Between 600 and 900 AD, some 12,000 Mayans inhabited a city in the Valle de Zapotitán dominated by a step pyramid. The grass-covered ruins of the pyramid and a large courtyard were discovered in 1977, and excavation of the site continues to this day.
The archaeological evidence suggests that San Andrés was a trading city, as well as the provincial capital. Goods from as far as Honduras, Belize and Mexico passed through the settlement. Residents remained in San Andrés to as late as 1200, and in 1658, the abandoned city was covered in volcanic ash from El Playón, preserving many of the site’s original structures.
Today, the archeological park includes a museum showcasing artifacts from pre-Hispanic and Colonial eras.
San Andrés is located 20 miles (33 kilometers) west of San Salvador along CA-1. The sign-posted turn off is near the Km 33 marker.