Joya de Cerén is a snapshot of the daily life of a Mayan farmers community buried in volcanic ash during an eruption around the year 590 A.D.
When a quiet village was surprised by an eruption from the nearby Laguna Caldera volcano the villagers escaped leaving behind almost everything while more than 20 feet of volcanic ash entombed the region. Unique in Mayan World and one of the most important archeological sites in El Salvador, Joya de Cerén (a.k.a. the Pompeii of the Americas) has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
In San Andrés we find a series of structures and pyramids dating from 600-900 A.D. Also great views to several volcanoes and the surrounding valley. This was the center for commerce and political control in the Zapotitán Valley and it’s influence, probably, reached as far as the valley where San Salvador is now.
According to experts up to 12,000 people lived in the San Andrés area, including Joya de Cerén community. Here’s a very informative museum here along with 7 structures including the Central Acropolis, pyramids and temples.
Zapotitán Valley, in Central El Salvador, is a rich fertile valley surrounded by many volcanoes (some still active) and is one of the regions with more archeological structures per Square Mile in the country.
This two archaeological sites are among the most important in the country.
San Andrés was the region’s capital with strong commercial and cultural links with other important cities in Mesoamerica such as Copán in Honduras.
Joya de Cerén was included in the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO as the best preserved evidence of the daily life of the Maya: a farmers community buried and preserved in time under volcanic ash for 1,400 years.
A must see in El Salvador.
This tour is ideal to mix with San Salvador City Tour or El Boquerón.
Take note all archaeological parks and most museums are closed on Monday.