16
Feb-2013

Chichicastenango’s market

Guatemala   /  
  • Masques en bois colorés

  • Les vendeuses de tissus

  • Plats en bois colorés

  • Tortillas au marché de Chichi

  • Tissu guatémaltèque

  • Marchande de poteries

  • Patats fritas en rue, servis dans un sachet en plastique !

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It’s a MUST DO for those who love strolling markets, admire the colorful displays, negotiate with traders and try to find some original souvenirs. The Guatemalan crafts is very colorful and diverse, and there lots of bargains to do. You will find many colorful wooden masks, wooden dishes, hammocks, colorful fabrics, silver jewelry with jade stones, bags and other accessories. A nice souvenir to take too, are small dolls called “worry dolls”. The Mayans believe that if we have a problem and you put the doll under our pillow at night, the next day the problem will be gone.

You might be a little bit annoyed by the Guatemalan people who try to sell you their goods.

HOW TO GET To Chichicastenango?

Chichicastenango is easily accessible from Panajachel (2 hours drive) and from Antigua (4 hours drive). On market days, it is also possible to go from Antigua to Panajachel, stopping three hours in Chichicastenango, which is enough to do some shopping. Your backpacks are then taken in charge by the travel agency, and are staying at the Hotel St. Thomas, which allows you to stroll on the market without having to carry your backpack. The journey costs 175 Q. You leave at 7am Antigua, arrive in Chichi at 11am and leave at 2pm to 4pm to get to Panajachel. So you arrive well in time for the last lanchas to the villages of Lake Atitlan, which are at 7pm.

HOW TO TRADE in Chichicastenango’S MARKET?

Negotiate to get lower prices, because you can sometimes cut the price by more than half. Never say any price and wait for the merchants to give you prices themselves. A good technique is to say that you could buy the same thing for half the price somewhere else, or act as if you leave because it’s too expensive.

Here’s an idea of ??the price we got for these items:

  • colorful wooden masks: 30 Q
  • jade jewelry: 110 Q for earrings and rings
  • 2 people hammocks 200 Q
  • trivets in wood: 25 30Q
  • Leather bags: 250 Q
  • Burned CDs: 10 Q

WHEN TO GO to Chichicastenango AND FOR HOW LONG?

The market is very large, you can spend several hours without problems.

Be careful, do not go to the Chichi if it’s not a market day (i.e. on Thursday and Sunday) because there is not much to see excepting the market.

WHERE AND WHAT TO EAT in Chichicastenango?

Do not hesitate to take fried chicken and fries from street stands, it is very very fat but sooo good! And only 10 Q for a portion, which is served in a bag (original but very inconvenient). You will not find much else on the market, outside of course tortillas found everywhere.

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