Joya de Cerén
Joya de Ceren, El Salvador
Follow the Mayans' FootstepsA great new tour has opened up near the small town of San Juan Opico, located next to the country's only World Heritage Site, Joya de Ceren and the archeological site of San Andres.
The tour starts in Joya de Ceren, otherwise known as "The Pompeii of the Americas", a Mayan village covered and preserved in meters of volcanic ash. Unlike Pompeii, the people of JDC were lucky enough to escape, but they left behind a treasure trove of information about their daily lives which archeologists are painstakingly recovering. There's a beautiful museum with information in English and Spanish that details their finds and the tour takes you through the buildings that have already been uncovered.
After JDC, you have the option to continue through the countryside on foot, by oxcart (my favorite) on horseback or mountainbike as guides take you through farmland, pointing out modern day structures that still use the ancient wattle and daub techniques found in JDC, teach you about the major export crops of corn and sugar cane, and locals feed you typical treats made from these two resources. The tour ends in San Andres, which is not nearly as impressive as other archeological sites in the Mayan World, but offers some insight and information about the history of one of El Salvador's most important historical crops, anil, or indigo dye, which is currently making a comeback in artistic communities throughout the country.
For reservations: (503) 2341-4755