A Photo Walk Through the Chichicastenango Cemetery

Although the main reason we took a day trip to Chichicastenango was to see the world famous market, a walk-through the Chichicastenango cemetery was a bonus find. Built above ground and with the most vibrant of colors, the graves you pass on a walk through the Chichicastenango cemetery are as beautiful as they are fascinating.

A Photo Walk Through the Chichicastenango Cemetery

Staying classy

Arranged according to wealth and class, the graves vary from simple crosses above mounds of dirt to massive family crypts. On a walk through the Chichicastenango cemetery you will notice piles of burnt soot and even smoke rising next to some of the graves. This is because death is celebrated in Guatemala by burning offerings (usually chicken) to pay respect to the dead. On my walk through the Chicicastengro cemetery I mistook a larger offering for a cremation!

Although this happens year round, October 31st kicks off Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), a holiday filled with fireworks, parades, food, and partying.  All of it out of respect and remembrance for those that have passed.

Hard to miss

If you’re heading to Chichicastenango, don’t miss a walk through the Chichicastenango cemetery. From the Iglesia de Santo Tomás Church in the city center, it is a straight shot 10-minute walk northwest. On nonmarket days, you can easily see the colorful graves on the hillside from downtown.

A Photo Walk Through the Chichicastenango Cemetery

 A Walk Through the Chichicastenango Cemetery Good to Know

Get in: Arrange a transfer through your hotel in Panajachel or brave a Chicken Bus
How Long: Allocate 30 minutes for a walk through the Chichicastenagro Cemetery
Don’t forget: This is a cemetery. Be respectful. Don’t shove your camera in the faces of mourners. If you take a selfie I will find you.

What say you?
Thoughts on this Walk Through the Chichicastenango Cemetery?
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A Photo Walk Through the Chichicastenango Cemetery

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My day trip and walk through the Chichicastenango Cemetery was arranged by the Posada de Los Volcanes. As always, the experience, opinions, and picture snapping are my own.

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  • Wow! How pretty! I love cemeteries and how diverse they can be, but I’ve never seen anything like this before!

    • It’s worth the trip for sure!

      • I have read about incidences of robberies around the cemetery in the past, affecting tourists. Would you say that you felt safe wandering around there?

        • For sure. It’s not far from the center of town and was busy with people paying their respects so didn’t feel unsafe.

  • Wow! This cemetery looks like such an incredible place to wander around and snap some photos of the colourful graves. I visited a cemetery similar to this when I was in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula and it was such an incredible experience to see how different the cemeteries are from the ones we have in Canada!

    I am heading to Guatemala in November and am planning on a day trip to Chichicastenango, and I will definitely be adding a visit to this cemetery to my itinerary.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences and photos!

    • Lucky you and don’t miss a stroll through this cemetery!

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