GUAYABO ARCHEOLOGICAL SITE
Ancient stone carvings of alligator and jaguar gods, ingeniously engineered Pre-Columbian aqueducts where water still flows, and paved roads receding into a lush rainforest – all of these things hint to Costa Rica's mysterious past civilizations.
Costa Rica may not be famous for its archaeological history like Guatemala's Tikal or the Incan ruins of Peru, but veiled in the shadow of the Turrialba Volcano - like a mythical "lost city" from a storybook - lies a mysterious ancient city that was home to over 10,000 people who seemed to have mysteriously vanished just before the arrival of the Spanish in the 16th century. This region, known as Guayabo National Monument (1), is Costa Rica's most important archaeological site and its only named National Monument.
The excavations at Guayabo have revealed a network of cobblestone causeways and streets, open and closed aqueducts, cisterns, stairways, mounds, petroglyphs, monoliths, tombs, and sculptures that belong to a pre-Columbian city, which was inhabited between 1000 B.C. and 1400 A.D.
There are petroglyphs everywhere, some representing animals such as: birds and cats, and others which do not appear to have any significance. Ceremonial monolithic tables, petroglyphs, pottery shards, and other items are also found at the site. In addition, an example of the tall, evergreen forests typical of the region is found here. The predominant trees include the elm, bitter cedar, manni and magnolia.
For your tour a guide will walk you through the entire park while explaining the findings of the excavations and the history of the people that once lived there.