It is located in the top of the Turrialba Volcano, 19 km northeast of the city with the same name, in the province of Cartago. It was establish by means of the law No. 161, of August 29, 1973. It has an extension of 217.9 hectares.
Is one of the most important arqueologic areas and the bigger in size that has been discover in the country. Protect arqueologic structures like mounds, bridges, aqueduct etc. Also protect drums of high forest, typical of the rain forest.
Costa Rica because of its location and geographic structure plays an importance place like a meeting area for different precolombine cultures.
The arqueologists has demonstrated that Costa Rica received influences from the north like from South America. The Guayabo National Monument covers a big area, from the province of Alajuela in Costa Rica all the way to Colombia.
The arqueologic area has between 15 to 20 hectares, from which just a small part has been excavated. Here we found arqueological characteristics like mounds, terraces, paved roads, open and close aqueducts, water tanks, tombs, petroglifos, monolitos and sculptures, that present a high develop engineering architecture and urbanism.
The mounds are rock bases, generally in circular form and of different sizes. We can find them from .50 up to 4.5 mts. Tall, with diameter of 10 to 30 mts.
The paved roads are composed of a group of rock roads used as transit way and like a part of the drainage system. There are some paved roads that goes in different direction of the excavate roads, with several kilometers of distance.
The steps or terraces are structures of rock made to overcome the levels.
The aqueducts are close and open canals that help to conduct the water to the exact places.
The tanks of water are made by rectangle structures of rock that allow to storage the water that comes from the aqueducts.
The tombs are located in several places of the arqueological places. Build with rolling singings and flat stones, they are called drawer tombs. It is important to mention that discover tombs in Guayabo National Monument has been loot in the past.
In the artistic area, the petroglifos or decorated stones are the most commons. Are located in the whole arqueological area and presents characteristics that has not been decipher.
Another manifestation is the monolith with a drawing of two animals very common in Costa Rica, the jaguar and the lizard.
For all these discovers the arqueologists said that this precolombine city was inhabit for people specialists in different areas, manage by a chief who has the political religious power.
The causes for the abandon and extermination of this native group before the Spain conquer are unknown. Between the hypothesis proposed are war and some illnesses.
The flora that surrounds the arqueological area is characteristic of the rain forest, dense foliage and always green.
Abundance of forest species like the "carara", "magnolia", "cantarillo", "burio" and "cedro" are cover with a lot of plants like "bromelias" and orquets.
Between the wildlife we can find birds like "carpinteros", "momotos", "piapias", "chachalacas" and mammal like armadillos, rabbits, coyotes, "talamucos", "martillas", and squirrels. Also common to see are the snakes, frogs, lizards and butterfly.