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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
Sophie Barber - Travel Consultant
Sophie lived in Chile before joining us and has travelled extensively across Latin America, from Mexico to the furthest tip of Patagonia.
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.
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.
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.
Hannah Waterhouse - Travel Consultant
Hannah had an early introduction to Latin America when her family moved to Ecuador and she returned to study in Buenos Aires for a year before backpacking across the continent.
Chris Rendell-Dunn - Travel Consultant
Anglo-Peruvian Chris grew up in Lima and spent much of his adult life in between London and Cusco as a tour leader, before settling permanently in our Sales team.