|— Department —|
|Capital||Santa Cruz del Quiché|
|- Governor||Miguel Ángel Medrano Bulux|
|- Department||8,378 km2 (3,234.8 sq mi)|
|Highest elevation||3,200 m (10,499 ft)|
|Lowest elevation||150 m (492 ft)|
|Population (Census 2002)|
|- Ethnicities||K'iche', Ixil, Uspantek, Sakapultek, Poqomchi', Ladino|
|- Religions||Roman Catholicism, Evangelicalism, Maya|
While most of its indigenous population speaks the K'iche' language, other Mayan languages spoken in the department are Ixil (Nebaj - Chajul - Cotzal area), Uspantek (Uspantán area), Sakapultek (Sacapulas area), as well as Poqomchi' and Q'ekchi in the North-Eastern part bordering with the Alta Verapaz department.
The topographical composition of El Quiché is dominated by the central highlands and the mountain ranges of the Sierra de los Cuchumatanes, Sierra de Chuacús, and the foothills of the volcanic mountain range on the department's South-Western border with Chimaltenango, which together make up for 79% of the department's territory. The northern part of the department is formed by tropical lowlands which cover 21% of the department's territory.
The principal drainage basins in El Quiché are the Salinas, Motagua, Xaclbal and Ixcan river basins. The Salinas river basin (3668 km2), includes the Chixoy River which is a tributary of the Río Salinas and Río Usumacinta. The Motagua basin (1042 km2) includes the Río Grande which is an important tributary of the Río Motagua. The smaller Xaclbal (779 km2) and Ixcan basins (187 km2) are situated in the North-East of El Quiché. El Quiché has a small number of shallow lakes ("lagunas"): laguna de Lemoa and the laguna de La Estancia, both in Santa Cruz del Quiché, and the laguna de San Antonio in San Antonio Ilotenango.
Places of interest in the department include the town of Chichicastenango and the ruins of Q'umarkaj.
The department has several pre-colonial archeological sites, including Q'umarkaj (near Santa Cruz del Quiché), Pascual Abaj (in Chichicastenango), Cerro de San Andrés (in San Andrés Sajcabajá), Los Cerritos and La Laguna (in Canillá). Most of these sites are used as ceremonial centers in the Maya religion
A regional museum can be found in Chichicastenango and Nebaj.
Though not as well known as the Santo Tomas church in Chichicastenango, most other towns in the department have catholic churches dating from the colonial era.
The Visis Cabá biosphere reserve (450 km2) is currently the only protected natural reserve in El Quiché. It is located in the North of Chajul, on the communal lands of the Ixil communities. The creation of protected natural reserves is being considered for El Amay in Chicamán and La Vega del Zope in Chinique.
The department is divided into municipalities: