Chichicastenango or “chichi” as the locals call it has one of the biggest and most famous market in Central America. Twice weekly, every Thursday and Sunday, this market attracts local vendors from villages all around the area to sell their goods, ranging from woven cloths, clothing, vegetables, and all kinds of handicrafts.
But Chichi offers more than just the market. It is a cultural and religious center for the local Maya Quiché population. In the center of town you will find the church Santo Tomás, the local Maya Quiché population still worships here, practicing a mix between Catholicism and the original Mayan religion. Please be respectful when entering the church and be aware it is not permitted to take photographs inside.
Quetzaltenango (often called Xela by the locals) is the second biggest city of Guatemala. It is a place with a lot of history and the surrounding area has some of the most beautiful country side in Guatemala. Situated on an average height of about 2.800 meters, the nights can get very cool, so bring warm clothes when you visit the area. Among the attractions of Quetzaltenango are some great architecture, historical buildings, nice parks and colorful markets. There are also some beautiful thermal waters in the surrounding area and the best one is Fuentes Georginas.
It is also becoming a popular spot to learn Spanish in Guatemala. The local population speaks little English and it is therefore considered to be a total immersion experience when you study Spanish here.