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Guayabo National Monument

This reserve is located on the Caribbean side of Turrialba Volcano, 19Km NE of the city of Turrialba. It was founded in 1973 and has an area of 217.9 hectares. Its main reason to exist is that it is the site of Costa Rica's largest Pre-Columbian indian settlements. This site had been occupied for over 2 millennia (1000 BC - 1400 AD).

Due to its geographic position, Costa Rica was important as a place where the South American indian cultures and those of the North, met and interacted.

The archeological site itself seems to cover 15 to 20 hectares, of which only a small part has been excavated. As proof that this was much more than a little village, there are the remains of paved streets that extend out in different directions for various kilometers. These often include drainage systems too. There are many stone mounds which obviously served as bases for wooden buildings. Since the American indians did not use the wheel, many of their steets are equiped with stairs to overcome inclined grades. The whole area was equiped with both open and closed aquaducts as a water supply. These often ended in large rectangular stone tanks where water was held for niebourhood use. Although there were many tombs, all found so far were robbed long ago.

Although the area protected is not big, numerous important species of flora and fauna are protected there.

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