A Mayan trading centre since the pre-colonial era, Chichicastenango (“Chichi”) is one of the largest and most colourful, indigenous markets in the Americas, a true riot of colours, flavours and regional products. Outside market days, the town is an unassuming, traditional community of some 40,000 inhabitants but each Tuesday and Sunday, the cobbled streets and central plaza fills with K’iche’, Kaqchikel, Mam and Ixil Mayan groups who come from far and wide to see their ware. For visitors, Chichi offers a wonderful introduction to Mayan heritage and the chance to browse vibrant textiles, wooden handicrafts and handmade jewellery. Above all, the market is hugely atmospheric, awash with burning incense, ancient Mayan dialects and religious effigies. Stay a night in the village and you avoid the bulk of the visitors and experience the build-up to market day.