This site offers the best chance in the Maya world to go back in time to an age when the buildings were covered with stucco and painted with lively scenes: you can still see the original pigments.
Also unusual for Mayan sites, this one has an attractive colonial town near enough for walking, Copan Ruinas, full of good-value hotels and restaurants.
The Main Site
Several grassy plazas and a ball court are surrounded by pyramids and other temples, many decorated with lively carved stone symbolic figures and former kings. Nearly every surface is covered by some relief or carving. Stone stelae illustrate the various rulers over the centuries and tell stories spanning more than 600 years.
Two tunnels under one pyramid provide a view into how one pyramid was built on top another, as well as how the civilization evolved over time and became more sophisticated. The tunnels are only open to a few people at a time.
To understand what the temples looked like in their heyday, enter here to so a reconstructed pyramid that is brightly colored and covered with painted figures. Original sculptures and painted sections are on display showing what is often missing from visits to ruins now.
This site a little more than a kilometer from the main archeological park, included in the admission, is where the elite lived and buried their dead. It contains tombs—some elaborate, some simple depending on rank—for the city’s royalty and spiritual leaders.
Tours & Tickets
Visit the archaeological ruins of Copán, a UNESCO World Heritage site, on this day trip from San Salvador. You'll leave early in the morning for the trip ... Read more
Location: San Salvador, El Salvador
Duration: 1 day (approx.)