If exploring Guatemala's ruins is the best way to understand its astonishing history, then touring its traditional markets is the perfect way to see how this past continues to thrive.
The most famous Indian market in the country, and indeed in Central America, is the twice-weekly Chichicastenango in the Guatemalan highlands north of Lake Atitlán. This market throngs with locals and tourists alike, perusing the colourful Mayan textiles, handicrafts, flowers, pottery, food and more on sale from vendors who often travel from other areas to join the spectacle. The sights, sounds and smells of Chichicastenango will leave a lasting impression on you long after you depart Guatemala and, as an added bonus, next to the market is the 400 year old Santo Tomás church.
On the shores of the magical lake of the same name is Santiago de Atitlán, a traditional village with distinctive weavings and primitive art. The town comes alive on market day, when locals, many dressed in traditional Mayan clothing, come to shop, socialise and sell in a colourful, fragrant and photogenic collection of flowers, vegetables, textiles and more. It is an authentic insight into local life around the lake.
The beautiful colonial city of Antigua is another great place to experience this side of Guatemalan culture. Street markets burst with colourful Mayan weavings, souvenirs and fruit and vegetables, whilst within easy reach are smaller and more traditional weaving villages.
Explore some of our favourite holidays
Suggestions & Recommendations
Choose your perfect holiday
Find inspiration from our selection of itinerary suggestions, a great starting point for your next tripView More Tours
15 Nights from £4,595
Antigua - Lake Atitlan - Chichicastenango - Antigua - Copan - Guatemala City - Aguateca Lodge - Tikal - Antigua
14 Nights from £4,320
Antigua - Chichicastenango Market - Lake Atitlan villages - Tikal Pyramids - Chaa Creek Rainforest Lodge - Ambergris Caye Marine Barrier Reef
21 Nights from £5,012
Mexico City - Oaxaca - Mérida - Chichén Itzá - Belize - Tikal - Chichicastenango Market - Lake Atitlán - Antigua
21 Nights from £4,936
Mexico City - Palenque - Mérida - Chichen Itza - Belize - Tikal - Aguateca - Belize - Antigua - Chichicastenango - Lake Atitlan
14 Nights from £4,065
Antigua - Chichicastenango - Lake Atitlan - Guatemala City - Tikal - San Ignacio, Belize - Lamanai, Belize
Stay in touch
Infuse your travels, with inspiration from our monthly newsletter.