Gently decaying colonial streets and facades exude a certain bourgeois indifference. From Santa Ana you can explore the archaeological sites of Joya de Ceren, San Andres and Tazumal.
El Salvador does not have the Mayan ruins of its neighbours Guatemala and Honduras, but it does have Joya de Cerén, the Pompeii of Mesoamerica. Joya was a small Mayan farming village, nestling in a fertile valley near the volcano of Loma Caldera. One evening in the last two weeks of August in 650AD the volcano erupted. The volcanic eruption was so sudden that everyday Mayan life was buried under eight metres of volcanic ash and frozen in time – hence the accuracy of the dating of the event: the pots had not yet been washed up.