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Getting There

By Bus -- La Masheñita (tel. 502/2473-4471) buses leave Guatemala City from 10a Calle 10-03, Zona 1, roughly every 20 minutes between 5am and 5pm, with less frequent service during other hours. Veloz Quichelense (no phone) buses leave from 41a Calle between 6a and 7a avenidas, Zona 8, on roughly the same schedule. The ride takes 3 hours and the fare is Q15 ($2/£1). You can also take any bus to Santa Cruz de Quiché from the Terminal de Autobuses and get off in Chichicastenango.

If you're coming from anywhere else on a bus along the Pan-American Highway, get off in Los Encuentros, and hop on the next bus heading north to Chichicastenango.

On market days, tourist shuttles flock to Chichi from Guatemala City, Panajachel, Antigua, and Quetzaltenango. If you're staying at any of these other towns or cities, ask your hotel or any tour agency to find out current schedules and fares.

Warning: For some reason, the buses plying this route are driven by some of the most reckless and dangerous drivers in Guatemala, frequently passing on blind curves both uphill and down. They pose a threat and danger to themselves, their passengers, and other drivers.

By Car -- To drive to Chichicastenango, take the Pan-American Highway (CA-1) north out of Guatemala City and the turnoff at Los Encuentros. Follow the exit sign for Chichicastenango and Santa Cruz del Quiché. The drive takes about 2 to 3 hours from Guatemala City; from Panajachel the trip is under an hour.

Getting Around

Chichicastenango is extremely compact, so it's easy to walk just about anywhere in the downtown area. Taxis and tuk tuks can be flagged down all around the central plaza. If you can't readily find one, have your hotel call one for you.

Orientation

The large main plaza is Chichi's central hub. This is ground zero of the market, and where you'll find the city's two main churches, museum, and municipal office buildings. Almost all of the hotels, restaurants, banks, shops, and other services can be found within a 4- or 5-block radius of the central plaza.

Fast Facts -- There's an INGUAT tourist office just off the main plaza on 7a Calle (tel. 502/7756-2022). The post office is located on 7a Av. 8-47. Banco Industrial, Banrural, Banco G & T, and Banco de Comercio all have branches with ATMs just off the central plaza. There are several Internet cafes around the downtown section of Chichi. The local heath clinic (tel. 502/7756-1356) is just off the main plaza. If you need to contact the local police, dial tel. 502/7756-1365.

Seeing Fireworks -- Don't be surprised or scared, it's not gunfire, and it's not a bomb -- although they are called bombas. Guatemalans have an ongoing fascination with fireworks. In many of the major cities (particularly Chichicastenango on market day), you're likely to hear fireworks going off almost any day or night.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.