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Quiché is the homeland of the K'iche' people, though other groups form the fabric of this culturally diverse region, most notably the Ixil of the eastern Cuchumatanes mountains. Most visitors who come to this largely forgotten pocket of the country are on a jaunt to the famous market at Chichicastenango. Similarly captivating commerce is conducted in the less trammeled territory of Santa Cruz del Quiché, the departmental capital to the north. On its outskirts lie the mysterious ruins of K'umarcaaj, the last capital city of the K'iche'. Adventurous souls push further north for Nebaj, heart of the culturally vibrant Ixil Triangle, with myriad hiking opportunities.

This region was at the heart of the violence of the civil war, with the Ixil people suffering greatly in reprisals from the army to such an extent that it's locally often referred to as a genocide. Be extremely circumspect about the war if it comes up in conversation.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Quiché.