At Gringo tours, we offer a full day tour with visits to three of the five main archaeological sites, which sites you choose is up to you but the tour we sell most includes what most consider the most relative and representative Mayan sites in El Salvador.
We start the day off with a visit to Joya de Ceren sometimes referred to as the Pompeii of the Americas as this was a Mayan settlement that was covered by the ash fallout of the nearby volcano Loma Caldera. Here you see what everyday life was like for the Mayans some 1500 years ago.
Our second stop will be the ruins at San Andreas which dates back to around 900 B.C. and was later abandoned for a period around 420 A.D. around the same time that the volcano that later formed lake Ilopango erupted. The most recent pre-Hispanic use was between 900-1200 A.D. where pottery with patterns of the Mixteca-Puebla style were discovered these from what is known as the Guazapa phase and tied to the city Cihuatan, very mucho out of date for Mayan periods in the region. Here small pyramids are seen as well as indigo processing tanks that were preserver by another volcanic eruption in 1658 leaving the complete site very well preserved. This is an active site with continued exploration below and around the existing structures.
After a nice lunch (cost not included in price of tour), we will head west to the city of Chalchuapa where the site of Tazumal is located. In Tazumal we will here from one of the site guides the history of this El Salvador’s most representative site.
The day will finish with the drive back to your hotel whether it be in San Salvador, La Libertad, Santa Ana, Suchitoto or Ruta de Flores.
Mayan tour, starting in Suchitoto and ending in Concepcion de Ataco
An option to include the well know Cihuatan Mayan ball court close to Aguilares; this is El Salvador’s most recent archaeological discovery and was inhabited until around 1200 AD when conflicts of that period lead to the fall of Toltec empire throughout Mexico and Central America.
Another option to include the Casa Blanca site can also be arranged by removing the stop at San Andres or Tazumal, The site at Casa Blanca is not very impressive but it is the only site to offer a free Indigo dying demonstration, with individual or very small groups it is sometime possible for participants to get their hands dirty and dye their own design.
Although El Salvador archaeological sites are considered secondary to the larger sites like Copan and Tikal but they still provide a very particular insight into the past history of El Salvador and its indigenous people The Mayan Pipiles.
The order in which the sites are visited can vary depending on where you may be staying but the tour must start at 8:00-8:30 am as all the sites open at 9:00 am and close at 4:00 pm which makes it virtually impossible to see more than 3 sites in any day.
This tour is not available on Mondays or on and around major holidays when site closures are announced shortly before each holiday.
Included in this tour:
• Transportation in vehicle with A/C
• Bottled water(1-2 bottles/person)
• All Entrance fees
• Local guide fees
• Bilingual guide
Tour Duration of Tour including transportation: 7-9 hours
Difficulty level of Tour: easy
• Snacks and Meals
• Optional Tips to local guides
• Cost of optional activities including: Mountain bike, Jet ski, Buggy, Zip line/Canopy, Kayak, Rafting or other activities not mentioned in tour description