Twice a week Maya traders gather to sell their goods in Chichicastenango at one of Guatemala’s premier indigenous markets. Crafts from the highlands, food stalls and every day items can all be found under the tarp covered stalls set up on a cobblestone square.
The market is a textile lover’s dream. Vivid, multi-hued hand woven blankets, embroidered cloth, and traditional clothing hang everywhere. There is also a large bustling indoor produce market on one side of the square worth checking out.
I suggest going early in the morning to take in all the market has to offer before it gets really crowded. Take a long lunch and return in the afternoon to purchase goods you have scouted out just before traders pack up. Prices are more likely to come down at the end of the trading day. Be prepared to bargain.
The market is held every Thursday and Sunday. Of the two days Sunday has increased activity on the steps of Iglesia De Santo Tomas. The church overlooks the square where the market is held. Rituals, the result of the religious fusion of Maya beliefs and Catholicism, are performed on the steep steps. Small fires burn and devotees swing small tin containers with smoking incense while they pray. If you are lucky you might see colorful processions of prayer leaders.