Guayabo National Monument

Admire the Guayabo National Monument and discover one of the most relevant sites in Costa Rica

Guayabo National Monument
Guayabo National Monument
© Boston Gringo

The Guayabo National Monument is one the most important archaeological sites in Costa Rica. This incredible place is located only 18 km from Turrialba, in the Cartago province.

Guayabo National Monument
Guayabo National Monument
© Steve L Martin

By visiting it, you establish a connection with the most remote historical origins of the country. Moreover, it is an interesting place for nature lovers due to its varied fauna and flora and its important water resources.

Scientific research in the area started in 1968, supported by the University of Costa Rica. Nevertheless, there are still lots of hidden secrets to find out in this site, since only one fifth of the 20 Ha of the archaeological area has been dug. Not much is known about the way of life of the Guayabo village, but it is known that its population was able to live attuned in a hostile environment and reached a high level of sophistication due to the creation of complex systems to channel and distribute water. However, the greatest mystery has to do with the sudden disappearance of its inhabitants.

During the visit to this place, you will be surprised by the archaeological structures that were inhabited from 1000 b.C. to 1400 a.C., and which reached their greatest splendor in 800 a.C., when there were up to 10.000 inhabitants. Its more than forty mounds, three aqueducts, two squares and two stone roads of some kilometres stand out, used as transit routes and also as part of the drainage system. Moreover, you will be amazed by some petroglyphs, engraved stones representing animals, mainly felines, and whose meaning is currently being studied and unknown.

Among the flora of the Guayabo National Monument, some species of trees stick out, such as the guarumo or the cedar, as well as tree ferns, bromeliads and orchids. Regarding the fauna, you will be able to contemplate a wide variety of birds, like toucans, golden orioles and chachalacas; and some mammals, like anteaters, armadillos, rabbits or squirrels; in addition to reptiles, amphibians and several sorts of insects.

In order to get to know the area, you can go over the “sendero de los Montículos”, which goes through a forest and from where you will be able to see up close the rich fauna and flora of this region, and the numerous archaeological discoveries. Besides, the path ends in a scenic overlook which offers a spectacular view of the area. If you choose the “sendero Canto del Agua”, which is entirely natural, you will enjoy a bucolic stroll through the shore of the Lajitas river.

Thus, the Guayabo National Monument is a spot not to be missed during your trip in the Central American country.

More information:


Cartago province, Costa Rica.

Opening Times:

Every day from 8:00 to 15:30 h, including holidays.

Ticket Price:

Nationals and residents: 1000 colones.

National and resident children (from 2 years to 12): 500 colones.

Non-residents: $5.

Non-resident children (from 2 years to 12): $5.

National and resident visitors from primary and secondary schools of educational tours previously coordinated by the Administración del Área Protegida: 500 colones.

Children under 2 years old and residents or nationals older than 65 years old do not pay.


(+506) 2559 1220

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