Welcome to Quiché
The road into Quiché department leaves the Interamericana at Los Encuentros, winding northward through pine forests and cornfields. 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 Santa Cruz del Quiché, the departmental capital to the north, and it is less trammeled territory. 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.