CERÉN, EL SALVADOR - discover El Salvador's "Pompeii"

Joya de Cerén (Jewel of Cerén in the Spanish language) is an archaeological site in El Salvador featuring a pre-Columbian Maya farming village preserved remarkably intact under layers of volcanic ash. Circa 595 AD, the Loma Caldera volcano of north central El Salvador eruptedand buried the village under 14 layers of ash.The villagers were apparently able to flee in time – no bodies have been found – although they left behind utensils, ceramics, furniture, and even half-eaten food in their haste to escape. In 1978, a window was opened into the perfectly preserved remains of four households, one sweatbath, a civic building, a sanctuary, and agriculture fields. About 70 buildings have been uncovered.

The archaeological site of Cerén displays life as it was encapsuled in time 1400 years ago when the volcano erupted. Click here for tours.