Guatemala Travel

Guatemala travel can be enjoyed year round, as the country boasts a tropical climate that ensures predominantly predictable temperatures, regardless of the season. That is not to say that you won’t find temperature changes throughout the country. Guatemala is a country that differs greatly in terms of elevation, with lowlands along the eastern shore, in the northern Petén department and along the southern Pacific coast, and Mountain highlands everywhere else. Among the 37 volcanoes scattered through Guatemala’s highlands, you will find the 13,845-foot Tajumulco Volcano, which is the highest point anywhere in Central America. While temperatures remain warm at Guatemala’s lower altitudes regardless of the season, at 11,000 feet and up frost is often known to pay a visit. This is especially the case from November through April when Guatemala is most prone to slight temperature drops.

Guatemala’s steady climate has awarded the country the nickname of “The Land of Eternal Spring”. In the Guatemalan highlands, the 4,000-6,000-foot mountain valleys average year round temperatures of 60-70 degrees. Guatemala tourist attractions at or near these altitudes include Guatemala City, Antigua, Chichicastenango and Lake Atitlan. The scenic valleys here make for a most pleasant Guatemala travel experience, offering warm days and cool nights throughout the year. As the saying goes, “Some Like it Hot”, and if you fall within that category, you can arrange for Guatemala travel plans that have you visiting the steamy northern lowland jungles or the sun-baked black sand beaches to the south. As is the case throughout Guatemala, these areas vary rarely in temperature regardless of the month, with an average yearly temperature that hovers around 80 degrees. When touring Guatemala’s hot lowlands, you will want to be sure to pack plenty of bug spray and sun block.

In terms of climate, rain, more so than temperature, dictates which visitor attractions for Guatemala get the most traffic. Guatemala’s rainy season lasts from May to October, and the prospect of soggy days is enough to dissuade some vacationers from making Guatemala travel plans during these months. Fortunately, during the rainy season many of the storms come in the late afternoon or at night, disappearing by the next morning. The rainy season’s heaviest downpours can quickly turn the ground to muck in spots and make visits to jungle attractions such as Tikal and El Mirador especially difficult, if not at times impossible. Tikal and El Mirador are in the northern lowland rainforests, where the rain falls the heaviest during the rainy season. These are definitely Guatemala tourist attractions you might save for the dry season. If you have packed some layers and a good rain jacket, most of the visitor attractions for Guatemala can be enjoyed regardless of season. The high season for Guatemala travel generally falls between the months of December and March, coinciding with the November to April dry season. If you are planning to visit Guatemala during these months, you may consider arranging your hotel accommodations ahead of time at the more popular tourist destinations.

Guatemala tourist attractions often revolve around certain events or Guatemalan holidays. Arguably, the most colorful of Guatemala events is Semana Santa, or Holy Week. Celebrated in March or April during the week leading up to Easter, the Guatemala Semana Santa attracts thousands of visitors each year. The picturesque city of Antigua is particularly popular for its Semana Santa festivities. Guatemalan and foreign visitors alike come to see the costumed processions and crucifixion ceremonies that make their way along Antigua’s charming cobblestone streets. During Semana Santa in Antigua, the streets are made level with sawdust and covered in brilliant “alfombras” (carpets) that are interwoven with colorful flowers, pine needles and plants. A treat for the senses, visitor attractions for Guatemala don’t get much better than Antigua’s Semana Santa. Christmas and New Year’s are among the other most celebrated official Guatemala holidays, as is Independence Day (September 15). During official holidays in Guatemala you can expect banks, government offices and various stores and markets to close. You will also see a marked reduction in transportation services. Other official holidays in Guatemala include Armed Forces Day (June 30), the Day of Celebration (July 1), Ascension Day of the Virgin (August 15), the Commemoration of the 1944 Revolution (October 20), and All Saints’ Day (November 1). During the smaller fiestas and saints’ day celebrations celebrated throughout the year in smaller villages, visitors may notice additional closings and holds on transportation services.

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