Chichicastenango

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Chichicastenango is a small town in the Western Highlands of Guatemala (pop. about 23000). Located at an altitude of 2030m, it is surrounded by valleys and mountains. It is mostly renowned for its colourful markets, held on Thurdsays and Sundays, where it is said that some of the most beautiful traditional Mayal textiles are sold.

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Points of Interest in Chichicastenango

The Festival of Santo Thomas is one of the largest celebrations in Guatemala. It is a combination of a city festival with traditional dances, a religious celebration by the Cofradia and the regular market.

It starts December 13th and goes to December 22nd with the biggest day December 21st. There are Toros and Castillos of fireworks in the main square in the evening, after dark. Firecrackers and mortars are set off in front of the Church of Santo Thomas all day long.

There are two religious processions per day, lead by the Cofradia carrying altars decorated with flowers and fruit collecting the saints from neighborhood chapels and taking them to the Church of Santo Thomas.

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About Chichicastenango

Background

There's a small Inguat tourist information office beside Santo Tomás church on 8 Calle with good stock of leaflests about Chichicastenango.

Shopping

Visit the market on Thursdays or Sundays where vendors sell everything from chickens to telephones. The market is also the best place to buy traditional Mayan fabrics. Vendors selling similar products (flowers, produce, livestock, clothing, etc.) set up near each other, creating an informal zone structure. Prices get generally cheaper as you get farther away from the center. Go early in the morning to avoid the influx of tour groups arriving by bus.

This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Chichicastenango on Wikivoyage.

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