Oh Maya! The Budget Babe's International Travel Advisor Fifi LaMode continues her journey through Guatemala with a stop in the mystical town of Chichicastenango. —TBB
by Fifi LaMode
Sometimes you get lucky. Most tours arrive in "Chichi", as they call Chichicastenango
here, the morning of the market day. But if you arrive the day before, as we did, you will see the throngs of people coming in from the countryside, all dressed up in colorful traditional Mayan clothing, setting up their stalls in anticipation of Market Day (every Thursday and Sunday). We got to Chichi in the afternoon and marveled at the clean mountain air and the colors around us.
Our hotel, the Mayan Inn, had no TV or phone in the room. What it had was loads of character, lovely woodwork, a wood-burning fireplace in each spotlessly clean room, a flower-filled courtyard complete with colorful macaws, and friendly and efficient service. It's also right in the middle of town.
The first thing that hits you about the market in the morning is the panoply of colors - rich, vibrant textiles embroidered and woven by hand. Though the market is thriving, there's only a din, a quiet din, no loud hawking. The only ones whose voices you hear are the tourists who start pouring in around 10:30 and are mostly gone by noon. But to be in Chichi on market day in the morning is special, very special.