Chichi Cemetery
Chichi Cemetery
4.5
About
All the tombs are above ground at this cemetery which marks graves in a variety of ways, some with brightly colored miniature churches and others as mounds with name-bearing crosses or piles of fire-blackened rocks.
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
233 reviews
Excellent
120
Very good
89
Average
20
Poor
3
Terrible
1

Fran_Astorga
Pirque, Chile11 contributions
Nov 2023 • Solo
Don’t miss this on your visit to chichicastenango. The most colorful cemetery in the world, not too croud and its a perfect break during an exhausting market day.
Written 11 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Anneliese T
28 contributions
Feb 2023
The colors are kept in rainbow colors. Some of the graves look like mausoleums. Some graves are well taken care of, however, most of them unfortunately are not. The cemetery can be seen from many spots atop the city of Chichicastgenango. A specific place is set aside for religious ceremonies. It's an interesting place and worth seeing. Chichicastenango is a hilly city, so be aware, whenever you walk down, eventually you need to walk back up!
Written 13 March 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

VeganMadeEasy
Glen Ellyn, IL1,551 contributions
Nov 2022 • Couples
Fascinating to see all the different colors and the extent of the celebrations of the death! Unfortunately there is trash and dog poop everywhere.
Written 17 November 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Paul V
Calgary, Canada301 contributions
Oct 2022 • Couples
The central cemetery is at the bottom of a hill, easy to get to from the main market area. As November 1 was approaching, lots of families were there repainting the tombs. Beautiful colours, tombs and even a replica of a Mayan temple. Lots of people with vendors selling ice-cream. Strange layout. Whereas some graves were nicely laid out along lanes, some of them had been dug wherever there was place. Graves were very close together. Some Mayan ceremonies (we did not make any pictures out of respect). It is always interesting to see how different cultures deal with the dead and the upcoming day of the dead is an opportunity for people to affirm their beliefs.
Written 28 October 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Luis F
Guatemala City, Guatemala129 contributions
Dec 2020
Colorful, and mysterious. Be sure to notice the coffin style graves, and to visit Ildefonso Rossbachs mausoleum. Indigenous ceremonies happen at the cemetery.
Written 29 December 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

maritimeexplorer
Nova Scotia, Canada3,964 contributions
Feb 2020
While most tourists come to Chichicastenango for the market, the cemetery should also be on the menu for visitors as well. It is one of the most colourful and interesting I have visited anywhere in Latin America. I first spotted it from the grounds of the Mayan Inn and knew I had to see it up close.

My first question upon arriving at the cemetery and seeingthe huge mausoleums was, "How can they afford this?". After all Guatemala is a poor country and some of these tombs are as big as small houses. The answer apparently lies in the combination of Mayan and Christian beliefs. The Mayans very much believe in the practice of honouring the dead, in fact, failure to do so can lead to the soul being trapped between life and death and no one wants that.

Every year just before the Day of the Dead ceremonies at the beginning of November, the families repaint the graves, whether they be mausoleums or simple crosses. The colours do have a meaning as well. That is why everything looks so bright and fresh and some of the mausoleums are works of art in themselves.
Others are dedicated specifically to one individual and reflect that person's overriding passion in life. In one case, car racing apparently as there was a miniature race track incorporated into the structure.

Obviously not every person in Chichicastenango has the means to afford a grand mausoleum, but the simple painted crosses in their varying colours are almost as interesting and photogenic.

What I did not take a picture of in the Chichicastenango cemetery was the most interesting thing we saw there. At the highest point in the cemetery there is a flat covered concrete floor which is there specifically for sacrifices. Now the word 'sacrifice' has many connotations and the pre-Columbian Mayans practiced many of them including human sacrifice. Post conquest, the sacrifices were toned down, but they have continued over the years with the addition of a few Catholic additions, especially candles.

There was a family who had gathered for a sacrifice which was a circular collection of offerings including modern Mayan essentials - food, alcohol and tobacco. Over the next few days we would see a number of Mayan sacrifices and all would involves these three elements. Along with dozens of candles, all this is lit on fire and prayers made while the sacrifice burns. It is a sacred moment for the family and not one that should be photographed without permission which the family was not giving. If we were feeling like strangers when we set out for the cemetery, watching this ceremony cemented the feeling.

Definitely do not miss this place if you find yourself in Chichicastenango.
Written 25 April 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

guatemejor
Tikal National Park, Guatemala64 contributions
Mar 2020
For the people that like to see cementeries in this countries, CHchi is a amazing for the surprises you will find wlile you visit, because you will find Sajurines or persons that are spiritual guides for the comunities,or priest that look affter their people in their villages,and keep the well bieng and spiritual protection for every boddy. Could be that each time you go you will find different ceremonies remember each day of the MAYA MONTH IS DIFFERENT
Written 24 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

colonial
County Galway, Ireland160 contributions
Jan 2020
Not a cemetery chaser and did not walk the trail to look at the tombs but I saw this cemetery fromone of the many hills of chichicastenango and it is so pretty and cheery compared to European and American cemeteries that I have to say it is THE BEST cemetery I have ever seen. The colors are magnificent and representative of what I think of the next life being. I believe we go with peace and this certainly is upbeat so I have to say though I do not hang out in cemeteries like some people who actually went and visited , this is a wonderful place compared to the macabre cemeteries everywhere in Europe -except Romanias Satu Mare and the States. Definitely worth a look form the hill if not a visit-lol!
Written 1 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Casa Diego Ignacio
Chichicastenango, Guatemala19 contributions
Jan 2020
An amazing experience where you can discover the mayan healing and experience it in Chichicastenango
Written 30 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Rebecca H
601 contributions
Dec 2019 • Solo
If you are visiting the market on Thursday or Sunday, walk down the hill and up to the town’s cemetery.....fascinating place. Although the area is full of litter, walk around the area to take in the atmosphere of this colorful unusual site. We explored the cemetery on a rainy day but several “Wise Men” were performing the traditional Mayan ceremonies of burning candles, chocolate and eggs and reciting words all whilst burning incense and tending to the fires. Some of the grave sites are very elaborate while others are simple and just marked with a colorful cross. My guide explained to me the practice of removing the coffins from some of the burial sites and subsequently placing the remains in a bag so that another deceased family member in a coffin can be placed in the space in conjunction with the previously removed remains.
Written 20 December 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Chichi Cemetery, Chichicastenango - Tripadvisor

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