Guatemala has been named the Mayan capital of South America. It’s an excellent tourist destination because there are many historical sights and ancient ruins to visit. If you want to book a trip, you may be wondering when the best time to visit Guatemala is.
November is the best time to visit Guatemala. This is the first month of the dry season and temperatures are around 74 F/ 23.5 C. Tourist season hasn’t started yet, so there are fewer crowds. If you want to save money, the cheapest time to visit is September when you can save 30% or more on accommodations.
If you want to plan a trip to Guatemala, you’re on the right page. Today, we’re going to discuss the best times to book a trip to this historic country. We will also give you a monthly breakdown to help you choose the right time to go.
When You Shouldn’t Go To Guatemala
If you’re excited about exploring the outdoor attractions, you shouldn’t visit Guatemala from June through September. This is the rainy season in Guatemala, so there’s a good chance your plans may get canceled.
Now, before you completely discredit the summer months in Guatemala, there’s something you should know. While it does rain a lot, the rain typically doesn’t last all day.
It’s common for mornings to be clear and sunny. Rainfalls usually occur in the afternoon. Some are short and light, while others are heavy and last all night.
Always check the hourly weather forecast when visiting Guatemala from June through September. It will give you a better idea of how to plan your activities for each day.
Cheapest Time To Visit Guatemala
To save money on a trip to Guatemala, you should plan to visit in the off-season between July and October. Less visitors come during this time period because of the heavy rain.
The rate of hotels in Guatemala ranges from $23 to over $100 per night in the high season. During the off-season, rates will drop. The lowest rates can be found in August and September.
Hotel Las Marias Antigua Guatemala charges a rate of $96 per night during high season. During July, rates are cut back to $71 per night. You can find rates as low as $67 per night through August and September.
If you’re flying to Guatemala from the US, during peak season plane tickets can be more than $600. From July through October, it’s possible to get flights as low as $91.
Best Time To Visit Guatemala: Monthly Breakdown
January: Best Month To Be Outside
January offers some of the most pleasant temperatures in Guatemala. Along the coast, daily temperatures are usually around 88 F/ 31 C. In the mountainous regions, it can be slightly cooler with lows of 70 F/ 21 C.
Since January is the midst of the dry season, it’s one of the best times of year to plan outdoor adventures in Guatemala. You can enjoy exploring the black sand beaches or exploring the slopes of a volcano.
This is also a good time of year to enjoy religious festivals in Guatemala. Epiphany is celebrated on January 6. It’s a religious event that celebrates when the three wise men brought gifts for baby Jesus.
Another celebration is the Pilgrimage of Esquiplase. During this event, people come from all over the country to Basilica to celebrate the statue of Black Christ.
- New Year’s in Guatemala
- Explore the beaches
- Pilgrimage of Esquiplase
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February: Fewest Crowds Of High-Season
February is the best month of the high season to visit Guatemala if you want to avoid big crowds. The holiday rush of tourists comes in December and January, while the spring break rush is in March and April.
Days in February are beautiful, with temperatures ranging from 75 to 88 F/ 24 to 31 C. This is a great month to check off everything on your bucket list, from shopping at the markets to relaxing by the rivers and beaches.
If you visit at the beginning of the month, you may get to attend the annual Coffee Harvest Festival. This event runs from February 2nd to 4th. This is one of the biggest food festivals in the country.
- Valentine’s Day
- Coffee Harvest Festival
- Swimming at Semuc Champey
March: Best Month To Be Near Water
The hottest month in Guatemala is in March when temperatures can soar above 90 F/ 32 C. Spring weather begins to feel more humid in many parts of the country, and visitors can expect minimal rainfall.
This is one of the best times of year to explore the bodies of water in Guatemala. There are beautiful beaches, rivers, and waterfalls throughout the country. Visitors can even explore limestone pools and volcanic lakes.
There are endless amounts of swimming spots throughout Guatemala. Champerico is a popular dark sand beach in Quetzaltenango. Playa El Paredon is a great surfing beach that’s southwest of Antigua.
- Relax by the river
- Explore waterfalls
- Surf at Playa El Paredon beach
Related Read: 15 Best Waterfalls in Costa Rica
April: Easter in Guatemala
Guatemala is very big on religious celebrations. April can be one of the most exciting times to visit Guatemala, especially if you visit over Easter. One of the biggest celebrations is Semana Santa, which takes place on Easter weekend.
Semana Santa events can be found all over the country, but cities like Quetzaltenango and Antigua have some of the largest celebrations. There are parades, fruit displays, and many other Guatemala traditions.
April can also be quite hot, with daily temperatures ranging from 75 to 90 F/ 24 to 32 C. If you’re visiting a coastal city, you may want to head to the beaches after the Semana Santa celebrations.
- Semana Santa
- Enjoy fresh mangoes
- Tour the lagoons
May: Best Month Of The Off-Season
May is the first month of the off-season. It’s a great time to visit because there are fewer visitors and the heavy rainfalls haven’t started yet. Keep in mind, that May does get rain often. However, most rain showers in May are short and light.
Since May is a lot quieter, it’s a great time to visit some of the main tourist attractions in Guatemala. Cities, like Antigua, are great to explore and easier to get around with fewer people.
Attractions, like the Mayan Ruins of Tikal or the Pacaya Volcano, are more enjoyable when there are fewer people around taking pictures.
If you visit around the 1st of the month, you can enjoy the Dia del Trabajo celebration. The is an annual celebration of worker’s day and a national holiday in Guatemala. You can expect to find parades and parties all over the country.
- Dia del Trabajo events
- Tour the Mayan Ruins of Tikal
- Explore popular attractions
June: Best Time To Start The Day Early
Days in June typically start off bright and sunny, with rain showers in the afternoons. If you visit this time of year, you can still enjoy outdoor activities during the first half of the day. After lunch, it’s best if you have indoor activities on your agenda.
The daily temperatures in June range from 75 to 90 F/ 24 to 32 C. If you start the day early enough, you can get several hours of trekking and exploring in before signs of rain comes your way.
June is a great time of year to visit cities along the Pacific coast. If you visit the dark sand beaches this time of year, you can spot sea turtles nesting.
For rainy afternoons, we recommend checking out what religious and historic sites are in the city you’re visiting. Guatemala is known for specialty museums, like ChocoMuseo and Museo Popol Vuh.
- View sea turtles
- Shop at local markets
- Tour specialty museums
July: Best Month To Explore The Mountains
July is one of the rainest and busiest months in Guatemala. More people are traveling because of the summer holidays. July is a great time to visit the mountainous regions because there are fewer crowds and less rain.
Quetzaltenango and other highland towns are great to visit in July because there’s less rain than in coastal areas. This will give you more opportunities to explore. There are several volcanos to explore, like Santa Maria Volcano and Santiaguito Volcano.
Some indoor attractions in this area to consider on a rainy afternoon are the Museo Casa Botran and Catedral del Espiritu Santo. You can also enjoy visiting shops and restaurants at the Central Plaza.
- Visit Santa Maria Volcano
- Shop at the Central Plaza
- Coban National Folkloric Festival
August: Best Month Of Summer In Guatemala
August is a great month to consider visiting in summer because there’s less rain than in July and September. Most days will have a temperature range of 70 to 90 F/ 21 to 32 C. However, areas in the highlands can get as low as 60 F/ 15.5 C.
Lake Atitlan is beautiful in August. This relaxing area offers some of the nicest summer sunsets in Guatemala. Since city areas are crowded, it’s a good time of year to check out some of the small town resorts.
The middle of August brings two big celebrations to Guatemala. Dia de la Virgen de la Asuncion is a large fair with parades and fun events. Fiestas Elanas features delicious food, traditional dancing, and music.
- Visit Lake Atitlan
- Di de la Virgen de la Asuncion
- Fiestas Elanas
Related Read: 15 Best Beaches in Costa Rica for Families
September: Best Month For Deals
The wettest month in Guatemala is in September. This turns a lot of travelers off, so they’re less likely to book a trip this time of year. If you want a quiet vacation and are eager to score the best deals on flights, accommodations, and attractions, this is the time to visit.
Another perk about visiting in September is that you never have to wait long. Public transportation is nearly always ready to pick you up. There are no lines for restaurants or tourist attractions. Even markets have fewer visitors.
This is a good time of year to enjoy different local restaurants and try Guatemalan dishes. Some foods that you need to try while traveling here are gallo en perro, chicken pepian, and hilachas.
- Shop at Mercado Central
- Visit Palacio Nacional
- Try Guatemalan cuisine
October: End Of The Rainy Season
October marks the final month of the rainy season. If you want to book more outdoor activities, it’s best to head to the highlands. However, you can still expect light afternoon showers.
Temperatures in October range from 70 to 90 F/ 21 to 32 C across the country. It’s a great time of year to enjoy a morning hike or water activities. On rainy afternoons, you can visit historic sites and learn more about Guatemalan culture.
In October, sea turtle eggs hatch. Wildlife conservation teams release the baby sea turtle into the ocean. This can be seen every day at sunset, starting in September and going through to January.
- Dia de la Revolucion
- View baby sea turtles
- Early morning hikes
November: Festivals and Flowers
November is the first month of the dry season. After a long rainy season, the country is blooming with wildflowers. It’s one of the best times of year to enjoy a scenic drive or tour. You will also get to enjoy clear days outside.
There are several festivals and celebrations that people look forward to in November. Drunken Horse Racing festival and All Saints Day are celebrated on the 1st. National Day of the Garifuna is towards the end of the month.
Other events in November include Festival de Los Muertos, Festival de las Flores, and Skach Koyl.
- All Saints Day
- Drunken Horse Festival
- Festival de las Flores
Related Read: Best Time to Visit Panama
December: Party All Month
December in Guatemala is a month full of events and celebrations. Every week there is a different event to enjoy. This country is also really big on Christmas traditions, so you can expect to see some beautiful decorations and lights.
The week before Christmas, a celebration called Las Posadas of Navid takes place. This celebrates the days Mary was pregnant with Jesus.
Other events in December include Fiesta de Santo Tomas, Burning the Devil, and Virgin of Guadalupe Day.
- Christmas events
- Eat tamales
- Las Posadas of Navid