Real alto - santa elena
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Real alto is located in the province of Santa Elena, 6 km. from the town of Chanduy in the Santa Elena peninsula.

In Real Alto was discovered a village of the formative period of our history. The discovery consists of a Prehispanic urban complex. It was discovered in 1971 by the Ecuadorian archeologist Jorge Marcos, 112 kilometers from Guayaquil, in the South Wing of the peninsula.


The finding gave as the chance to identify one of the oldest settlements of the American continent with a concentration of 80 to 100 houses placed on mounds of Earth in Oxbow, whose sides had large grooves for sowing. Evidence suggests that the houses were arranged around a central plaza and the center of the square was cut by two mounds of Earth. The houses had elliptical shape of 12 m long and 8 m wide. It is estimated that Real Alto gave place to a thousand people that worked in agriculture and extraction of resources of the sea. They also made knitting with use of the loom, work in shell and clay sculpture.


It’s considered that in its initial phase, the population was close to 50 or 60 people, and later 1,500 inhabitants, starting the improvement of communal services since have been found 150 underground wells for agricultural reserve and communal houses that could be occupied as meeting rooms.


Emilio Estrada named this settlement with the forename of Valdivia. It dates from the early formative period, in which the societies were agro potters (dedicated to agriculture and pottery) and whose chronology is earlier than 3,500 years B.C


Museo Arqueologico Real Alto offers an overview of the logic urban development of the inhabitants of the peninsula of Santa Elena 8 thousand years ago. The Museum is organized into three areas: the first is an ethnographic sample, the second a trail tour around the site were the houses are located and finally a laboratory room of restoration.


The exhibition starts with an introductory section, where the customs of the first men are relate. This sample explains the process human followed up to modern society. In the Museum you can admire not only Archaeological finds but also see old tree species in danger of extinction such as the Guasango (Loxopterygium huasango) and Guayacan (Tabebria Chrysantha).


The Association of archaeologists and anthropologists of the Guayas are in charge of the Museum, which is managed by the community of Valdivia. To contact the Museum in situ contact the following number: 2-269480.

You can also contact Janet Cascante, 097-832081, or Martha Velázquez, 093-844939. You can also contact her by e mail: The Museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 9 h 00 to 17 h 00. The price of entry for foreign visitor is $2.00 for Ecuadorians is $1.00 for children $0.50. The prices may vary.


The Cultural complex Real Alto is located in the 115 kilometer, via Guayaquil-Salinas. You can go in private car or public transport services with destinations to the beaches of Salinas, taking a detour or making a stop on the road that goes to Chanduy. Real Alto can be an excellent option to visit and learn about history during your stay on the nearby beaches of Santa Elena.

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