A fascinating tour back in the history of Central America. The wildlife was an added bonus! Canyoning in Turrialba was an adventure to behold. XXXXXXX
Still rather undeveloped but the areas that have been excavated and exposed reveal a civilization that parallels Machu Pechu.
I was surprised to learn there are ruins here in Costa Rica, as my misunderstanding was there were no ancient cultures here. Our guide, Elizabeth, was from the area, and so proud of the heritage. She shared her knowledge of the site, and what has been learned from the excavations.The jungle there is beautiful, with well maintained trails for hiking.
We visited this monument with a guide, it would have been difficult to get the best out of this attraction without one. The forest surrounding the monument is an excellent area for birding. The ruins of the pre-columbian city are impressive. The monument is well worth a visit
Excellent English and Spanish interpretative signs. Unique in this country for archeology. A very nice picnic area with clean restrooms and even grills for cooking. A small interpretative center was under construction.
One does not expect archeological sites in Costa Rica and clearly this is not Tikal but there is agreat feeling of serenity about it,and the whole situation breathes calm and beauty.It is advisable to hire a guide who will show you the site and a few additional tidbits (engraved stones).One istaken in by the quiet majesty of the surroundings,the beautiful layout,the song of nature and thesophisticated approach to "urbanism" shown by people who conceived the site, apparently at thetime when early Mayas were setting up their sites.It is a place that will linger in your mind...Along the road leading to the Guayabo site you'll find places where to eat simply.
I enjoyed the trail through the forest where we saw sloths and lots of birds. The clearings where the pre Columbian ruins were well maintained and interesting to see with clear information boards relating to the ruins and their excavation. At the entrance to the park was a picnic sight with some very clean and well kept toilets and washing facilities.
The site is little visited by foreign tourists. The morning we went tree were only Costa Ricans there. The guides are all good but we used a private guide who took more time, so we spent all morning investigating the history, architecture and engineering of the site as well as flora and fauna.
We were truly suprised at the excellent display panels showing the renovations in 2013 that make this easy to imagine what it looked like.The stone roadway leading to the ceremonial mound [and leader's lodging and tomb] was long and well preserved/renovated. Considering these aqueducts and amphitheater date back to A.D. 100 or earlier, this is remarkable. Sure it is not Egypt's Giza, but it is worth the trip!While the trip to the location is a bit long, it is beautiful countryside, so you won't mind the drive.
I did not really know what to expect and had read some poor reviews about this park.To be honest I enjoyed the visit a lot. Park entrance is cheap and for $10 extra you can have a private guide walk you through and share part of their historical knowledge. Apart from the ruins and impressive aqueduct structure we enjoyed nature a lot. Air is as fresh as you can get, we were able to see many different birds, butterflies and bugs, and the sound of the river is as relaxing as can get.I recommend it as a short half a day trip. Outside of the park locals sell traditional goodies. Great experience to try different snacks (like honey covered cheese) and help them out at the same time.