Chichicastenango Itineraries:

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A small and stucco-white town surrounded by valleys, frmaed with mountains serrating the horizons, Chichicastenango is seemingly isolated in its’ own time and space away from the rest of Guatemala.

A 2-3 hour drive from Guatemal City, this sleepy dwelling is home to what is surely the most colorful native market in North and Central America, perhaps in all the Americas. Crafts vendors and travelers converge on Chichicastenango en mass every Thursday and Sunday for the market creating a seemingly worldly and commercial atmosphere in the streets of the small town.

The famous handicraft market draws not only the K’iche’ Maya of the surrounding region, but vendors from all over Guatemala. They represent many of Guatemala’s linguistic groups such as Mam, Ixil, Kaqchikel and others, each hawking his or her products in a riotous cacophony of color, dialects and costumes, smoke, and smells. This town in the mountains of Quiche has been, since pre-Hispanic times, one of the largest trading centers in the Maya area.


Despite the hussel and bussel the market brings, ChiChi still retains its mystery and slow pace. Masheños (citizens of Chichicastenango) are famous for their adherence to pre-Christian beliefs and ceremonies, and the town's various cofradías (religious brotherhoods) hold processions in observance of their saints around the church of Santo Tomás. The 400-year old church of Santo Tomas is situated next to the market and is still used by Shamans for their rituals, including a chicken for the gods in special cases. Each of the 18 stairs that lead up to the church stands for one month of the Mayan calendar year.

Long before the Spanish conquest, Chichicastenango, then known as Chaviar, was an important Kaqchiquel trading town. In the 15th century the group clashed with the K'iche' (based at K'umarcaaj, 20km north) and were forced to move their headquarters to the more defensible Iximché. During the Spanish conquests in 1524, many of K'umarcaaj’s residents were forced to flee to Chaviar. The town was renamed Chugüilá (Above the Nettles) and Tziguan Tinamit (Surrounded by Canyons) and us still addressed as such by the K'iche' Maya. It’s is known to everyone else as Chichicastenango, a name given by the Spaniards' Mexican allies.

With a long history, unparalleled market and colorful culture wrapped in a picturesque landscape, Chichicastenango is well worth a visit.


Chichicastenango Accommodations


San Rafael Hotel
After a three year restoration, San Rafael Hotel incorporates the remains of an early structure significantly altered in the nineteenth century. Each of the seven guest rooms and suites features local traditional and modern art, beautiful linens and textiles, wood-burning fireplaces, and en suite bathrooms with rainfall shower heads.

Guatemala Highlands Tour


Hotel Casa Santo Domingo
The Hotel Casa Santo Domingo is truly one of Antigua’s gems - a restored monastery of the Dominican Order that has been restored into a luxury hotel. This innovative hotel offers 128 rooms, each with its own unique and special characteristics. The décor includes works of art from renowned Guatemalan artists and handmade textiles featuring traditional-contemporary designs.

Guatemala Family Adventure Tour


El Convento Boutique Hotel
El Convento is a luxurious and elegant boutique hotel located adjacent to a famous convent dating to the 18th century. Each of the 26 suites is decorated with Guatemalan art, textiles and each with a unique wooden carved door that represents the name and style of the room.

Tropical Honeymoon


Posada del Angel
The posada’s seven suites all feature original wooden floors, fine antiques, a wood-burning fireplace and en suite bathroom. Shared public areas include a small dining area for breakfast, lounges perfect for relaxing with a book or glass of wine and a roof-top verandah with expansive views of Antigua and its surrounding volcanoes.

Tropical Honeymoon


Hotel Mil Flores
Mil Flores Luxury Design Hotel is located in the beautiful UNESCO city of Antigua, Guatemala. This boutique hotel offers just six suites featuring decor that blends modern design and Antigua's rich colonial history.

Maya Archaeology Tour


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