The famous market at Chichicastenango (‘Chichi’) takes place twice weekly on Thursdays & Sundays and is another of the most vibrant and colourful indigenous markets in the Americas. Not only do the local K’iche Maya come, but it also draws vendors from throughout the country who come to sell their wares in a fascinating cacophony of colour, dialects, costumes and smells. It is the perfect place for some bargain hunting as well as being able to see Mayan rituals being performed in the Catholic Church.
- Visit the most famous and dizzyingly colourful market at Chichi
- Witness the locals’ fascinating animist rituals at Santo Tomas church
- Enjoy the vibe of the incredible Friday market at San Francisco El Alto
- Watch the locals in their exotically coloured traditional clothing
17 kms north of Xela up a very steep hill, San Francisco el Alto hosts what is arguably the biggest market in the entire Maya region (and probably Central America). The market is held on Fridays and is a truly wonderful spectacle as thousands of traders descend on the small village to buy and trade everything from honking hogs to fine fabrics. Textiles are bought here to be sold around the country, and some good bargains can be found. We recommend that you try and get a bird’s-eye view of the action by paying the main church’s caretaker one quetzal to climb up to the roof.