Chiltepe, the hot pepper of Guatemala

Chiltepe, the hot pepper of Guatemala by Rudy Girón

Chiltepe is the name given to Guatemala’s most widely-used hot pepper. I posted a photo of shrimp ceviche, a shrimp coctail, on May 14th that had chiltepe in it. In the picture above, you can see chiltepes as they are sold in the mercado of La Antigua Guatemala.

© 2006 – 2013, rudygiron. All rights reserved.

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  • Spicy! I love it when it’s hot.

  • sompopo

    It looks like a bunch of little green sperm that just found the egg. 🙂

  • Lovely produce. Ah, the riches of the earth!

  • jalapeno the Guatemalan version?

  • Sompopo, each one sees what s/he wants to see. But, I see your point.

    Lisi, there are many hot peppers here like jalapeños, habaneros, serranos, et-cetera, but chiltepe is what most people prefer in Guatemala.

  • piu

    *deep sigh* I love chillies

  • Eduardo

    Estoy buscando semillas de chiltepe para sembrarlas. Soy muy aficionado de chiles y durante mi visita a Guatemala me enamoré con los chiles chiltepe. ¡Dígame donde puedo encontrar las semillas mágicas! Mil gracias.

  • Claudia

    Eduardo, they won’t pass customs :(, and it also depends on the climate that you want to grow them in. I don’t know that you can get them here.

  • Jose

    I lived in Springfield Oregon, and my friend is trying to find them where can i found some of theis peppers. Please help i have check almost all the stores.

  • Giovanni

    I have a plant that I baby. I live in Chicago every winter I bring it inside. It’s going on three years now it’s about 3ft. tall. Que viva el chiltepe!! Contact me for further details…

    • Elizabeth

      I was just givin a plant of chiltepes its small right now i need to know how to take care of it, does it need much water sun etc. please help

      thank you

      • Jaime

        hello Elizabeth,

        i succeeded in growing a chiltepe plant last winter in NYC.
        guess i gave it as much sunlight as i could, and also watered it every other day or so. worked for me!


        • @Jaime, thanks for supplying the answers. Also, it is nice to see you around here. 😉

          • Jaime

            con gusto, Rudy. love chiltepitos myself…

  • Pingback: Chicken Nachos from La Fuente Restaurant | La Antigua Guatemala Daily Photo()

  • how do grow chiltepe?

  • Pingback: What Makes Guatemalans Hot? | La Antigua Guatemala Daily Photo()

  • Beth

    Im trying to get information on chiltepes from guatemala I live in maryland how to do get them to root for a plant?


  • Ralph

    I’ve tried several times but I can’t get them to grow from seeds. I love the taste of chiltepe, there is nothing like it. I found a lady in Indiana who sells the plants for $3 each but only in
    May and June, so I’m going to wait till next spring. Ralph

  • Jaime

    for Ralph: who is the lady in Indiana? i can’t seem to get my own chiltepe plant growing either.
    cheers – Jaime

  • Beth

    For Ralph: can you please send me contact information for the lady in Indiana. im not having any luck either.

    • Cathy

      I don’t know if Ralph already replied but I think the woman to whom he is referring is the The Chile Woman from Bloomington In. If you google her, her web site will pop up. Hope this helps.
      If not, let me know and I can send you some dried chiltepe to try planting.

  • oscar

    Estoy buscando semillas de chiltepe para sembrarlas. ¡Dígame donde puedo encontrar las semillas mágicas! Mil gracias

  • beth

    I was givin a chiltepe plant im just not sure how to take care of it and what it needs. any suggestions will be appreciated.


  • @Beth, these are the tips that Luis Morales shared with us:

    I live in the good USA. Chiltepe needs lots of sunlight and least 6 hours of full sun, a little water every two days. Good luck!

  • ma

    como cultivar los chiltepes

  • Xela Man

    I have some chiltepes growing from seed right now. They are really small and so far 6 or seven have germinated.

    They are really weird to germinate. I had some planted all the way back in Feb, left them in my house, and put them outside on 55 to 60 (Typical Desert February day) degree days in the sun, then brought them back in. They can’t tollerate full sun that much when they are germinating or sprouting.

    When they are young only for 30 minutes to 2 hours you can put them outside, they seem to wilt a bit in the sun, and then you need take them back inside for the night and by the morning they are happy and healthy.

    My mother in law told me to keep them in a mostly shady place, but here in the US in the Spring it isn’t like Guatemala’s heat. So I think by mixing the indoors with a bit of sun here and there is good. Just keep an eye on them. You probably don’t want to put them outside and leave for the day because they may die.

    Just mostly take care of them like they are a child. Check on them while out side every 30 minutes, until they can handle the sun. Its almost like they get sunburnt, and have to get small doses of the sun until they are tolerant to it. But yeah not too much sun when babys, and they’ll be happy indoors.


    I also have yerba moras, and they are thriving! Too bad I can’t figure out how to grow the chipilin, but happy for the chiltepe.

  • Lepis

    Hello, I have seeds from chiltepe. Now it is 53 degrees, it will be ok to plant them right now?, what would I need: type of dirt or any special fertilizer? Any more suggestions or tips, will appreciate! … and thanks!

  • Cathy

    Is the Indiana lady, the Chile woman from Bloominton? She has a store there.
    I live in Indiana and just planted some seeds from some dried Chiltepe that I brought back from Guatemala. You may not be able to pass the seeds through Customs but I usually bring back a pound of fresh Chiltepe every time I go. I freeze them and they work fine for making chirmol.
    Found this site because I was looking to see if I needed to do anything special so the seeds would grow well here. Thanks for all the tips!

  • Tiquizia

    My mother-in-law brought me some dried chiltepes ans what we did was open them up and plated the seed from inside as before we had planted in late summer the pepper itself in direct soil and it did not work and the cat helped in it not working
    This time though we plabted the seed in starter pods and they are growing like you have no idea they grow and look diffrenet in th evening from the morning you could literaly see the change try it this way and keep them mainly as indoor plants ans only sun them for a bit every day in the summer, good luck

  • Stephen Kelleher

    I have a couple of plants growing right now, but one has flowers coming up. I’m curious if I should pinch them for more berries or is there a direct relationship between flowers and berries. No flowers equals no berries?

  • Lknieriem

    My Chiltepe plants are about 2f tall and have giving us so many chiltepes.I  Is winter again and I have so many seed is not even funny I found out That Texas made them their National Plant Apparently they grow wild in that part of the USA! I HAVE 4 PLANTS AND HAVE ENJOY SEEN THE FRUIT AND EATING IT! IN SALSAS MY FRIENDS LOVE IT! Well i guess i will be planting more when things slowdown here where I live. Blessings to you in this year to come! Put GOD first in your life! <3

  • Lcrawford151


  • Cubo

    What is the scientific name for chiltepe? I’m not sure if it is the same as chiltepin in Mexico or not.

    • Hello Cubo, the answer is on the archives. There are several entries about chiltepes, one or two or them have all the information you need. Just do a search for chiltepe.