Tazumal El Salvador

Tazumal is the most important and extensively restored Maya site in El Salvador. While the Tazumal ruins are very important for El Salvador they pale in comparison to those in neighboring countries. The site is part of the large archaeological zone of Chalchuapa. Although close together, the individual groups have been given separate names and are treated as separate Maya cities. The structures found here show evidence of being influenced by Copán in Honduras, and also share some stylistic elements that are more characteristic of central Mexican, such as those in Teotihuacan.

In the K’iche’ language Tazumal means, “the place where the victims were burned”.



The excavated remains of Tazumal span a period of over 1000 years, from around 100 AD to 1200 AD. It’s believed that the city functioned as an important trading center, and that much of its ruins still remain unexcavated. Most of the construction took place around 400 to 680 AD with building made of adobe, or stone set in adobe, and a facing of lime plaster. The site was abandoned around AD 1200.

Map of Tazumal

The map shows the location of Tazumal. The buttons on the left can be used to zoom in or out. Click and drag the map to move around.


The most important building at Tazumal is Structure I, a large pyramid with numerous tiers. The pyramid has a broad stairway on its west side, and a temple with square columns on top. Visitors are no longer allowed to climb any structure at Tazumal due to the damage from the 2001 earthquake.

Visit Tazumal

Tazumal is located in the heart of Chalchuapa just north of Santa Ana and some 37 miles (60 km) from the capital, San Salvador.