Specifically known for its K’iche Maya culture, Chichicastenango is an interesting city located a few hours northwest of Guatemala City. Over 98% of the population is indigenous Mayan K’iche and 92% speak the K’iche language – compared to only 71% being able to speak Spanish.
“Chichi” is famous for its Thursday and Sunday markets which contain a plethora of items, such as…
… Handicrafts, textiles, masks, backpacks, scarves, sweaters, pipes, chickens, flowers, bookmarks, Komodo dragons, shoes, paintings .. And only one of those isn’t true!
The market is an absolute gem and it’s a site to behold if you’re even remotely into shopping, crowds or Maya culture – or if you need to buy some souvenirs. Just be ready to haggle!
There are two main churches in “Chichi”, both around 400 years old. K’iche Maya priests still use the churches for incense and candle rituals, even sacrificing chickens for special occasions.
Checking out the markets in Chichicastenango is a perfect destination for a Sunday shopping trip. The people are generally friendly and smiling, even as they try to charge the inevitably exorbitant ‘gringo price’. My main piece of advice is to try and take a bus there before 8am … Unless you fancy being crammed onto a chicken bus with what feels like 200 people ; ) .
Other than that, make sure to spend a day in “Chichi” when you stop by Guatemala. Trust me, you won’t regret it!