Guatemala is dubbed the “Land of Eternal Spring,” since most of the country is a temperate climate where temperatures rarely exceed 85°F. This includes Antigua Guatemala, the capital and Lake Atitlan. Weather varies across the rest of the country as a result of the altitude. If you travel to the beach, you will experience the tropical zone, where daytime highs can reach 100°F, only dropping to 70°F at night. The Mayan ruins of Tikal, Flores and Rio Dulce also falls into this climate.
As a tropical country, Guatemala has two distinct seasons, wet and dry. The rain starts around mid-May and lasts until October, with precipitation falling for just a couple hours in the afternoon. Between November and April is the dry season, although it still rains almost every day outside of March and April.
Guatemala has two tropical coastlines, on the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, which does cause a few hurricanes. It is likely you will experience nothing more than heavy rain during these storms, as Guatemala is naturally protected by the Yucatan Peninsula.
Best Time to Visit Guatemala
The best time to visit Guatemala is during the dry season, particularly if you want to visit Tikal. Located in the tropical rainforests in the north of the country, the access roads can become muddy and impassable in the wet season. Also, the highlands can get cold and damp during the rainy season, which is Guatemala’s winter. Although Tikal is in the Peten region, temperatures during the dry season can swelter, as they can in coastal areas.
Tourism in Guatemala is busiest between Christmas and Easter, and also during school holidays between June and August. If you wish to avoid the crowds, it is better to come at another time. The shoulder season around September is a great time to visit before the rainy season starts. However, Guatemala is a year-round destination.