You can enjoy Guatemala’s nice weather all year round. It’s generally warm across the country, but the climate varies with the altitude. The rainy season lasts from May to November. The north is hot and tropical while the coastal and northeast regions are hot and dry, when it’s not the rainy season, and averages temperatures of 20 C. The highlands get less rainfall and get colder at night.
When to fly to Guatemala
December through Easter and the summer months of June through August are the highest peak times for flights to Guatemala. However, because of its excellent climate, travel is popular throughout the year. Santa Semana is the biggest festival and accommodation can be booked up during this time.
Don’t expect to find tourist spots empty at any time of year. The rainy season can become unpleasantly wet inland.
Getting around Guatemala
There are domestic flights departing from Guatemala City to many of the main tourist destinations.
Guatemala insider information
- Antigua Guatemala is a beautifully preserved colonial town, designated a Unesco World Heritage site for its Spanish Baroque buildings. The best way to see the town is to take a long walk through the streets. Be sure to visit the Parque Central, where locals and tourist congregate around the beautiful central fountain.
- The capital, Guatemala City, is a much larger and more modern town, though it encompasses the ruins of the ancient Maya city of Kaminaljuyu. It is easy to navigate the town as it is divided into “zones”. Zone ten, or La Zona Viva, is the most modern area, where many of the restaurants and bars are situated. Zone one is the oldest part of town, which contains the main plaza. Visit on a Sunday to join the locals taking a stroll.
- Guatemalan food is similar to Mexican – expect tortillas, tacos, paella and meat. Food served on street stalls smells tempting and is delicious, but do take care when buying from street vendors. Make sure the food is cooked through and don’t buy pre-sliced fruit, such as melons, as it is often sprinkled with local water, which is unsafe to drink.
- Coffee is one the biggest exports from the country. Tours are available of some of the bigger plantations such as Los Torrales.
- The country is generally much cheaper to visit than its neighbours, but be prepared for the “tourist tax” that will be added on to nearly everything. Prices for foreigners, especially where there is no written price, such as on buses or in markets, will always be higher than those the locals pay.
- In many parts of the country, no English is spoken or understood. If you don’t know any Spanish, make sure to take a phrase book.