Time to Pack - Guatemala
Time to pack for your trip to Guatemala, but haven't got a clue as to what to wear? Let's make it easy... Here is a helpful guide to the local weather, environments, and atmospheres in some of the most popular visited destinations within Guatemala and our suggested items to pack and wear for your trip.
During the day it is 70°-75°F, the sun is a little strong because you are at altitude and closer to the equator, so it is a bit warmer in the sun, the nights are around 50°-55°. Tee shirt/tank top with shorts or pants is good for the day and a light jacket and pants is recommended for the evening. Antigua's streets are cobblestone, so I recommend shoes that are easy to walk in, e.g. sneakers, or sandals (your feet will thank you). Around the hotels and in restaurants you may find people in resort type wear, as well. If you're wearing a tank top and plan to enter churches, be sure to carry a scarf or shawl to cover your shoulders.
Pacaya Volcano is located near Antigua and is virtually the same temperature, however because you are ascending the volcano you are increasing in altitude, so it will get cooler as you get higher. I recommend pants for your trip, close toed shoes, a light jacket or rain jacket. If it is cloudy the rain jacket might be the best option. Sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses are also highly recommended.
Lake Atitlán (Panajachel):
The temperature is slightly warmer than Antigua, but the nights do get a little chilly. For village tours, I recommend comfortable walking shoes, or sandals and modest attire. You may take a boat to each village around the lake, so a light rain jacket or windbreaker might be useful, as it will be windy. Many hotels here have beautiful pools overlooking the lake, so you may want to include swimsuits for your stay. Again, sunscreen and sunglasses are recommended.
Chichi is in the highlands so you will be at altitude. Your clothing should be about the same for the market day as it is for Antigua during the day. The streets are not cobblestone, however I suggest a sneaker or something that you do not mind walking in, as the market will be toured entirely on foot. Modest attire is recommended, especially in areas highly populated with traditional Mayans. Sunscreen and sunglasses are great here, as you will spend a large part of the day walking down the market streets.
Department of Petén (Tikal):
Usually about 10° warmer than Antigua (85° daytime and 65° nighttime), Tikal is hidden within the jungle. You may start your tour with a light jacket depending on the time you leave your hotel, and finish in a tank top/tee shirt. Some guests will wear hiking pants that can unzip to shorts, however a light pant or shorts are perfect. A daypack bag is recommended so you can take your layers with you, as a morning tour usually starts off a little chilly. Also you should carry water with you as you will want to cover the main areas of your tour and the jungle will start to warm up as the sun comes out. Here, we also recommend insect repellent, as you may encounter some mosquitos.
Pacific Coast (Monterrico):
Here you will have great beach weather, the high 60’s to low 70’s at night and into the 90’s during the day. Bathing suits, tee shirts/tank tops, shorts, sarong, and sandals are very appropriate for this area. Within the animal refuge areas, and mangrove swamp you may encounter some insects, so repellent is recommended. Sunscreen and sunglasses are also highly suggested. Remember, every morning and evening there is a baby sea turtle release on the beach through CECON, from September through January. Try to avoid your repellent and sunscreen until after your participation in their release; this keystone species will appreciate your help in returning them to their natural environment.
Caribbean Coast (Livingston):
Similar to Guatemala’s Pacific Coast, the Caribbean side of the country provides beautiful beach-going weather all year long. With a laid-back Bohemian attitude, you can’t go wrong with island wear. Similar attire as Monterrico is also recommended for this coast, shorts, tank, and sandals. If visiting the few beaches on Guatemala’s East Coast, a swimsuit and cover-up will be necessary for a swim in the warm water of the Caribbean Sea. Most guests visit this area for the unique culture of the Garifuna’s and enjoy the bongo drums and maracas included in their exciting dance. A day trip by boat is highly recommended if you are staying on the Rio Dulce.
The Rio Dulce provides a wonderful atmosphere to relax and unwind. The temperature consistently stays in the high 70°s during the day and low 60°s at night. The river is a great destination to swim, kayak, or take a boat ride to explore the area. Swimsuit and sandals are highly recommended to enjoy this area. A sundress or blouse and capris are enjoyable for dinner or simply relaxing by the water. The high humidity will keep your items slightly damp. Moisture-wicking active wear for your days of exploring will also come in handy to keep you dry.
For the Alta Verapaz area, it is more tropical than Antigua, a bit more humid and warmer. You may want to be prepared with a rain jacket. It is highly recommended to wear a good shoe for Semuc Champey, rappelling in B'ombi'l Peq, or on your way for tubing in Candalaria’s cave system, as the paths may be a bit uneven. However, definitely bring a bathing suit to enjoy areas like Semuc and Laguna Lachuá! There's a possibility of some insects in these areas, so repellent is definitely suggested.
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