Visitors to Chichicastenango may also visit two unique religious shrines, important sites of worship for area residents. The first, Santo Tomas cathedral, bounds one side of the central plaza and was built in 1540, and provides an interesting glimpse into a type of Catholicism steeped in Maya ritual.
The other important religious monument, known as Pascual Abaj, stands on a small, pine-covered hill just a few minutes' walk from the cathedral. Pascual Abaj is a stone carved with human features, standing about two feet high and probably dating to before the conquest. Worshippers burn candles and incense near the stone deity, while praying for good crops and health.
Every year Chichicastenango celebrates its town fair from December 14 - 21. One of the highlights of this fair is the palo volador, a tall pole which young men climb before spiraling back to the ground, held by attached rope.
Day 1: 06:00 – Leave for Panajachel – a minibus will be at your house between 5:45 and 6:15am. 08:30-09:00 – Arrive in Panajachel. The shuttle bus company, Servicios Turisticos Atitrans, will either take you to your hotel now or after the boat tour, depending on how much time you have. 09:15 – Atitrans will take you down to the dock and give you a ticket for the public boat tour. They will show you which boat to board (there will be no guide). 09:30 – Board launch for tour of 3 Mayan villages surrounding Lake Atitlán (San Pedro La Laguna (or Santa Catarina), Santiago Atitlán and San Antonio Palopó). You will have between 45 minutes and 1 hour at each village. Pay close attention to the next departure time before you disembark at each village, as the boat will not wait for you! 15:30 – Return to Panajachel and hotel. In the evening you are free to enjoy the sights & sounds of Panajachel. Recommended dining: SUNSET CAFÉ has good appetizers and Guatemalan cuisine. As the name suggests, it's a nice place to enjoy the sunset on the waterfront. As you leave the hotel, turn right and walk along the lakeshore until you reach Calle Santander, and it is located on the corner. CIRCUS BAR, which serves great pizzas, pastas and live music, is located in the northern part of Panajachel. Walk all the way to the top of Calle Santander, then take the fork, which is called Calle de los Arboles. Circus Bar is just ahead on the right hand side. There are also lots of other good restaurants and festive bars in this area.
Day 2: 07:00 – Breakfast (for you to arrange). 07:45 – Checkout of hotel. Be ready for the minivan in front of the hotel. 08:00 – Leave for Chichicastenango. 09:15 – Arrive in Chichicastenango. The minivan will leave you in roughly the same spot where you will meet to leave again in the afternoon. Make sure you visit the Iglesia Santo Tomás (5a Ave & 8a Calle) as it is very interesting. Free time to visit and shop the spectacular Sunday market of Chichicastenango. 14:15 – Go back to the minivan. 14:30 – Leave for Antigua. 17:00 – Arrive in Antigua.