Experts believe the Tazumal archaeological site, which is part of a large group of ancient cities most of which remain unexcavated, was a major trading center. It may have been inhabited for more than 3,000 years though not everyone flourished.
The Tazumal archaeological site
The name Tazumal means “the pyramid where the victims were burned” in the Quiche Mayan language. Despite that ominous name, Tazumal is a pleasant, compact site but it was hard for us to get past the concrete which early excavators spread over sections of the structures to protect them and mimic what the buildings might have looked like when they was plastered over and in good condition. They ended up making the remains look like a third grade art project. Despite rumors that the concrete was going to be removed in 2009 it was all still there when we visited.
There are lots of small restaurants across the street from the entrance to Tazumal which sell delicious yucca and chicharron (boiled yucca, pickled vegetable, and crispy/meaty pork served on a banana leaf), so come hungry. It’s a great place to try this Salvadoran dish.
The San Andres archaeological site
When we were in the area the nearby Casa Blanca archaeological site was closed for renovations and when we arrived at the San Andres archaeological site its museum, the main reason to visit, was closed for renovations as well though they were still charging the full admission price.
Want more? Check out our post about the more than 100 archaeological sites we’ve visited in the Americas
Here’s more about travel in El Salvador