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Best time to visit Guatemala

Liverpool, England
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Best time to visit Guatemala

We are planning our fourth trip to Guatemala. The other trips had to be in August, because I was teaching, but now we are retired we can go when we want! We are struggling to decide whether to go in October/November this year, or wait until spring next year, maybe just after Easter - late April/early May. We will visit Antigua, Lake Atitlan and other places near there, and maybe Flores and Tikal. Weather-wise, which would be the best time? I read words like 'hurricane season' and 'mudslides', but I'm not sure how relevant these things are to the places we plan to visit, nor exactly when they may happen.

The Dalles, Oregon
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for Guatemala, Belize
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1. Re: Best time to visit Guatemala

I would choose spring if you have the choice. We generally visit in the summer every year (both educators); I've loved every visit but it's true that mudslides can be a problem in the highlands. I spent a few spring weeks there around Easter last year and enjoyed the no rain part in addition to the amazing festivities. I think, weather-wise, October/November would tend to be worse than August. Basically, though, any time is a good time to visit imo. :-)

Bethesda, MD
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2. Re: Best time to visit Guatemala

I used to be there in April fairly frequently. It never rained, but it's the end of the dry season; it can be very dusty and things aren't nearly as green as they are during the rainy season. I'd go then to see Easter processions, which I never got to do, but otherwise I don't think it's the best time to be there. October and November are rainy and chilly; the end of November might be OK, as far as the rain goes. I like it in July; everything is very green, and there tends to be a lull in the rainy season then. Still, I agree with Stacey - any time is a good time to visit.

The Dalles, Oregon
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3. Re: Best time to visit Guatemala

See you there in July, Craig? :-)

Madison, Wisconsin
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4. Re: Best time to visit Guatemala

Go when the airfare is cheap--the off-season--so you can spend your money on adventures in-country.

Late October and November is a great time to visit. In my experience the rainy season is over by mid-October in the highlands, although everything is still lush and green. Late October is kind of windy, and you can catch the Dia de los Santos kites on November 1. It's my understanding that the rainy season lasts a bit longer in the Peten, so maybe you can time your trip so that the first part of it is in the highlands and the second part is in the Peten.

I don't like the dry season, especially the end of it (April). Like DC Chapin notes, it's really dusty. I actually prefer visiting during the rainy season because I like to do a lot of biking and hiking. When it's the dry season, the dust gets into my nose and face when I'm out and about. Plus the views of the countryside aren't as fantastic during the dry season, when the corn is drying on the stalks. By April the cornfields will mostly be cleared away. It's just not as pretty.

Seattle, Washington
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5. Re: Best time to visit Guatemala

Having spent time in Liverpool myself, December to February would get my vote. It's the nicest season in Guate and the worst in Liverpool.

Bethesda, MD
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6. Re: Best time to visit Guatemala

I used to go in February pretty routinely; it was a good time to go.

Stacey, I bought my plane tickets the other day, but still waiting to hear back from the school - I didn't get around to e-mailing them until early Saturday morning - about availability. I thought I might hear back Sunday, since I know there's someone there for the coming week's students to check in with then, but by Tuesday afternoon I'd realized that they were probably closed for all of Semana Santa, not just the four-day weekend. So hopefully I'll hear from the in the next day or two.

The Dalles, Oregon
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7. Re: Best time to visit Guatemala

Yes, this is a really busy week there. I'm sure they'll have space. Are you planning to live in a hotel or with a local family? I'm doing a bit of each - Sak'cari at the end of June with friends, Mikaso for a week mid July with Beca sponsors, then homestay through mid August. Looking forward!

Bethesda, MD
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8. Re: Best time to visit Guatemala

I expect I'll be at Sak'cari, but I can't do anything unti I hear back from the school about availability. I wish there was someplace in San Pedro between the cheap places on the main drag and Sak'cari.

The Dalles, Oregon
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for Guatemala, Belize
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9. Re: Best time to visit Guatemala

A Beca sponsor who will be joining me in July sent this in his plan email - maybe something of interest? I don't know the place.

we'll be staying with gladis at villa del lago. she's a gem and rooms with a million-dollar view are $10/night

Edited: 11:36 pm, April 18, 2014
Port Richey, Florida
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10. Re: Best time to visit Guatemala

I enjoy spending time in GC during the holiday season (mid Nov- mid Dec) They have nice traditional musical presentations at the central plaza and the municipal school of music (old post office building). The chilly evening weather adds a special flavor to my time there. During this time of the year you can expect overnight cold temperatures in GC and the highlands, as cold artic air masses reach the country. But always sunny and warm days.