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Cartago

From Turrialba 19 kms between Azul and Guayabo Arriba.

Guayabo National Monument was created in 1973 to conserve the largest archeological site in the country. The protected area consits of 217 hectares at 1,100 meters above sea level on the slopes of Turrialba Volcano, 19 kms. from the city of the same name.

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. The society was organised into a chiefdom with a differentiation in rank and hierarchy that lead to the specialsisation of craftsmen and a better distribution of labor. The people of this society practised hunting farming and fishing.

During the Cuba Crisis, US military satelites made the Americans believe, that this are unknown military instalations.

The huge amounts of stone and slabs necessary to build causeways several kilometres long, as well as channels and other bassic structures, suggest a highly developped knowledge of civil engineering and urban planning together with a large work force that was kept busy over a long period of time. The archeological site covers some 20 hectares of which only a small part has been excavated. It was discovered at the end of the 19th century by the Costa Rican naturalist and explorer, Prof. Anastasio Alfaro. The site is located in a zone with mild, very humid climate with a very damp evergreen forest mass, rich in bromeliads and orchids, carpets the area and provides refuge for toucans, woodpeckers and oropendolas. 

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Guayabo National Monument, Cartago
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