Seasonal Planning for Guatemala Travel
Guatemala has a fairly warmth and also tropical climate, with daytime temperatures commonly varying in between 70°F and 90°F all year round. March and April are the hottest months, with the rainy seakid from May to October breaking the regularly overbearing humidity via afternoon showers and also occasional thunderstorms.
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The north and also the east of the country get the the majority of precipitation during rainy seakid, which means it isn’t the ideal time to visit Tikal or the coast—unless you elaborate gaining caught in a tropical downpour—yet it’s a perfect time to visit locations prefer Antigua, Lake Atitlán, and Quetzaltenango in the Central and also Western Highlands.
By contrast, the drier winter months are the perfect time to head to the tropical north and also the beaches. The Highlands are warmth and sunny during the day but can gain quite cold at night, especially up in the mountains and at altitude—where it"s not unprevalent for overnight temperatures to drop below freezing—so you"ll definitely want to make sure you pack warm apparel.
Spring and also autumn also have some of the ideal festivals, like Semana Santa (Holy Week), which is celebrated in the week leading up to Easter, and also Día de Los Muertos at the start of November. Tbelow is also the Mayan New Year once communities and also cities throughout the country celebprice their ancestral heritage through rituals, singing, dancing, and also feasting. As per the primitive Maya calendar, the Mayan New Year takes area every 260 days. Speak to our regional experts about planning your pilgrimage to coincide via next year"s festivities.
With warmth, dry days, and also bright blue cloudless skies, lush green countryside and wildflowers in bloom after months of tropical rainloss, winter is the best seakid to visit Guatemala— although this also implies it"s the many famous. The height seachild starts with the Dia de Los Muertos celebrations, via many kind of other festivals commemorated across Guatemala in the winter, including the fascinating Fiesta de Santo Tomás in Chichicastenango in mid-December. Plan ahead, particularly throughout busy periods favor Christmas and also New Year.
Although the weather in the north can be a tiny more unpredictable, through occasional downpours in November and also December, winter is still the perfect time to visit Tikal. The warmth days (around 75-80°F) and cooler nights (63-66°F) are optimal for experimenting the primitive Mayan city and wandering through the cobbled streets of Flores. It is likewise an excellent time to visit Rio Dulce and also Guatemala"s Caribbean shore, wbelow temperatures are typically around 70-80°F. If you have the right to, time your visit via the Garinagu Festival at the finish of November. If you sophisticated some R&R on babsence sand also beaches, surfing, and seeing baby sea turtles make their way to the sea for the initially time, then the Pacific beaches are beautiful at this time of year.
The cooler winter months are likewise an excellent time to go hiking and also examine out the Western and Central Highlands wright here the weather can be a bit cooler, with daytime temperatures dropping down to roughly a balmy 70°F. However, it does gain very chilly in better elevation cities choose Quetzaltenango and Huehuetenango and in the hills wright here overnight temperatures routinely dip below freezing. Still, through near-perfect visibility many days definition you"ll get the best views of the year, it"s the perfect time to go hiking in the mountains or summit Acatenango. Just make sure you come fully kitted out with warmth garments.
Consider this active 8-day adundertaking, which has camping on Guatemala"s third-tallest volcano, kayaking on Lake Atitlan, and mountain biking roughly farms, villeras, and early american ruins.
Sea Turtle Hatchling Release, Monterrico- September to January: Between September and January, Tortugario Monterrico release over 5,000 sea turtle hatchlings earlier to the ocean as part of their sea turtle conservation regimen. You deserve to volunteer, donate, take component, or just watch.
Dia de Los Muertos (All Saint"s Day) - November 1st: In Guatemala, the Day of the Dead is celebrated in numerous various ways. Across the country, people visit their graves of their ancestors and decoprice the burial places with flowers, candles, and also offerings. They additionally paint the cemeteries in bright, colorful colors and also picnic in the graveyards. In the town of Santiearlier Sacatepéquez, world head to the cemetery to fly huge colorful kites to honor the dead, and also in the tvery own of Todos Santos in the highlands, they have actually a drunken equine race and also street fairs to celebrate.
Garinagu Festival, Livingston - End of November: A week-long party celebrating the heritages and also culture of the Garifuna civilization, that likewise come from Belize and also Honduras for the festival. Expect vibrant street parties and also parades, spiritual ceremonies, feasts, and typical dancing.
La Quema del Diablo (The Burning of the Devil) - December 7th: Guatemalan holiday festivities begin through huge bonfires on every street, wbelow human being burn piñatas shaped favor the devil as component of a symbolic routine to cleanse the heart in preparation for the new year.
Fiesta de Santo Tomás, Chichicastenango - December 13th to 21st: This week-long festival blends together ancient Mayan K’ich’e and Christian heritages. The main occasion on the 21st December is the Palo Voladores (Pole Fliers), wright here masked dancers climb a large pole, connect a rope to their feet, and launch themselves from the top in a coordinated dance.
Navidad (Christmas) - December 16th to 25th: The posadas take area every night from the 1sixth to the 24th, leading up to the primary event on Christmas Eve, as soon as family members celebrate through a Christmas feast followed by a mass at 11 pm. At midnight, everyone comes out onto the streets for a mass firework display screen, before heading home to open gifts. After the late-night celebrations, Christmas itself is a pretty chill affair.
New Year"s - December 31st & January 1st: The best New Year"s celebrations in Guatemala take location in Antigua, through music, street markets, and masked locals percreating conventional dances, including the La Quema de Toritos y Alas (The Burning of the Bull and Wings), where someone dressed as a bull chases human being roughly the square while fireworks explode.
Pilgrimage of Esquiplas - January 15th: One of the holiest sites for Catholics in Central America, each year, tens of thousands of pilgrims head to Esquiplregarding pay homage to the statue of the Black Christ, a 16th-century Basalm statue that is shelp to have magical healing powers.
Coffee Harvest Celebration, Frajianes - February 2nd to 4th: An hour and a half southern of Guatemala City, the 2-day Coffee Harvest Celebration in Frajianes consists of parades and street processions, spiritual ceremonies, food stalls, music, dancing, and, of course, coffee.
Guatemala in NovemberGuatemala in DecemberGuatemala in JanuaryGuatemala in February
Spring is the hottest time of the year in Guatemala, with temperatures in March and April frequently around 90-95°F, specifically in Petén and on the Pacific and Caribbean shore. It is likewise normally dry but humid, especially in the tropical lowlands. If you do not feel choose braving the heat and visiting the temples of Tikal and also heading to the beach, then this is the perfect time to visit Antigua, Lake Atitlán, and also Semuc Champey in the Central and Western Highlands, wright here the temperature is closer to 70-80 degrees.
The spring months are additionally pretty hazy, which implies it isn"t the best time to go trekking. If you do climb Acatenango or head approximately the mountains then be prepared for limited visibility fairly than the picture-perfect vistas in the dry seaboy. Bear in mind, it still gets pretty chilly up in the highlands, specifically at night.
The rainy season normally starts at the finish of April/beginning of May, via bbest sunny mornings followed by afternoon downpours and also occasional tropical storms. While these carry out a much-needed break from the humidity, they deserve to make take a trip quite challenging, specifically to even more remote locations.
One of the main factors to visit Guatemala in Spring is to experience the spectacle that is Semana Santa, or Divine Week. Starting off on Palm Sunday, this week-long festival has been celebrated throughout the country in the week leading approximately Easter Sunday for nearly 500 years. While tright here are celebrations in eincredibly town and also city, the majority of travellers flock to Antigua, wbelow the roads are filled via colorful yet solemn parades and also processions through lavish floats, and also the cobbled roads are extended via alfombras, detailed carpets, made from colored sawdust, pine needles, and fresh flowers.
For a less touristy Semana Santa, we recommend visiting Quetzaltenango, or Santiago Atitlán on Lake Atitlán, wbelow Catholic personalizeds satisfy Pre-Hispanic divine beings and also Mayan heritages in a religious syncretism known as La Costumbre. Here, Divine Week festivities are celebrated with their patron saint, Maximón, who is just ever before taken out of the house in the time of this spiritual time, when he is relocated to a different family members in the area. If you carry out go by to see Maximón, don"t forgain to carry cigarettes, alcohol, and/or money, as an offering to the wooden deity and his minders.
Ash Wednesday and Lent (46 days prior to Easter Sunday): Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent. Celebrated throughout Guatemala, the best festivities take place in Antigua, where all the churches have actually vigils and also processions. During the 40-day period leading up to Semana Santa and Easter, Lent is commemorated via vigils, parades, and masses in all the churches, starting off on Sundays prior to boosting and also size and also frequency in the lead-as much as one of the greatest celebrations in the Catholic calendar.
Semana Santa (Divine Week) - Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday: Parades and also processions throughout the nation. The best festivities are found in Antigua and also Quetzaltenango, through vibrant carpets lassist throughout the roads and also traditional parades every day of the week. Head to Santiago Atitlán to pay homage to Saint Maximón, that is paraded roughly the streets prior to being taken to his brand-new house.
Día del Trabajo (Worker"s Day) - May 1st: A national holiday, there are parades and parties throughout the nation in honor of Internationwide Worker"s Day, through the best celebrations ensuing in Guatemala City.
Guatemala in MarchGuatemala in AprilGuatemala in May
While Guatemala"s rainy seaboy starts in May and lasts until October, the summer months are pretty warmth and sunny, via occasional afternoon downpours and the odd tropical storm. The tropical low-lying areas prefer Petén and also the Pacific and also Caribbean are wetter than the Highlands and also have the right to occasionally be subject to hurricanes relocating in from the shore if the conditions are correct, which makes summer an excellent time to continue to be inland and also visit Antigua, Lake Atitlán, and Rio Dulce, or head to Cobán for the National Indigenous Festival of Guatemala.
While the humidity and also the rain may put you off visiting Tikal in the summer months, if you time it best and also head to the temples in the morning you can additionally miss the rains entirely, yet do not count on blue skies and also great visibility for photographs. The rain have the right to also reason mudslides and wash away roads, making traveling roughly the nation even more tough, particularly to the more off-grid desticountries prefer Huehuetenango, so bear this in mind as soon as you"re planning your itinerary.
June is generally quiet, yet July and August have the right to be rather busy in Guatemala as a result of the summer holidays in Europe and also North America. If you"re planning on doing a language course or heading to tourist hotspots choose Antigua, then you will want to arrangement ahead and also book your accommodation and also activities in development. It deserve to also still acquire rather cold up in the hills, so if you carry out decide to climb the volcanoes or go trekking make sure you"re all set for all eventualities, with waterproofs and warmth clothes vital.
Turtle Nesting Seachild, Pacific Coast - June: In June yearly, sea turtles making their means to the Pacific Coast to colony. The best way to watch them is to sign up with among the night-time tours led by the sea turtle conservation teams about Monterrico.
La Fiesta Nacional Indígena de Guatemala, Cobán - Last 2 weeks of July/early on August: A two-week-long festival in Cobán celebrates Mayan culture and also showcases the finest heritages that have actually existed for thousands of years through street fairs, parades, music, and also dancing.
Festival of the Virgin of the Assumption, Guatemala City - August 15th: People across the country celebrate this important spiritual day, but nowright here even more so than Guatemala City, wbelow the residents honor their patron saint with spiritual parades, street food, and parties.
Fiestas Elenas, Santa Cruz Del Quiché - August 1sixth to 20th: This festival in Santa Cruz Del Quiché celebprices Guatemalan aboriginal heritages, through music, dancing, and also neighborhood foods.
Guatemala in JuneGuatemala in JulyGuatemala in August
Fall (September to October)
Fall is the wettest time of year in Guatemala and additionally one of the quietest times of year to visit, which indicates fewer tourists and also off-seakid prices. While you have the right to expect afternoon downpours until roughly mid-October in many of the nation, in Tikal and also the north the rainy seaboy commonly lasts until November. However, it does not usually rain all day eextremely day so tbelow are still plenty of avenues to sightsee and also reap the lush countryside, especially approximately Rio Dulce and in the Highlands. While it"s still fairly rainy, the fall months are additionally a great time to head to Monterrico and the Pacific coastline, wright here conservation charities release baby sea turtles ago right into the ocean at sunset.
It"s constantly worth bearing in mind though that the rain deserve to impact move links approximately the country, especially in the hills and more remote locations or places wbelow the roads leave a lot to be preferred. It is also hurricane seachild on the Caribbean coast, and if the conditions are best then they have the right to additionally hit the western side of the country and also relocate in from the Pacific, so it"s worth paying cshed attention to any type of warnings and also checking the weather. From mid-October onwards, the weather gets rid of up, making it an excellent time to go trekking and climb Acatenango, however it is cold at night, so make certain you lug a rain jacket in case you obtain captured in any type of last-minute storms and also plenty of warm weather equipment for once you"re at altitude.
If you do end up visiting Guatemala in autumn, attempt to time your visit to coincide through Independence Day on September 1fifth. The country-wide celebrations start the night before with athletes carrying torches and also running late-night marathons across the nation. Tbelow are additionally street parties, parades via floats and also processions via marching bands, food and industry stalls, a substantial firefunctions display screen, and also a jovial carnival-like setting.
Día de la Independencia de Guatemala (Guatemalan Independence Day) - September 15th: Celebrated throughout the country with dancing, music, parades, food, and firefunctions. The major occasion is a torch-lit marathon from Guatemala City to Panajachel, recognized as the Antorcha de la Independencia.
Día de la Revolución (Revolution Day) - October 20th: Across the country, world require to the highways to commemorate the overthrow of dictator Jorge Ubico y Castaneda, remember the numerous hundreds of world who "disappeared" in the time of the Civil War, and to voice their appropriate to flexibility of speech. Culminates through music and fireworks.
Sea Turtle Hatchling Release - September to January: Visit Monterrico and also the Pacific coastline to view baby sea turtles making their method to the sea for the first time.
Guatemala in SeptemberGuatemala in October
When"s the Best Time to Visit Guatemala?
Winter is the ideal time to visit, with the finest weather and also jam-packed social event calendars, however these are also some of the busiest months in Guatemala. Spring is hot and humid, through Semana Santa taking facility stage.
July and also August are also quite busy, but May, June, September, and also October are a little quieter, so if you deserve to take care of an afternoon downpour and also the odd tropical storm, then you"ll be rewarded with reduced prices and also have actually some of the country"s many exceptional tourist desticountries all to yourself.
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