A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Joya de Ceren is an archaeological site featuring a pre-Columbian Maya farming village preserved remarkably intact under layers of volcanic ash over 1400 years ago. It is often referred to as the "Pompeii of the Americas".
The site consists of a museum and 10 excavated buildings. It takes about 1.5 hours to see everything. If you have luggage with you, it is possible to leave it with the guard at the ticket gate.
- Bus 108 (to Opico) runs from San Salvador's Terminal Occidente past Joya de Ceren. Tell the driver that's where you're going and he will drop you off at the entrance. The bus takes about 1-1 1/2 hours and costs $0.50.
- Coming from Santa Ana, take bus 201 or 202 towards San Salvador. Ask to be let off at the cross for Joya de Ceren and catch bus 108, which will drop you directly in front of the ruins.
Visit the museum and ruins. Entrance is $3. Closed on Monday's.
There is one small souvenir shop that sells mostly small pottery replicas, figurines, and stone pestals.
A small cafeteria in the park serves snacks and drinks.
There are no nearby spots so most travellers prefer to make the trip from Santa Ana or San Salvador.
- To return to San Salvador, take bus 108. The bus runs regularly until 6pm, it costs $0.50
- To go to Santa Ana, take bus 108 for a few minutes then change at the cross and take bus 201 or 202. Busses pass by regularly and run until 7 pm. The trip takes less than 90 minutes and costs less than $1.
- It is possible to combine a trip to Joya de Ceren with a visit to the ruins of San Andres. Take bus 108 back towards San Salvador and ask to be let off at the cross to Santa Ana ("El cruz a Santa Ana). At the intersection, the real stop is not the one that says it's the Touristico stop, but rather you need to cross to the far side of the restaurant stands and wait along the main road. From there catch any bus headed towards Santa Ana (the smaller busses tend to be cheaper, costing about $.25). It's only 3km, so the ride is less than 15 minutes. The entrance to the ruins of San Andres is very unassuming other than the one blue and white sign.