Best Time To Go To Guatemala

The Best Time To Go To Guatemala

 

The climate of Guatemala has its origin in the phenomena generated by the effect of the general circulation of the atmosphere and the oceanic influence. In addition, developing particular characteristics due to the geographical position and topography of the country.

The four seasons typically marked in the Northern Hemisphere are not in Guatemala. Instead, two particular seasons are observed: The rainy (May to October) and the dry (November to April).

The rainy cycle occurs when the regime of the Northeast Trade Winds is established.

The rainy season usually begins in May; typically cloudy and rainy days in June. In July and part of August, there is a dry period called a heatwave. This is due to the reversal of trade winds and the strengthening of anticyclones in the Gulf of Mexico.

Later, when it weakens and disappears, the heavy rains return again to complete the rainy season (September and October).

The dry season begins with the increase in atmospheric pressure and the migration of cold air masses from the polar zone, which causes a drop in temperature and an increase in wind speed, generally from the north.

This cold season is marked from November to February. Later, the temperature increases, presenting heatwaves in March and April. During this time, there may be some local convective or prefrontal rains due to the influence of cold fronts.

The conditions described are of a general nature, and much of the country experiences warm days and mild nights throughout the year.

Temperatures vary as each region has local climatic characteristics due to regional topography, vegetation, geology, and soil types.

All of which must be considered when determining the best time to visit Guatemala. Coastal areas tend to be hot throughout the year. At the same time, the mountainous highlands can be icy at night and early in the morning, even during the summer months.

Destinations such as Antigua, Guatemala City, and Cobán, between 1,000 and 2,000 meters above sea level, experience a temperate climate.

In contrast, destinations such as Quetzaltenango, Totonicapán, Momostenango, and San Pedro Sacatepequez above this altitude can drop to the point of freezing. Frosts are frequent at the highest elevations in Guatemala of around 3,500-4,000 meters.

The Rainy Season– May to October

Guatemala’s rainy season (or winter) runs from May to October (and extends into November in Petén), with most rain falling in September and October. However, the rain usually appears as heavy afternoon downpours rather than all-day downpours. It is interspersed with warm, sunny spells.

The Dry Season – November to April

Many consider the dry season to be the best time to visit Guatemala. It runs from November through April in most parts of the country, with the Pacific coast experiencing a slightly longer summer season. Clear, blue skies are ideal for hiking mountains and exploring ancient Mayan ruins. However, the air gets misty and hot in mid-March before the rainy season, with the volcanoes nearly invisible.

Sticky, wet conditions can be expected along the low-lying coastlines. The Caribbean coast experiences rainfall throughout the year (though not as heavy as the Pacific coast). But despite the hot and humid days, the sea breeze can be relied upon to bring relief during the nights.

Due to the altitude, Guatemala City, Antigua, Lake Atitlán, and Chichicastenango, the air remains relaxed and relatively free of moisture during the summer season, with warm to hot days and mild nights.

Higher elevation cities like Quetzaltenango, Huehuetenango, and El Quiche have cold nights, even during the summer, so be sure to pack warm clothing if you plan to visit these destinations.

In addition to being the best climate in the country, this period coincides with the most important festivals.

On November 1, Guatemalan’s celebrate the dead day; destinations such as Santiago and Sumpango Sacatepequez stand out, marked with the festival of the giant kites, accompanied by music and traditional dishes.

In the region of Todos  Santos Cuchumatan, it is celebrated with the race of souls.

This very colorful event attracts tourists and photographers. In the Mayan lands of Petén, the festival of the holy skull is celebrated in San José, which includes a procession that carries human skulls visiting different altars in local houses.

In December, it is the patron fair of Chichicastenango. In this very colorful event, religious activities stand out, a sample of syncretism from the mixture of local beliefs and the Catholic religion. The brotherhoods and their processions, and the Flying Stick.

Also, you can visit the Caribbean village of  Livingston in November when the Garinagu Festival is held to commemorate National Garifuna Day. It pays homage to the traditional culture of the Garífuna people of the region, with lively street parties, religious ceremonies, dances, and festivities.

The Burning of the Devil day takes place across the country soon after, and unwanted goods and possessions are burned in giant bonfires to cleanse the devil’s houses. Antigua Guatemala is one of the destinations where this celebration is spectacular with fireworks, a parade of devil effigies, and live music.

The end of the dry season also gives way to what is perhaps the biggest celebration in Guatemala: Holy Week, one of the most colorful manifestations of faith in Latin America.

Sawdust carpets with various motifs await the processions that represent the passion and death and Jesus Christ. Music and culinary expressions are an excellent opportunity to try Guatemalan cuisine.

We can summarize that the dry season (November – April) is the best time to go to Guatemala for climatic and cultural reasons.

Unless you have a particular focus trip such as nature trips and bird watching.

The Riviera Maya, An Attractive Destination in Mexico

The Riviera Maya,  One of the Most Attractive Destinations in Mexico:

We regularly confuse ourselves by including the famous city of Cancun among the destinations of the Riviera Maya, but this is not the case. On the contrary, Cancun is relatively close, in the same state but not in the Riviera Maya.

However, it is a crucial gateway to the Riviera since most visitors arriving by plane do so through the Cancun International Airport.

Riviera Maya begins a little beyond Puerto Morelos to Punta Herrero, almost 120 km (86 miles) of the beautiful Caribbean coast.

The Riviera includes the phenomenal destinations of Playa del Carmen, Puerto Aventura, Akumal, and Tulum, in addition to the fascinating Mayan Zone and its enigmatic history.

Tulum

The Mayan culture:

The Riviera is full of sites with Mayan temples. Even necessary is that their descendants are still very Mayan; these people keep their ancient traditions alive in their daily activities, gastronomy, clothing, architecture, and language.

Our tours offer the opportunity to explore cities such as Cobá, home to the highest pyramids on the peninsula; Muyil, surrounded by crystalline channels; Tulum, the most prominent Mayan city, built next to the Caribbean Sea.

 Also, the opportunity to visit a local Mayan community to learn about its customs, its gastronomy, and its cosmovision.

Muyil

Sustainability

The region receives millions of annual visitors to entirely enjoy nature, culture, and history. However, we are part of the movement interested in keeping this place as a paradise forever. We have local suppliers committed to preservation through innovative actions and proposals to create a sustainable Riviera and promote responsible tourism.

There are efforts by both the government and the private initiative to reduce carbon emissions and eliminate waste and work to preserve coral reefs, jungle, and purity of cenotes (freshwater sinks).

Adventure

Riviera Maya is a destination where you can do as little or as much as you like. Imagine 430 miles (700 km) of flooded cave passages to explore (including two of the world’s most comprehensive underwater cave systems). The amazing Mesoamerican reef (basically the largest in the northern hemisphere); and the 1.6 million-acre Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve (a UNESCO world heritage site). Visitors can kayak pristine canals or float with the current, plus an extraordinary amount of exotic and endemic flora and fauna, both on land and in the water.

The Riviera also offers the opportunity to discover impressive ecological adventure parks, shows, and environmental activities, such as cycling, trekking, fantastic zip lines, snorkeling, diving, or exploring our most exciting attraction: the Mayan jungle.

The Riviera Maya in Mexico

Accommodation

The hotel infrastructure of the Riviera Maya is exceptional and varied, from elegant boutique hotels in the center of Playa del Carmen to rustic excavations on the beautiful beach of Tulum.

Do you want luxury with a unique touch? We offer it in expansive all-inclusive resorts, where second nature pampering guests and families can enjoy babysitting and kids’ clubs.

There are hidden paradises for special occasions or couples seeking adult-only privacy for romantic getaways and gourmet dinners.

The Riviera Maya, a world to discover.

Visit Merida & Riviera Maya, Culture, Nature, and Beaches, an 11 Days 10 Nights Tour Package to see an example itinerary of our Vacation Packages for Mexico

Why is Antigua Guatemala one of the Best Places to Vacation as a Family?

Antigua Guatemala, the 3rd capital of Guatemala from 1543 to 1775, originally known as the Very Noble and Very Loyal City of Santiago de los Caballeros, is a city of colonial architecture based in a valley surrounded by three majestic volcanoes: the Agua Volcano, with 3,760 meters high, a resting giant that was crucial in the background of the country, the Fuego Volcano, with 3,763 meters high, an active titan that amazes the spectators with its red eruptions as well as white fumaroles, the Acatenango Volcano, with 3,976 meters high, perfect for climbing up, for enjoying the view it offers from its summit and to observe the eruptions of the Fuego Volcano closely.

Antigua is blessed with a convenient location due to the short distances between various destinations of high touristic interest, pleasant climate, 12 ° C to 25 ° C throughout the year, first-rate nightlife, and gastronomic diversity international and also regional.

Antigua is an excellent area to please the different preferences of all family members, including of different generations, not to mention that it is an unbeatable location for photography lovers.

This city has the perfect activity for everyone, from cultural walks through the old cobblestone streets that tell tales in which mysticism, folklore, and local history mix, to bicycle trips along volcanic trails as well as zip lines for daring spirits.

The city that blends the past as well offers all family members a fantastic selection of that they can experience:

 

Antigua Guatemala Vacation

Chocolate Workshop:

 

Cacao, an essential element in the history of the Mayan civilization, was utilized in food, beverages, and as currency or object of barter. Its use dates back 2,600 years. The cacao plant belongs to the genus “theobroma,” which translates from Greek as “food of the gods.”

In Antigua, there is the opportunity to participate in chocolate workshops. Participants can learn about the plant, its relevance and even create their own chocolate, which they can take home.

The Choco Museum is one of those accountable for carrying out chocolate workshops in Antigua, with various options that adapt to the budget and availability of the participants.

The complete experience they offer is the “Bean to Bar Workshop.” Here, you will discover everything about making chocolate, beginning with the cacao tree situated in the jungle, the origin of the plant, and its history.

Participants will make their own chocolates from the grain and prepare beverages like the Maya and the conquerors used to do. Additionally, they will be able to garnish their chocolates and take the result back home. With a length of 2 hours, this workshop is offered every day at 11:00 am and in the afternoon at 1:30 pm, 4:00 pm, and 6:30 pm.

In addition to the “Bean to Bar Workshop,” Choco Museo also offers a shorter workshop. This mini-workshop is excellent for people on a rushed timetable, perfect for children and families. Here they describe in a summed up as well as easy-to-understand method the process of making chocolate. Participants will produce their own chocolates with milk, dark chocolate, and more than 15 different flavors. The workshop is available at any time and lasts 45 mins.

After any workshop, you can return 1 hour later to collect the chocolates made to take home.

Likewise, there is the opportunity to visit its open museum where you can learn everything concerning chocolate, cacao, its harvest, production, and transformation. An interactive scenic tour where individuals can stay as long as they wish, site visitors can ask the Choco Museum team about cacao and chocolate.

Another of those in charge of conducting interactive cacao workshops is the Ek Chuah Chocolate Shop. They offer two courses depending on the availability of the participants.

In the full workshop experience, you will learn the whole procedure of creating chocolate, from toasting the cacao, peeling it by hand, to discovering how to make an infusion from the shell. Next, prepare the authentic Mayan drink by hand with cacao, chili, and honey.

Furthermore, traditional chocolate is prepared to drink, which they mix sugar and various other ingredients such as cardamom, cinnamon, almond, and macadamia. Ending the activity, participants will mold their own chocolate bonbons and decorate them as they want with sprinkles, blueberries, coconut, or biscuits. This workshop lasts 90 minutes.

Ek Chuah Chocolate Shop likewise provides an express workshop. Lasting 45 mins, participants will learn more about the stages of chocolate transformation, from the cacao bean to the final product. You can also roast the cacao, peel it by hand and make an infusion from the shell. In the end, participants can mold and garnish the chocolate bonbons.

The workshops begin at 11:00 am, 1:30 pm, 4:00 pm. Then participants will have to return 20 minutes later to pick the chocolates up.

These delicious and enjoyable workshops explain the considerable relevance of cacao for the Mayan civilization, the essence of Guatemala, making these a must-see activity.

 

Antigua zipline tour

Zip Line:

 

Along with relaxing and delicious chocolate workshops, Antigua likewise supplies activities for adventurer souls looking for an adrenaline rush.

In Santo Domingo del Cerro, an extension of the luxurious Hotel Casa Santo Domingo, there is the opportunity to fly through the sky in its Circo del Aire (Air Circus). It’s an activity for all family members that guarantees a secure and fun zip-lining and tower-climbing experience.

The Circo del Aire has two different courses depending upon the choices of the participants:

  1. The Short Path comprises eight jumps, two hanging bridges, and a climbing tower. Starting at 9:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:00 p.m., 2:30 p.m. as well as 3:50 p.m every day. The maximum weight is 275 pounds.
  2. The Long Route has ten different jumps, two hanging bridges, two climbing towers, one ladder, a 200-meter walk, and the “Superman,” a 600-meter jump where two individuals can leap simultaneously, totally changing the experience. It is available at 10:00, 12:30, and also 14:30 every day. For this course, the maximum weight is 250 pounds. In the case of “Superman,” the minimum weight is 100 pounds, and the top weight is 190 pounds.

In both cases, Circo del Aire recommends showing up at least 15 minutes before the activity.

In addition to the Circo del Aire, in the facilities of Santo Domingo del Cerro, you can enjoy art and history museums with figures of renowned Guatemalan exponents, delightful gardens, a modern restaurant with superb food taken to a high level, and also extraordinary views of Antigua Guatemala and its three colossi (Agua, Fuego, and Acatenango volcanoes). Due to the versatility of the destination, Circo del Aire and Santo Domingo del Cerro is an activity that families cannot miss.

 

Horseback Riding Antigua

Horseback Riding:

 

Antigua Guatemala likewise offers enjoyable activities such as horseback riding, excellent for building lovely memories for the family members while getting in touch with nature along with animals. Currently, there are two selections for this:

The first option in San Juan del Obispo, Raven’s Croft Riding Stable, welcomes travelers to ride steeds through scenic valleys and hillsides around Antigua.

This ride takes participants through farms and small towns that are generally not on the tour schedule to have stunning views of the volcanoes that surround the valley.

Raven’s Croft Riding Stable offers tours for kids 12 years and up, from beginners to experienced horseback riders. They also recommend participants take the horseback riding tours in the morning to take advantage of the weather and enjoy a better view.

The second alternative is the luxurious Finca in the Clouds, located on the borders of La Antigua. This 400-acre personal ranch has about 30 equines that are maintained free, without stables, and trained by professional American cowboy guides with experience of more than thirty years.

It offers a deluxe and high-quality journey for travelers that desire to ride on horseback in the heights.

Enjoy the fantastic views of Antigua along with its three volcanoes and the two volcanoes in Lake Atitlán. In Finca in the Clouds, you will have the opportunity to try the barbecue in their old ranch house, stroll in the natural gardens, or be delighted with white wine and cheese with the herd of horses. In addition to the horseback ride, they also offer a private chef, glamping, as well as Mayan ceremonies.

 

Pacaya Volcano HIking

Pacaya Volcano:

A fiery 2,552-meter-tall gem that continuously glows to astonish everyone with its volcanic activity. The Pacaya volcano is located one hour away from Antigua in the community of San Vicente Pacaya in the department of Escuintla.

The ascent of the Pacaya Volcano is approximately an hour and a half. There is the possibility of using horses to ease the climb. Travelers also have the chance to stay the night at the top, watch the sunrise from the heights, and have a picnic-type breakfast like never before.

Thanks to the moderate effort, the easy climb, and, above all, because of the fantastic sights it provides from the top of the impressive volcanic chain, the Pacaya Volcano is a must-see destination for travelers. Furthermore, due to its accessibility, this activity becomes a beautiful experience for the whole family, especially for children with lots of energy.

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