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Guatemala is a country rich in history and natural beauty. It is the birthplace of the powerful Mayan kingdom, and has some of the most stunning views that Central America has to offer. Whether it is for the intricate Spanish churches, the ancient Mayan sites, or for hiking up an active volcano, a trip to Guatemala will enrich your life forever, and will probably be a trip you will never forget. That said, you need to know the best time to visit Guatemala. The country has pleasant weather the year round, but the rains might dampen your trip during the wet season.
- Best Time to Visit Guatemala: November - April
- Low Season: May - October
- All Seasons: November - April (dry season), May - October (wet season)
- The months of February to May are the perfect time to explore the ruins in Petén, as you get to avoid the rains.
- Between the months of June to September, weather in Guatemala is quite wet, with a lot of rain. October is peak hurricane season.
The tourist season in Guatemala peaks during the dry season between November to May, and in July and August, when schools are off, and a number of students head to the country’s many Spanish schools to learn the language. From the beautiful architecture of Antigua, to the wondrous Mayan traditions followed in the Ixil Region, there are tons of things for you to do in the country. You just need to know the best time to visit Guatemala, so you can partake in all your favorite activities.
Between November and May, the weather is rather pleasant in Guatemala City, Antigua, and in the mountains. There will be some rain in the mountains, but the heat will be much lower. Temperatures start soaring around May and it is usually hot till the month of July, especially in the Caribbean and Pacific Coast. Between December - April, especially during the Easter break, the crowds tend to be quite high, so you should book your accommodation and flights in advance.
Between the months of June to October, the rains in the mountains will increase sufficiently, and those muddy jungles might become difficult to cross. This is not the best time visit Guatemala if you’re interested in visiting the mountains, or take a ride along the Rio Dulce. Antigua and Guatemala City have pleasant climate from August to September, so you can visit these cities without the usual crowds surrounding them at all times.
November to April — Dry Season / High Season
The dry season is the best time to visit Guatemala for a number of reasons. The weather is pleasant. Almost every single part of the country is open and accepting tourists. This is the best season to have uniquely Guatemalan adventures - such as hiking up the Volcán de Pacaya to see one of the region’s most active volcanoes. The crater lake at Lago de Atitlán is particularly beautiful during this period, especially towards November and December, when the mountains are lush after the rain. If you want to visit Monterrico, or Iztapa and Puerto Quetzal, on the Pacific coast, this is the ideal time to do so.
- Avg. Temperature: 61 – 90° F / 16 – 32° C (San Salvador)
- Rainfall: 0 – 36 mm
- Season: Summer
- Highlights: If you are a huge fan of outdoor activities, this is the best time to visit Guatemala! The weather in Guatemala is ideal for excursions - including the highlands trek from Nebaj or Quetzaltenango. If you’re in the mood to relax (the weather is wonderful, after all), head up to Lívingston, on the Caribbean coast, and chill to the marimba rhythms that play everywhere. One of Guatemala’s biggest festivals is the Semana Santa (or Easter). It is celebrated with great processions in cities like Antigua and Guatemala City.
May to October — Wet Season / Low Season
The wet season starts from May - June, and goes up till October. October is also the peak hurricane season in the country, so you should definitely check the weather warnings before you travel. It always rains in the mountains, but it increases during this period, making a lot of treks inaccessible. Between May to July, the heat will be unbearable in the Caribbean and Pacific coasts, but if that doesn’t bother you, you can enjoy a Guatemalan holiday with great discounts!
- Avg. Temperature: 66 – 88° F / 19 – 31° C (San Salvador)
- Rainfall: 126 – 201 mm
- Season: Monsoon
- Highlights: Antigua and Guatemala City are more deserted and cheaper during this period. Most of the archaeological sites would not get much footfall, so if you want to enjoy the beautiful Mayan architecture without crowds, this is a good time to visit the ruins at Yaxhá, Copán, or Tikal. During the summer, a number of Guatemalan schools offer short term courses in Spanish (many even offer accommodation at low costs). If you want to do something unique while living in a magical country, this is the best option for you. July sees the two week long celebration of Mayan Culture at Cobán - an event you should definitely not miss out on.