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Mayan Tour: Joya de Cerén UNESCO Site +Tazumal Ceremonial Center
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Reviewed 17 December 2022 via mobile

I took public bus 218 to reach this attraction. Fare is 30 cents per person and the ride took about 30-40 minutes.

It was a 5-minute walk from the bus stop to the entrance of this attraction.
Entrance fee is $5 for foreigners, cheaper for the locals.

There is only 1 pyramid-like building that is cordoned off and climbing it is not allowed. One can go around this building and take its pictures from
various angles.

The museum is being renovated and is closed during my visit.

Date of experience: December 2022
1  Thank LolaGo1
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 1 October 2022 via mobile

Tazumal is located inside the city of Chalchuapa which is a mere 15km (half an hour) from Santa Ana. If you base yourself in Santa Ana you pass it on the way to the Ruta De Las Flores (Ahuachapan entrance) and so it can be added on to the route.

Tazumal is the most impressive of the maya ruins located within El Salvador. However, it you compare it to any of the rich offerings elsewhere in mesoamerica the site is quite small and unremarkable. The original area was actually 10 square kilometres but most of it has since been buried under the town itself and not excavated. A stop includes a visit through the small museum and a viewing of the two pyramidal structures.

The big negatives are the $5USD entry fee (given it only takes 15 minutes to explore), the fact you cannot climb on the structures and the museum (which is small and only provides information in Spanish).

Overall it could be a welcome addition to your Ruta De Las Flores trip, but it wouldn’t be a big deal if you missed it.

Date of experience: September 2022
2  Thank RowanH336
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 4 June 2021

WOW - this place was remarkable. There is so much to history here that one isn't even aware of. Definitely hire one of the onsite local guides (associated w/ the Tourism Ministry of Gov't) to have them give you a guided tour. It will be worth every penny!

Among the ruins in/around San Salvador, Tazumal was by far the largest and most astounding.

Date of experience: June 2021
2  Thank Christopher V
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 9 April 2020

Not far from Santa Ana are the ruins of the Mayan city of Tazumal which are literally surrounded by the present day city of Chalchuapa, a Nahuatl word meaning 'river of jade'. Our bus drives down a narrow street with vendors on one side and open air restaurants on the other until it can go no further. How he is going to turn around I have no idea, but we get out and walk the short distance to the entrance.

Tazumal, like San Andres which we visited yesterday, had two distinct growth periods. One before the eruption of Ilopango and one after with a significant gap in between. The earliest settlement here dates as far back as 1000 B.C. and apparently had a definite Olmec influence, based upon a carving found on a boulder at the site. The period immediately preceding the Ilopango eruption was the city's heyday and there were structures much larger and over an area much greater than what you see today. Although construction resumed in the 5th century and what you see today dates from that time, the city never regained its former prominence. By 1200 Tazumal was abandoned.

The visit to Tazumal starts with a walk through a small museum where the most interesting item is this recreation of a Mayan cacique complete with jade and feather ornamentation.

Tazumal is essentially one large plaza dominated by a pyramid that is much larger than that at Santa Ana and although you can't climb it, there is a path to follow around its base. From the back it looks amazingly like a Babylonian ziggurat.

There is also a small ball court. One of the most fascinating things about pre-Columbian Mayan culture was the obsession with 'the ball game'. A Mayan wife would never say to her husband, "Honey, it's only a game.", because to the Mayans it was much, much more. The playing of the game was not a sport as we know it, but a ritual which could actually see the losers executed. Talk about 'sudden death overtime'! Every major Mayan city had at least one of these ball courts and they always had a viewing area which in the case of Tazumal would have been on the tiers of the pyramid beside the court.

If you've been to Chichen Itza, Copan or Tikal then Tazumal is not going to make much of an impression, but if you are in this area of El Salvador it's definitely worth a visit.

Date of experience: February 2020
2  Thank maritimeexplorer
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 5 February 2020 via mobile

Open 9.00 AM to 4.00 PM all days except Mondays. Tazumal is about one and half hour drive from San Salvador. This can be clubbed with the much sought after tour of the flowers route which is a full day tour from San Salvador. It’s a small but well maintained site and a very nice museum. Guides are available there. Entry tickets are 3.00 USD. Expect to spend about an hour. Plenty of artefacts and souvenirs available for purchase outside.

Date of experience: January 2020
1  Thank murali8121
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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