The delta of the Diquís River in Costa Rica's southern Pacific conceals the secrets of one of the most surprising cultural manifestations of America and is without a doubt, the most alluring sites for archeology in all of Costa Rica. Made by an unknown civilization erased by time, the secret of how the stone spheres of Diquís were carved to an astonishing level of perfection, in sizes that can reach a diameter of 2 meters and weigh up to 15 tons; still eludes us today.
Contemporary records have registered a total 250 spheres of diverse sizes, the majority of which can still be found at the delta of the Diquís River, where the National Museum and the Ministry of Culture intend to incorporate four of the total twenty known sites into the tourism attractions of the region. Still perfectly aligned the spheres of Brijalba, Batambal, El Silencio and Finca 6 could have some explanation in astrology or religious beliefs.
The spheres were discovered in 1958 when the United Fruit Company decided to transfer it is operations from the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica to the Southern Pacific. It was then that countless cubic meters of jungle and primary forests give way to progress, uncovering the stone spheres and unfortunately erasing the original alignment, made centuries ago.
Two years after the surprising find, an anthropologist from the United states, Doctor Doris Stone (1909-1994) decided to dedicate her life's work to the study of the treasures of the Diquís Delta.
She was not able to obtain a coherent date for the monoliths nor could she clarify the possible origin or find archaeological evidence that could explain the spherical perfection of the stones. However, Dr. Stone was able to prove that the spheres where originally placed in specific alignments for ceremonial purposes in public plazas; together with other zoomorphic and anthropomorphic figurines. She was also able to clearly establish that the area of Diquís possess no quarries of the type of granite used to make the spheres; which is even more puzzling.
Publications of her works lead other renowned archaeologists and related professionals to study even further the strange monoliths of Costa Rica. However, the loss of the exact original alignments has made it impractical for astrophysicists to determine a possible use of the spheres, such as an astrological calendar that used sunlight reflected on the spheres, to follow the trajectory of the sun.
Investigations continue even today and to date, studies fostered by the National Museum not only conclude that the spheres must have been made by an advanced civilization that inherited the ancient technique of polishing stones; but to also determine that the process of making the monoliths took at least a millennium, starting in the year 200AD and ending just prior to the Spanish conquest. The Spaniards did not report ever seeing the spheres and the indigenous tribes of the areas have left no trace as to their origin.
The area of Costa Ballena is your best alternative for visiting these archaeological sites since from the hotels of the area it is but a 45 minute drive to the Diquís Delta. Many companies located in Costa Ballena also offer guided tours to the sites.
You can travel by air from the capital to the Palmar Airport, in the heart of this unique region of Costa Rica, while comfortable private and public bus service is also available.