Chichicastenango Travel Guide

  • Chichicastenango
    by illumina
  • Chichicastenango market
    Chichicastenango market
    by Twan
  • Cemetery of Chichicastenango
    Cemetery of Chichicastenango
    by Twan

Chichicastenango Things to Do

  • Cemetery

    You can visit the cemetery of Chichicastenango it's a very colourfull sight.

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  • Market of Chichicastenago

    Every Thursday and Sunday there is a large market in Chichicastenango. Thousands of Mayans and many tourists visit the largest market in Central America to animals, flowers, souvenirs or any other special items to buy. On the stairs and in the 400 year old St. Thomas Church traders spread their wares, they burn incense and offer food to the Los...

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  • The market

    When you are in Chichicastenango you have to go to the market - the biggest in Guatemala.Here you can meet indians from many places who come to sell their products - you can really get anything, and it's very colorful and diverse.On this link you can see what days they have the market:http://www.travellog.com/guatemala/market.htmlI found a video...

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  • Capilla del Calvario

    Located on the opposite side of the Parque Central from the Iglesia de Santo Tomas, the Capilla del Calvario is a smaller whitewashed church in Chichi. This is another interesting site in Chichi and another diversion worthy of exploration from the hustle and bustle of the market. One can get a good view of the market spread out in the Parque Cental...

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  • Iglesia de Santo Tomas

    Standing above the fray of the market on the east end of the Parque Central is the white washed Iglesia de Santo Tomas. Built in 1540 the church sits at the top of a series of stone steps that takes the visitor up and above the activity of the market. The lower steps serve as part of the market with flower vendors taking up most of the area. On...

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  • Market Day

    This is the main reason for anyone's trip to Chichi. And there are two main reasons to some to the market. One is the collection of locally produced crafts from handwoven textiles to wood carvved masks. This is a great place to get those souvenirs and gifts for friends and family back hom. The second reason is the experience and see the indigenous...

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Chichicastenango Hotels

Chichicastenango Restaurants

  • Above the Crowd

    While walking through the jostling, crowded market of Chichicastenango I saw a restaurant sign pointing up a flight of stairs leading off the sidewalk. I decided to check it out and was very pleased to find the Kieq Ik Wai'm Ja Restaurant & Steak House. The restaurant was a relatively quite spot above the hustle of the market below and offered an...

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  • A great people-watching place

    This restaurant is situated on the second floor, overlooking the public market, so you can eat and watch the action in the market at the same time, which is great fun, as the market is busy all day.The food is good and the portions are generous. This is one of the few restaurants in town which serves the local dark ale known as Moza. Lake Atitlan...

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  • This is a rip-off!

    La Villa de Don Tomas was recommended to us for lunch, as being one of the best restaurants in Chichi. This large upstairs restaurant is indeed quite attractive with white linnen tablecloths on the tables. The menu is so-so...featuring pretty routine dishes, local and international, as well as luncheon choices such as tacos, hamburgers and...

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Chichicastenango Nightlife

  • acemj's Profile Photo

    by acemj Updated Feb 5, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Chichicastenango is more than just the market. It's an important Mayan spiritual center and a traditional, quiet town on non-market days. Ryan and I arrived on Wednesday afternoon, the day before the busy Thursday market and we enjoyed being virtually the only non-locals in town.

    We were wandering around on Wednesday night looking for a place to eat, when all of a sudden, we heard a loud draining noise. Before we knew it, the entire town went black. The sudden power loss was a surprise and didn't happen at a good time since we were just wandering back streets and had no idea where we were. Fortunately, Ryan had a lighter, so he pulled it out and we somehow made our way back to the main square. All the locals seemed to take it in stride, so we assumed this was not an unusual occurrence. About 15 minutes later, the power loudly surged back on and we decided to find a place to eat a little closer to our hotel!

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Chichicastenango Transportation

  • Mini bus from Antigua

    I was staying in Antigua, Guatemala, for a week and on Sunday took a mini bus shuttle to Chichicastenango to visit the market. The cost of $16US was very reasonable but the trip was long and ardorous. I spent a total of seven hours (round trip) crammed into the back of the crowded bus with my knees pressed against the seat in front of me and...

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  • Little local bus to big indian market

    I took the local bus to Chichicastenango - a fantastic experience. I was the only Gringo (white man) in the bus, and I was squesed in between some indians. Everyone was going to the biggest indian market in Guatemala, and many of them brought big bags and boxes with stuff they were going to sell there. It was not at all comfortable sitting in the...

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  • Transportation adventures in Guatemala

    I loved taking public transport in Guatemala. It was always an adventure and you are never sure when, whether, and how will you get where you are headed. Here is how my transport from and to San Pedro to Chichi went - all in one day:In the morning I took the chicken bus to las Encuentros (2 hours - US$2). There I got on cramped collectivo with...

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Chichicastenango Shopping

  • Chichicastenango Market.

    Chichi market is maybe the best place in Guatemala for buying handicrafts, with good prices and a lot of local art shops. But is also a good place to see traditional religious practices in the higlands, like the Pascual Abaj.

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  • This is why you're here!

    The market in ChiChi is the largest in Guatemala, although you can get many of the same items elsewhere. I noticed many of the same things on sale in Panajachel on Lake Atitlan. However, no other place has the depth of selection and makes for quite the spectacle as does the ChiChi market. As you wander through the maze of makeshift portable stalls,...

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  • Fruits and Veggies

    In the large building on the north side of the main square, you'll find a big fruit and vegetable market that had very few tourists wandering about when we visited. If you're having trouble finding a decent restaurant in town, you might consider buying some ingredients for a do-it-yourself picnic. Everything looked good and the prices were low.

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Chichicastenango Local Customs

  • Bargain the price

    When you visit an indian market you are expected to bargain the prices.Keep your eyes and ears open, and dont accept the first price you get. Some vendors are very persistant and will maybe walk after you if you show the slightest interest - their last offer could easily be much less than the first price they told you.Coming from Denmark it takes a...

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  • Avena

    We headed out of the hotel at 6:45 on Thursday morning and as we made our way around the town, we noticed a lot of the locals taking a quick break from setting up their portable stalls to eat breakfast. Most people appeared to be eating a kind of porridge that looked like the perfect meal on the cool, misty morning. I asked someone what he was...

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  • Chichicastenango Hotels

    1 Hotels in Chichicastenango

Chichicastenango Warnings and Dangers

  • Pickpockets

    Be aware of pickpockets everywhere in Guatemala, especially at the market in Chichicastenango!!! Is very crowed and my friends mobile phone was nicked here.

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  • Dangerous Area in Chichicastenango

    Don't go to the cemetery on the town's west side even in groups. There have been several reports of tourists being robbed at gunpoint. Don't go to deserted area either.

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  • Protect your possessions

    When you are working your way through the crowds at the ChiChi market you are very vulnerable to pickpockets and other thieves.We always wear our daypacks and camera cases to the front of us. I have seen thieves come up behind someone with a pack on their back and the thief has lifted an item without the owner knowing what has happened. The...

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Chichicastenango Tourist Traps

  • Eating at the market

    Maybe I am naive but my approach did not work very well while trying not to be overcharged in Guatemala. Here was the same. While I was looking for a place to eat, food market was quite empty. I choose one place based on my natural instinct, thinking I am not going to ask how much is food - this is where locals eat - it must be cheap. And also...

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  • Better Crafts Elsewhere

    This might sound weird given that Chichi is THE marketplace, but I found that the crafts were better in Panajachel and Antigua. A lot of the masks had chipped paint or looked otherwise worn, and there were hardly any paintings, which was a huge disappointment for me since I had been holding off until Chichi to buy one in the anticipation that it...

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Chichicastenango What to Pack

  • Various

    You're in the highlands here, so it's not uncommon to have a morning fog or mist that quickly burns off as the sun gets higher in the sky. I took this picture around 7:30 am on market day and it appeared that it would be a cool and dreary day, but by 9:30, it was bright and sunny and by midday it was actually pretty hot.

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  • Buy a Bag

    Not realizing the incredible deals that existed in ChiChi, I arrived with my luggage already filled to the brim. For about $5 I bought a sports bag with Mayan textile decorations on it and was able to fill it with textiles and other souvenirs from the market.

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Chichicastenango Off The Beaten Path

  • Santa Cruz del Quiche.

    From Chichicastenango you can travel to the nearby town of Santa Cruz del Quiche, the capital of the Department of Quiche, a good paved road will take you to this off the beaten track city, where you can feel the real indian way of life out of the touristic crowd.

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  • Temple of Pascual Abjal

    I had the chance to climb a nearby hill to see the Temple of Pascual Abjal, a local Mayan shrine. The small temple was not a nice site, but the walk uphill is rewarding. The small statue in the shrine remind me of the pictures i've seen from the statues in Eastern Island for some reason. Oh, if you get a chance, you may even see a modern mayan...

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  • Chichicastenango Hotels

    1 Hotels in Chichicastenango

Chichicastenango Favorites

  • Don't Be Afraid to Bargain

    Bargaining in many of the craft shops/stalls in Chichi is totally expected. When asked, the shop/stall keeper will give you a price that is more than they are expecting to get. Don't be afraid to counter with an offer that is less than 50% lower than the initial price. Eventually you will arrive at a mutually agreed to price somewhere in the middle...

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  • Staying in touch

    Just behind the main square on the eastern end of town, there is a little courtyard off of the road that has a few shops, a cafe and an internet cafe that is an inexpensive way to stay in touch with relatives back home.

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  • Iglesia Santo Tomas from a distance

    Iglesia Santo Tomas as seen from the other side of the market. We left the market late in the afternoon to continue on to San Juan Cotzal were we would be helping build a new community named Belen. Learn more about this project at my San Juan Cotzal Page.

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Comments

 
Explore Deeper into Chichicastenango
Good breakfast spot
Restaurants
Another restaurant above the fray
Restaurants
Visit the church of Santo Tomás
Things to Do
Cemetery
Things to Do
La Igelsia de Santo Tomas
Things to Do
Tough steak
Restaurants
2 tips in one
Restaurants
Bad coffee
Restaurants
Van
Transportation
Cementario General
Things to Do
Capilla de Calvario
Things to Do
Shop 'til you drop!
Things to Do
Museo Regional
Things to Do
MARKET!
Things to Do
cemetery
Things to Do
early market visit
Things to Do
Santo Tomas church.
Things to Do
Shuttle buses
Transportation
El Calvario church.
Things to Do
Town Cemetery
Things to Do
The Market.
Things to Do
The main church
Things to Do
Pan flutes
Shopping
Very good food
Restaurants
The cemetery
Things to Do
Independance Day
Things to Do
The market masks
Things to Do
Chichi, the market
Things to Do
Beer
Restaurants
Fresh fruit
Shopping
Bracelets
Shopping
The easiest way
Transportation
The church
Things to Do
A long day...
Things to Do
Not Only Tourists, but the Indigenous Shop Too
Things to Do
Muchas Flores
Things to Do
Man in Black
Things to Do
Vendedora de Flores
Things to Do
Colorful Fabrics Abound
Things to Do
Market Day in Chi Chi
Things to Do
Map of Chichicastenango

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