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Visit Joya de Cerén
Discover the country's most important Mayan site, buried for centuries under volcanic ash.
Drawing comparisons with Pompeii, Joya de Cerén, 36km from San Salvador, was a pre-Hispanic farming community which was buried beneath lava following an eruption of the Laguna Caldera volcano in 600AD. Because of the exceptional condition of the revealed vestiges of the settlement the ruins provide an insight into the daily lives of the Central American people who worked the land at that time: how they cultivated their crops, built their homes and cooked and stored their food.
It is the only known site where ordinary Mayan houses have been preserved, and its small museum displays intriguing household objects excavated from the ruins. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993.
Activity Rating: moderate
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Real Latin America Experts
Paul Winrow-Giffin - Travel Consultant
After graduating in Computer Science, Paul spent seven months travelling from Colombia to Argentina and came home hooked on Latin America.
Kathryn Rhodes - Travel Consultant
Kathryn backpacked across Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Peru before joining us. She has a degree in Philosophy and French and is a keen netball player.
Ben Line - Travel Consultant
Ben fell in love with Latin America on a six month backpacking trip from Colombia to Mexico in 1995. Since then he has explored most of South America, including living in Peru for a year. He is now Manager of the Tailor-made Department.
Hannah Donaldson - Travel Consultant
Having spent part of her childhood in Colombia and worked in Brazil and Costa Rica, Hannah's ties to Latin America run deep. Hannah is an invaluable part of our Group Tours team.
Evie Oswald - Travel Consultant
It’s hard to believe that Evie has had time to cram so much in to her life so far. Having lived as a child in the Americas and Europe she found herself immediately attracted to Latin America.
Carrie Gallagher - Travel Consultant
A former JLA tour leader, Carrie brings a wealth of on-the-ground experience to our London-based Escorted Groups team.