Monumento Nacional Guayabo

Open from 08:00 a.m to 03:00 p.m, entry 6 US$. Tel (506) 2551-9398. Located on the outskirts of the Turrialba Volcano, 19 Km to the North East of the city, it was created with law Nº 5300, on the 13th of August 1973. With an extension of 2179 hectares. It is one of the most important archeological discoveries and is the largest ever discovered in the country. Protecting archeological structures such as mounds, bridges, water tanks as well as aqueducts. It also protects areas of pre-mountain rainforest. Archeologists have shown that Costa Rica has north as well as South American influences. The Monumento Nacional Guayabo belongs to the immediate area that includes the Province of Alajuela in Costa Rica to as far as Colombia, Venezuela and part of Ecuador. Investigations have revealed that the archeological site was inhabited from the year 1000 B.C to 1.400 A.D .The archeological area has an extension of 15 to 20 hectares with the park having an extension of 232 hectares of which only a small part has actually been excavated. Here you will find archeological discoveries such as mounds, shoes, closed and open aqueducts, water tanks, tombs, steps, roads, petroglyphs, monoliths and sculptures, which reveal a high level of developed urbanizations, architecture and engineering. There is also evidence of artistic compositions, the petroglyphs or carved stones are the most common.  They are found all over the archeological area but the script is undecipherable. Another discovery is the monoliths with drawings of animals from Costa Rica; such as the Jaguar and the Lizard. Nine stone sculptures have also been found as well as a fragment of a ceremonial wooden staff found in a water tank. Because of all of these discoveries, archeologists suggest that this Pre-Columbian city was inhabited by people specialized in different crafts and headed by a chief, who had religious power over the large area. Amongst the fauna there are birds such as Toucans, Golden Oriole trogons, woodpeckers, momotos, piapias, yiguirros and chachalacas; mammals such as armadillos, rabbits, coyotes, sloths, tolomucos, martillas, squirrels and pisotes. There are also snakes, frogs, lizards and butterflies.