Quiche, Guatemala is a widely overlooked but rich pocket of culture and landscape in the western mountains of Guatemala. Off the beaten path for most travelers, Quiche offers a once in a lifetime look at the cultural history of the Mayans. Quiche is also home to breathtaking landscapes, being located in the central highlands and mountain ranges of the Sierra de los Cuchumatanes, the Sierra de Chuacús, and in the foothills of a volcanic mountain range to the Southwest near Chimaltenago. More about visiting Quiche here. Keteka offers Quiche, Guatemala tours that will immerse you in the native people, providing a unique experience of the vibrant culture and scenery.
Quiche is a magnificent cultural melting pot of indigenous people. The majority of the region is of Mayan decent, but come from a wide variety of sects and languages, from the K’iche’, Ixil, Uspantek, Sakapultek, and Poqomichi. For anyone who wants to absorb the interaction of ancient native cultures, Quiche is the place to do it.
The two main attractions of Quiche are the culture and the breathtaking scenery. You can hike and adventure through the beautiful countryside of the West Guatemalan Highlands. Or, take a step back in time and explore the mysterious ruins of K’umarcaai, the last capital city of the K’iche’ people.
To see the most vibrant and vivacious display of culture, visit the legendary Chichicastenango market. Take in the sights, sounds, and smells of this colorful local marketplace, located at 6,000 feet (1,900 meters) above sea level. Purchase all sorts of handicrafts, pottery, traditional foods, flowers, clothes, candles, and much, much more.
Take a guided tour to Paschal Abaj (Shaman Hill), and have the opportunity to witness a sacred fire cleansing ceremony preformed by a Mayan shaman. To go even deeper into the rich cultures of the Quiche region, take a two-day tour of the Ixil Triangle Highland Communities where you will see the rich eco-systems of the Guatemalan mountain ranges as well as the beautiful and authentic Mayan culture and traditions.
The traditional cuisine of Quiche is nothing less than a culinary celebration. For the intrepid eaters, try the classic dish of chicken pulique – chicken thighs cooked with tomatoes, onions, garlic, chili, and zucchini, then sautéed in a thick, deep yellow recado (the all encompassing name for any traditional Guatemalan sauce). Pulique is often served with boxboles, the Mayan equivalent of Greek dolmades – leaves stuffed with corn flour, butter, dried cheese, thyme, bay leaves, salt, and pepper.
Quiche, Guatemala is a region of extremely moderate temperatures. Monthly average temperatures hit their lowest in December at 60˚F (15˚C) and max out in May at 66˚F (19˚C). The key factor when visiting Quiche is rainfall. December, January, and February all receive less than 1mm of precipitation on average. November, March, April, and May have slightly warmer temperatures than the months with less rainfall, but still only meagerly receive less than 2.7 inches (70mm). The rainy season quickly spikes in July, with 9.5 inches (242mm) monthly and steadily decreases throughout the calendar year.
Lodging is spread out throughout the region. There are only two hotels to in the capital city of Quiche – Santa Cruz del Quiche – but there is a wide selection on the outskirts of the city. About ten miles out, travelers can have their pick of more lavish resorts or affordable hotels, for people who are looking only to sleep there and to spend most of their time out in the mountains and amongst the people.