Guayabo National Monument
Guayabo National Monument
4.5
Ancient RuinsNational ParksMysterious Sites
8:00 AM - 3:30 PM
Monday
8:00 AM - 3:30 PM
Tuesday
8:00 AM - 3:30 PM
Wednesday
8:00 AM - 3:30 PM
Thursday
8:00 AM - 3:30 PM
Friday
8:00 AM - 3:30 PM
Saturday
8:00 AM - 3:30 PM
Sunday
8:00 AM - 3:30 PM
About
The country's most significant archaeological site is a 540-acre city occupied between 1000 B.C. and A.D. 1400.
Duration: 1-2 hours
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles377 reviews
Excellent
182
Very good
148
Average
41
Poor
4
Terrible
2

Karen H
7 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Couples
So interesting! This archaeological site is well restored, and explained very well with good signage in English and Spanish. Nice walking trails too. Difficult to get to though, and not many signs pointing the way when you need them.
Written 18 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Arranger2011
Tampa, FL5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2023
We thoroughly enjoyed this archeological dig.
It is well laid out, and has plenty of signs giving information in both Spanish and English. Easy to navigate, even though a lot of steps. Amazing to think that this was buried from so long ago. Hoping that more resources will be available for further excavations in the near future.
Written 12 May 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

justonehuman
San Rafael de Escazu, Costa Rica37 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2022 • Friends
It’s a tragedy that so little of Costa Rica’s indigenous pre-contact history has survived intact into the present (largely, it’s worth noting, because of the actions of American companies like United Fruit Co. (Chiquita) and Dole during the 20th century). But there’s one notable exception which can be visited by travelers, and that’s the Guayabo National Monument archaeological site in Turrialba.

I won’t lie to you: this place is NOT easy to get to. You’ll almost certainly have to arrange a custom tour to get there, since it’s pretty far off the beaten track of the usual tourist attractions. There’s really nothing of interest nearby, either; my tour tacked on a quick stop in Cartago for some downtown sightseeing and lunch, but that’s over 90 minutes away from Guayabo.

So I can hear your thoughts, imaginary reader: “if it’s THAT hard to get to and out of the way, then why bother?”

Well, the answer is pretty simple: it’s the largest, best-preserved, and most tourist-friendly archaeological site in all of Costa Rica. If you wanted to know more about who made all those neat objects in the Museo del Oro, then this is THE place to go see how they lived. And the experience is worth the trouble: as you hike the hour-long main trail (which has other additional nature trails you can do if you want), you are rewarded with some spectacular views of the largest pre-Contact settlement known in Costa Rica, as well as the chance to view the site’s features up close. The highlights are an ancient aqueduct which still “works” and an exposed section of the ancient roads which once crisscrossed the jungle in the region coming to and from the settlement. This was clearly a place of political power back in the day, and it’s not hard to lose yourself in trying to imagine what life would have been like in this town in its heyday. And as a bonus, you might well have the place all to yourself while you do, since the site is so isolated!

Is this a must-see destination for anybody visiting Costa Rica? No, not really — it’s only worth the trouble if you’re intrigued by the indigenous history of the country, or if you want to channel your inner Indiana Jones hiking through the Central American jungle to visit a “lost” ancient city. But if that sounds even a little bit like it might be your cup of tea, then Guayabo is definitely worth the bother!
Written 4 March 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

tyagi
New York City, NY396 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2023
It is always amazing to see what isolated groups, in different parts of the world, have been able to build more than 2,000 years ago.
Written 24 January 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

jeanfrombos2n
Boston, MA339 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2022
Very interesting, but get a guide, as it's hard to interpret the site without one. We had Jorge as our guide--he's very experienced with this site and knows everything.
Written 9 January 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

banstead
Kirkby Lonsdale, UK416 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2022
We arrived soon after 9am and it turns out we were the first visitors of the day. Having been advised by our hotel we'd be able to pick up a guide there, we were surprised that there wasn't any English speaking guides. However a local guide offered his services for free as he felt his English wasn't good enough - Martin I believe he was called - gave us an excellent tour, and of course we tipped him. There are bi-lingual signs so we'd have got an overview but we learnt a lot more with the guide.

We saw quite a lot of birds and a "lively" sloth, plus a very long line of leaf cutter ants!

The site is amazing and to think there's so much still to be excavated, just a tiny part has been so far and I believe there's no funding to do any more. Such a shame for such a significant site.
Written 18 December 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dennis G
4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2022
Our English speaking guide, Angie, was extremely knowledgeable about the area, and was able to explain everything clearly and happy to answer lots of questions. Also very flexible and helpful
Written 20 November 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Wayne B
Calgary, Canada106 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2022 • Couples
Very interesting site about the indigenous peoples of Costa Rica. Our guide Guillermo from Explornatura was very knowledgeable and made the site come alive. The 1hr.-1.5 was well spent.
Written 15 January 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jody_11
Sapporo120 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2021
Our group of eight had an excellent tour guide (I forget her name, sorry!). There are also quite a few bi-lingual signs (Spanish, English). There are a couple trails, one that focuses on the archaeological site (which we took) and another than takes you through the lush vegetation within the national monument (which I would have taken if we had time). It's a relatively small archaeological site relative to many in Central America, but well worth the visit.
Written 21 September 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ryan T
8 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2021 • Couples
This archeological site is one if not the only one in Costa Rica of Pre-Colombian times. They have two or three trails you can hike and a handicapped trail for people too. It’s a great place for people to get out of the cities and experience the rain forests and archeology of Costa Rica!
Written 25 June 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Guayabo National Monument, Turrialba

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