Serum alkaline phosphatase activity (AP), stature and Tanner-Whitehouse-2 RUS skeletal age (SA) were determined for 873 rural Guatemalan youth and young adults 11-25 years of age. Mean AP decreases systematically with chronological age (CA) in girls, while an adolescent increase in mean AP occurs at 14 years in boys. When mean AP is calculated within SA groups, clear adolescent increases are apparent in girls, peaking at 11 years SA, and at 14 years SA in boys. Correlations between AP and relative skeletal age (SA-CA) decrease systematically from moderately positive at the youngest CA groups to moderately negative at the older ages, crossing zero at the chronological ages of maximum adolescent AP values. Analyses suggest the patterns of mean AP in adolescence follow closely the timing and patterns of growth velocity in stature in each sex, and are only indirectly related to SA as it is a proxy for the maturational timing of the adolescent spurt in stature.