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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
Carrie Gallagher - Travel Expert
A former JLA tour leader, Carrie brings a wealth of on-the-ground experience to our London-based Tailor-made and Group Tours department.
Kathryn Rhodes - Travel Expert
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 Expert
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 Head of Sales.
Paul Winrow-Giffin - Travel Expert
After graduating in Computer Science, Paul spent seven months travelling from Colombia to Argentina and came home hooked on Latin America.
Lina Fuller - Travel Expert
Lina's passion for the continent where she was born really took off when she moved to Córdoba (Argentina) to study, spending the holidays travelling between Argentina and her native Colombia.
Mary Anne Nelson - Travel Expert
Born in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile, Mary’s insider knowledge and dry sense of humour make her a highly valued member of the Tailor-made Holidays and Group Tour sales team.