Mayan Ruins in El Salvador
El Salvador is Mayan territory. The Mayan Civilization inhabited El Salvador for aprox 3000 years. The biggest Mayan cities where built in the western part of El Salvador. The first settlers arrived around the year 2000bc to the area now known as Chalchuapa. There is lots of important archaeological remains in this area, unfortunately urban growth and few interest have destroyed many of the remains, while many others have been sold to private collections in or outside the country. Tazumal is an archaeological site located in Chalchuapa and it has the biggest pyramid in El Salvador. The Tazumal archaeological site is a ceremonial center, lots of incense holders and other artifacts used in rituals have been found in these area. The archaeological site has 2 big pyramids, which served as temples to perform rituals and celebrate festivities in important astronomical dates. The pyramids also served as tombs, several tombs have been found inside the Structure 1, each tomb with its own offerings. These can be found in the modern onsite museum.
la RUTA DE LAS FLORES
La Ruta de las Flores is located in the western side of El Salvador, its a "route" composed of small pintoresque towns which used to survive on Coffee production and are now exploiting tourism as a source of income. The most important of these towns are Ataco, Nahuizalco, Juayua and Apaneca. These lands used to belong to the natives which inhabited the area, then the lands were purchased by rich landowners who found a great soil to grow Coffee. The coffee was grown in the mountains and then transported down to the port on the Pacific to export it to USA. Now, coffee production is not profitable in El Salvador, unless you own many acres of land. Thats why many landowners are now including tourism in their coffee plantations. The Ruta de las Flores became famous around 10 years ago, when locals decided to organize Food Festivals on the weekends. You can come to Juayua on a weekend and try the local food grilled in front of your eyes.
Pickup 8am at your hotel in San Salvador or El Tunco. +1 hour drive to Tazumal Archaeological Site, located in Chalchuapa. We do a 1 hour walk inside the Park. This is a ceremonial center with different construction periods. Built by Mayan societies living in the area between 2000bc and 900ac. You will receive a complete explanation about the site. Then we drive one more hour to Ataco, one of the nicest towns of the Ruta de las Flores. We checkout its famous murals and then we move to Juayua, here you can buy some snacks to have a picnic at the waterfalls. We leave our car in a nearby parking and we hike down aprox 15 minutes to the waterfalls. The water is fresh and there are no bathrooms down at the waterfalls, . Then we drive back to your hotel. We should be back at your hotel at 17:00. Bring, sunblock, changing clothes, towels and money for food and drinks, good hiking shoes.