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Sunshine Tienda Travels: Antigua and the Chi Chi Market

Color, hammocks and hats are everywhere at this wonderful and HUGE market located in Chichicastenago, Guatemala, adoringly dubbed, "ChiChi Market".  If you have the stamina, two days could be spent wandering this high energy market.
Thursdays and Sundays are the days to go. 
Watch out for the hustle.  Negotiating prices is the norm, so don't be afraid to speak up!
...and I thought packing up Sunshine Tienda after markets was rough...terracotta was everywhere.
Flowers were in abundance on the steps of this church as the locals prepared for their day.
Our hotel's rooftop...need I say más?  Fresh strawberry juice and eggs benedict in the morning, with wine in the afternoons. I'm staying forever.  
Our little spot for Christmas Eve dinner.  For real, this hotel has everything on point.  Couldn't recommend El Convento more.  
I mean.  I walked out of our hotel room and they have the entire court yard lit up with candles.  It felt like we were in a dream full of twinkle lights, candles and ice buckets full of wine.  You can quote me on that.  
This was a huipil blouse I snagged at the ChiChi market.  So many to choose from.  Sadly, I couldn't fit my head through most of them...but I found a winner!
Fridas is an awesome spot for some amazing drinks and appetizers.
When you get sick of negotiating prices just go into any of the cute boutiques in Antigua.  It actually felt nice to see a price tag.  Weird I know..
Christmas Day's evening was spent on the rooftop in Antigua drinking a lot of these.  We watched one of the volcanoes poof smoke and when the sun went down we could see lava coming down.  Apparently that's normal - we asked the waiter in minor panic.  
The beautiful arch in the center of Antigua. 
Christmas Eve was spent in Antigua's main plaza at this church's candle lit service.  
A quiet street in Antigua. 

A couple of tips:

  • Hotel recommendation in Antigua is El Convento.  Our room had a wood burning fire place and whirlpool on our private patio.  The customer service was top notch, the food was amazing and the roof top terrace was a spot we could have spent the entire trip.  
  • Food recommendations in Antigua would be Fridas for great margaritas and mexican food, taco stands all around town for amazing tostadas, Sunset Terrace for amazing views and relaxed atmosphere, Bistrot Cinq for a fabulously, stylish french bistro experience and Elù Restaurant for the most idealistic and romantic dinner.
  • At the ChiChi market, give yourself plenty of time to roam around...it's the biggest market I've ever seen. 
  • There is this white soup that street vendors serve by the buckets. It's not warm milk, I promise!  Not sure what it is but it was quite delicious.  
  • It takes about two hours to get to the ChiChi market from Antigua. 

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