Best Times to Travel to Guatemala
Dubbed as the “land of eternal spring,” Guatemala promises visitors pleasant weather throughout the year with warm days and mild nights. However, temperatures can vary with elevation, and like all tropical countries, there are distinct wet and dry seasons. Read on to find out the best time to visit Guatemala and make the most of your vacation in this diverse country with extraordinary landscapes and ancient cultures.
Best time of year to visit Guatemala?
Here’s a summary of the weather in Guatemala to help you plan your trip
Winter (December to February): Frigid temperatures in the northern hemisphere make Guatemala a popular choice for sun-seekers in the winter. The rains are gone and the days are pleasantly warm. Expect bigger crowds, higher airfares and hotel rates, and busier attractions.
Spring (March to May): The weather is dry and warm. Outside of the Easter school holidays, accommodations and flights to Guatemala are relatively cheap.
Summer (June to August): This is the peak tourist season. Accommodations in Guatemala are in demand and should be booked in advance to score the best deals.
Autumn (September to November): These are the wettest months in Guatemala, but you can take advantage of cheap airfares and accommodations as well as thinner crowds by traveling in the shoulder season.
There’s no bad time to go to Guatemala. The country enjoys year-round warm days and mild nights, but if you don’t want the rain to spoil your plans, the best time to travel to Guatemala is outside the wet season.
The hottest month in Guatemala?
The temperature in Guatemala peaks in April at the end of the dry season. The dry season, which extends from November through April, is peak tourist season and ideal for trekking and exploring Mayan ruins. However, since it’s winter in the northern hemisphere, there is a flux of visitors from cold countries and many hotels inflate their prices. At the beginning of the rainy season in May, the air can get hazy with reduced visibility of volcanoes. The low-lying coastlines are hot and humid, but the sea breeze offers welcome relief.
If sticky weather puts you off, head to Guatemala City, Lago de Atitlan, Antigua, and Chichicastenango, where the air remains fresh because of the altitude and the nights are mild. Places such as Huehuetenango, Quetzaltenango, and El Quiché are located at higher elevations and nights can get chilly even in summer.
Main holidays and festivals in Guatemala?
For culture vultures, November is a good time to travel to Guatemala. You can coincide your travel plans with the Day of the Dead celebrations or the Garinagu Festival and participate in lively street parties with dancing, music, and food. In December, the mountain town of Chichicastenango hosts the Festival of Saint Thomas where visitors can enjoy musical performances, folk dances, and traditional costumes coupled with fireworks displays, food, and drink.
The biggest celebration in Guatemala takes place at the end of the dry season during the Semana Santa (Holy Week) with spectacular processions. Remember, transportation options may be limited during this period, but that’s a small price to pay to participate in this grand festival. If you’re going to Guatemala for the Holy Week, it’s a good idea to book accommodations in advance, especially in popular tourist cities like Antigua.
When is the rainy season in Guatemala?
The wet season in Guatemala extends from May through October with the wettest months being September and October. The good news is that all-day rain is uncommon and downpours usually consist of afternoon showers interspersed with sunny periods.
It’s worth noting that trekking in Guatemala can be difficult due to muddy conditions during the rainy season. Road closures are also possible following flooding and landslides. The Caribbean coast, which gets less rain than the Pacific coast, is a great option for a summer trip to Guatemala. There’s less rain in July and August. However, summer holidays in North America mean accommodations and major sights can get busy.