Our first Mayan ruins

I was a bit weary and skeptical of ruins after spending so much time in Perú.  “Really, how can anything compare to Machu Picchu?” I thought.  With this attitude, we were considering skipping the Ruinas del Tazumal outside Santa Ana.  Our hostel’s owner convinced us to go, however, and we were so glad we did.  It was a quick, easy, and cheap excursion from Santa Ana and the Mayan ruins were so different from anything we had seen before!

The Tazumal Ruins are located in a public park right inside the small town of Chalchuapa, only 13km from Santa Ana.  The structure is basically one big pyramid which is now partially buried underground.  It costs $3 to enter and you can walk around and even climb on some parts of the pyramid.  Of course doing this inspired some epic Apocalypto-like posing, and, as always, jumping pictures:

I am your ruler!!!!!

After walking around and taking lots of pictures for about an hour we had had our fill of archeology.  Before leaving, we stopped at a cafe to try a local Chaulchuapa specialty: Yucca con chicharron.

Chicharron is fried pork kind of like bacon, and it was served over boiled and mashed yucca with some coleslaw mixed in.  Zach enjoyed it more than I did, but we both LOVED the “horchata!”  Horchata is an amazing iced beverage made from the roasted seeds of the “morro” fruit.  Horchata is super sweet, milky, really almost chocolatey!  I don’t know how they get that taste out of this fruit, but it works for me!  I’d tried Mexican horchata once before but this was way better.  I think we discovered another addiction!

Sadly, morro trees are almost extinct!