Joya de Ceren Archaeological Park

Joya de Ceren Archaeological Park, San Salvador

Joya de Ceren Archaeological Park

Joya de Ceren Archaeological Park
4.5
About
Excavation at "Jewel of the Ceren", a pre-Columbian Mayan farming village, that was buried under a volcanic eruption around 600 A.D.
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Kody G
Denver, CO104 contributions
Oct 2021
I rated this only 4 stars for a number of reasons. It is a very interesting site, but pales in comparison to other Mayan sites, like Copan, for example. There just isn't much to see here. The whole complex consists of a large metal roofed structure to protect the site that is still (periodically) being excavated. A lot of the remaining structures have been destroyed one way or another, which is not unexpected, of course (although seeing the petrified lava ash leaning against one of the house walls was pretty cool!). There is a one-way path that leads you around the whole site and then ends at the museum, which I found to be informative and have some interesting artifacts (and small enough to be able to see it all in a short amount of time). Despite the site being small, the fact that it was preserved by volcanic ash is pretty remarkable, making it the "Pompeii of Central America." Getting in was a bit of a problem. Joya de Ceren finally opened back up in Aug 2021 after being closed for a year or two (mix of excavations and COVID). At the time we visited (early October), it was only open Saturday and Sunday from 0900-1600, and a guide or tour was required to enter. We had showed up to the gated entrance and told we couldn't enter because we didn't had a guide, even though we were willing to pay more. We were very disappointed, but it turned out to be our lucky day because a guide had showed up right before we left, giving a private tour to a patron, and he offered to be our guide, too, essentially just to get us into the site. We were then allowed in. It was quite expensive ($10 per person, plus another $1 for the parking), at least by Salvadoran standards. All this being said, if you're like me and try to see as many UNESCO sites as you can, then you should come here (it's the only one in El Salvador at the time of this writing). Otherwise, may want to wait for it to have more regular hours and less work (ie not needing a guide/tour) to get in.
Written November 9, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

TravelingFool88005
Las Cruces, NM1,117 contributions
Oct 2021 • Couples
This is the only UNESCO site in El Salvador. My husband was in Love with this place-being a geomorphologist. You can only visit with a guide and on the weekends due to covid. It was interesting.
Written October 11, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Rob O
New York City, NY113 contributions
Oct 2021 • Solo
Joya de Ceren is a special place, sometimes called the Pompeii of the Americas. It is an active archaeological site that allows you to see into the past. The infrastructure is great - overhang to keep you and the ruins clear from the elements, q nice museum showing some of the artifacts and history, and good facilities for guests to use on their way. Was so glad I got a peek at the past!
Written October 11, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Pierre St Cyr
2 contributions
May 2021
Cant really review but FYI, as of May 12/2021, this site was still temporary closed for repairs. The banner on the locked gates states planned closure from November 2019 to May 2020, but the pandemic seemingly changed that scheduled?
Security people at the site told us that maybe in three more months?
Written May 23, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Erika S
37 contributions
Apr 2021
Called couple of times and no one answered, but decided to drive about an hour from San Salvador to Joya de Ceren to find out it was close. The sign outside the park hasn’t been updated.
Written April 17, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelholic
Vancouver, Canada41 contributions
Feb 2020
Unable to see the ruins when we were in San Salvador this Feb.. Was told by the locals that the ruins is closed by Japanese research team as they are the ones in charge of working/studying the ruins for the past few years.
Don’t think you can get in with tour company either.
Written March 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Sarah
Allen, TX111 contributions
Dec 2019 • Couples
We tried to visit on Dec 28 and it was closed with a sign that it was closed until May 2020. You might be able to get in and see some of it with a tour guide, but definitely not on your own!
Written December 30, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

LeslieCAHI
Sydney, Australia8 contributions
Dec 2019 • Couples
We were really looking forward to seeing Joya de Cerén but when we drove out on 12/28 it was closed with a sign up saying renovations will be underway until May.

Just a head’s up! It might be worth asking to see if you can still get in with a guide or company, but we were unable to see it independently as tourists.
Written December 28, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Roberto G
Antioch, CA5 contributions
Dec 2019 • Solo
The tour guide was very knowledgeable and a great story teller about the history of the ruins. He even when to give me more information about the different tribes that had lived in the area.
Written December 24, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

PandaHouston
Houston, TX6,193 contributions
Dec 2019
We came on a Saturday on December 21 with Salvadorean Tours. Entrance was included in our tour but they charge $3 per person for foreigners. Because they were fixing the roof, only 2 areas were open.

There really isn't much to see. I think you could walk the whole thing in 10 minutes but because we had a guide, we spent 1 hour there. We heard that they were closing from end of December to May to replace the roofs.
Written December 21, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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