experience the ruins of an indigenous community that thrived in the heart of the rainforest from 1000 B.C. to 1400 A.C. The most important archeological resource to Costa Rica, the ruins of Guayabo include rock steps, aqueducts, tombs, and grassy mounds. The site was declared a National Monument in 1973. During this process, only a small section of the 20 hectares was excavated. Little is actually known about the original inhabitants, aside from the structure of their tribe by the way the landscape is divided. Experts conclude that a different authority, an Indian chief or a shaman, handled each area.

Two trails run through the National Monument, averaging 1-2 kilometers. The trails climb up to a viewpoint of the ruins and the Talamanca mountain range, then travel next to the monument, eventually entering the dense rainforest on a nature path. A yurt with a visual explanation of the former indigenous village and information on flora and fauna in the area is outside the park entrance, along with a picnic area and handicap accessible bathrooms. The park is open from 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. everyday. Tours by local university students are available on the weekends for a small fee and can be set up at the pay station.

During the week, on-site bilingual staff can assist you since information is limited. A B&B, butterfly farm and restaurant is 1 kilometer away from the monument in the rural village of Guayabo. Besides that, amenities are limited. Bring food, water shoes for the muddy trails, and raingear. Price is $6.00 for adults, $1.00 for children. Bring small bills since the pay station may not be able to change larger ones.


Turrialba, Costa Rica

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By Maria Lundgren


11 Oct 2008

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