Chichicastenango
History & Heritage

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Our most recommended Chichicastenango History & Heritage

Chichicastenango and Panajachel One Day Tour

1. Chichicastenango and Panajachel One Day Tour

This day-long tour of Guatemala, beginning from Antigua or Guatemala City, covers market villages to picturesque lakes and is sure to give you a bar-none introduction to some of the country's loveliest sights! Start your day at the open market of Chichicastenango. Here, you can explore the indigenous market and witness the incessant exchange of fruits, vegetables and handicrafts between local people and foreigners. This charming local market really does offer just about everything—you can even shop for wood products, ceramics and the sorts of gifts that the Mayan priests offer on their pre-hispanic altars. We will then move on to visit Santo Tomás church, where the Popol Vuh (The sacred book of the Maya) was found. For the perfect end to the day we will spend the remainder of our time overlooking one of the world's most beautiful lakes.

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3-Day Tour of Lake Atitlan & Chichicastenango Market

2. 3-Day Tour of Lake Atitlan & Chichicastenango Market

Experience two of Guatemala's most celebrated points of interest: sparkling Lake Atitlan and the Chichicastenango Market on this 3-day tour from Antigua. Visit the highland town of Chichicastenango, world-famous for its open-air market. Here you'll find amazing handicrafts created by the indigenous Maya people as you witness an incessant exchange of fruits and vegetables. Next to the market stands the Church of Santo Tomas, a 16th-century church where you can observe age-old Mayan rituals being performed. Filling an enormous caldera and surrounded by volcanoes and traditional Mayan villages, Lake Atitlan has become renowned for its indescribable beauty and unique cultural history. Spend a day on a guided boat tour of the lake and surrounding towns, then experience the nightlife of Panajachel. Detailed Itinerary Day 1: Antigua ̶ Chichicastenango – Panajachel Travel from Antigua to Chichicastenango. Explore the open-air market, where a wide array of produce, finely woven textiles, and intricate handicrafts are for sale. Afterward, visit the Church of Santo Tomas. Evening transfer to Panajachel for overnight. Day 2: Lake Atitlan Boat Trip Board a private boat for a scenic trip across Lake Atitlan. Visit two traditional Maya villages that line the shores of the lake and admire views of the nearby volcanoes. Afterward, enjoy free time in Panajachel on your own. Day 3: Panajachel ̶ Antigua Have free time to further explore Panajachel. In the afternoon, transfer to Antigua Colonial City.

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From Guatemala City: Chichicastenango and Lake Atitlan

3. From Guatemala City: Chichicastenango and Lake Atitlan

Explore the Western Highlands, the region of Guatemala that most travelers familiar with Guatemala think about when daydreaming about a trip to this country. The region is home to quaint and colorful mountain villages, highland lakes, pine forests, and the majority of Guatemala’s indigenous peoples. Arrive at Chichicastenango Market and begin your walking tour inside the market. It is the center of the town and heart of commercial life for the maxeños. The merchants go down to the central plaza every Thursday and Sunday to sell their products in this impressive indigenous market that has changed very little throughout the centuries. Explore the pathways of the market and view the colorful handicrafts and produce offered by the local people of the region. In Chichicastenango, we will also visit Santo Tomás Church, built in 1540 over the base of an archaeological pre-Hispanic temple. This church is a splendid example of colonial architecture, as the Mayan and Latino influence is mixed throughout both the interior and exterior of the building. You will have some free time for lunch (not included). Then, continue to the town of Panajachel, which sits on Lake Atitlan, where you will have time to explore. Visit Santander Street and enjoy a spectacular view of Lake Atitlan, considered one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. Three spectacular volcanoes, Tolimán, Atitlán and San Pedro form the natural frame of the lake itself. It has a surface of 125 square kilometers and sits 1,560 meters above sea level.

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7 Day Package - Explore Lake Atitlan & Antigua

4. 7 Day Package - Explore Lake Atitlan & Antigua

Day 1 > Arrival in Guatemala & world-Famous Antigua. An exquisite Spanish Colonial town with elegant 16th & 17th Century architecture, cobblestone streets, a tranquil central square, stylish hotels, luxurious shops and superb international cuisine. The town enjoys a unique and impressive setting nestled beneath three towering volcanoes and surrounded by lush evergreen forests. Day 2 > Antigua. Walking Tour of Antigua. The tour will focus on Antigua’s architecture, history, restoration and cultural trends. Your tour can include a visit to the Jade Museum and also the museums at Paseo de los Museos at Casa Santo Domingo, the Chocolate Museum, the central plaza, Arch of Santa Catarina, and more. Day 3 > Amazing Chichicastenango. You will have time to enjoy the spectacular outdoor market of Chichicastenango –one of the world’s most famous outdoor markets! People watch in thisvery Mayanvillage, and also‘shop until you drop’or until 1pm when the market closes.  Walk through the cemetery and sacred Shaman Hill, Pascal Abaj where you are likely to see Mayan fire cleansing ceremonies. Located at 2500 meters above sea level, this town is famous amongst tourists for its market on Thursdays and Sundays, where spats of traditionally dressed villagers in a kaleidoscope of colors, come to sell their very colorful textiles, fruits, vegetables and flowers. Although seemingly very commercial, there is much mysticism in the air. You will be amazed by the religious blend that exists, where colonial Spanish Catholicism, modern evangelism and ancient Mayan tradition, blend in a uniquely harmonious fashion. There is something deeply moving about watching a Mayan Indian or shaman, engulfed by incense and surrounded by flowers, praying to a catholic God and at the same time practicing ancient Mayan rituals, all in an old Spanish colonial Cathedral. Day 4 > Lake Atitlan– 3 village boat tour of San Marcos, San Juan, and Santiago. This spectacular full day trip will take you from one end of the lake to the other. You will visit the villages of San Marcos, San Juan and Santiago, with time to explore each village. Your first stop is San Marcos, where you stop for a swim and optional cliff jumping. Then you will depart the north shore for San Juan, the “Swiss village” of Lake Atitlan. You will enjoy a guided walking tour and visit art galleries, woman's weaving cooperatives, a medicinal and curative plant garden, see a children's dance performance, and learn about the Mayan calendar. Your third stop is Santiago. The bay of Santiago is a photographer’s dream. We take a tour along the shore of the bay before we start our walking tour. Your first stop is a visitor center that offers insight into the life of the Tzutujile Maya. There are interpretive displays on the history of the traje (traditional clothing), spiritual beliefs and Maximon. Easy walking is involved. Day 5 > Lake Atitlan– Hike (or Drive) the Upper Mayan Trail, Solola and mountain villages. This day affords you some truly amazing lake views! At the hikes’s conclusion you will spend some time at the colorful market of Solola. Your hike takes you along ancient paths that have been used by the Kaqchikel Maya for centuries. You will view villagers going about their daily life, encounter farmers tending their maiz and coffee fields, and see some of the most magnificent scenery in the world. This rugged and remote area has barely been touched by the outside world. The hike takes you 2,500 feet above the waters of Atitlán for breath taking views and pristine scenery. Day 6 > Lake Atitlan– Kayak and Hike Mulit-Sport. This full day includes a kayak tour along the rugged north shore, and a hike back thru San Marcos, Tzununa,  El Jaibalito and Santa Cruz la Laguna. We paddle for 1 ½ hours along the shores of Santa Cruz la Laguna, El Jaibalito, and Tzununa, ending in San Marcos.  You will have many up close encounters with Mayan men who fish from hand hewn cayukas as they have for centuries.  You will feel privileged to share the lake with these proud fishermen who make Lake Atitlan so unique. You paddle along rugged cliff faces filled with exotic plant and bird life.  You have the opportunity to cliff- jump into the crystal clear waters, or just enjoy a swim and sun. We pull into the Bay of San Marcos and gear up for the next part of our adventure. The  north shore of Lake Atitlan has no true road access, so you will be hiking along ancient paths that have been used by the Maya for centuries.  You will view villagers going about their daily life, encounter farmers tending their maiz and coffee fields, and see some of the most magnificent scenery in the world.  This rugged and remote section of Lake Atitlan has barely been touched by the outside world.  Our hike takes us over one thousand feet above the ever changing waters of Atitlan for breath taking views of the famous volcanos.   Day 7  > Departure Day - This days activities will depend on your departure time. We will insure you have the most time to enjoy the day, plus get you to the airport in time for your departure.  We may travel to Antigua for a second night, or to Guatemala City to visit musuems and other sights.  It is all up to you. Come enjoy the most popular sights of Guatemala in 7 days.

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What people are saying about Chichicastenango

Overall rating

3.5 / 5

based on 2 reviews

I like the options they present for trips, and I loved the tours to the towns of Lake Atitlán. Although it would be advisable in each place to give about 2 hours to stay. It is also recommended from the beginning to put the options with the price of different hotels, so that the client can choose from the beginning. And it is also recommended that with the transport the seats of each traveler be reserved, because in the minibuses the small seats are uncomfortable and if you change the minibus, they sit where it is available.

Very neat and accomplished

Everything offered was fulfilled. Comfortable transport. Very friendly in the chosen hotel. Good location and willing to collaborate. The guide in the Lake very attentive to his work. A very pleasant experience. Thank you

Unforgetable Guatemala´s highlands!

Very nice landscape, an excellent guide with a lot of information not only about the highlands but about the whole country.