Rough Guides: Guatemala Travel Guide

Rough Guides asked me to optimise their existing Guatemala Travel Guide web page. I did it by editing existing content, adapting the printed book for web and creating brand new content. Read some of my unique content for the page below, or see the whole page here.

Where to go in Guatemala

To travel Guatemala is to experience a country of wonderful contrasts. Take in the colonial beauty of UNESCO-listed Antigua and marvel at the difference to busy, modern Guatemala City.

Get out of the cities and back to nature, along with an insight into Maya culture, in the beautiful and captivating western highlands. Lago de Atitlán is unmissable – think Lake Como with soaring volcanoes – while the Cuchumatanes mountain range offers some excellent walking trails.

East of Guatemala City you’ll find the Oriente and Izabal, where you can cruise down the idyllic Río Dulce and explore its spectacular gorge. It’s also the region to head to for Guatemala’s best beaches. The Pacific coast is not as impressive with its black-sand coast and dangerous undertow, but it’s worth a visit for the lovely seaside town of Monterrico.

Head north to Petén to explore ancient Maya temples and palaces, including Tikal, possibly the most impressive Maya site in all of Latin America.

Indulge in some serious relaxation in the natural bathing pools of Semuc Champey in the Cobán and the Verapaces region, surrounded by lush rainforest.

And that’s just for starters. Here’s our guide on where to visit in Guatemala.

Best time to travel to Guatemala

Guatemala enjoys a warm climate all year round, with temperatures peaking at an average of 32 degrees on the Caribbean coast in April and May. This makes deciding on when to travel to Guatemala a lot easier.

Humidity is determined by altitude: you won’t get hot and bothered in many of the traveller hot spots thanks to their location, including Antigua, Guatemala City and Lago de Atitlán.

There is a rainy season, which runs from May to October, with the worst of the rain falling in September and October. The rain is usually limited to late afternoon downpours, so it needn’t hamper your visit.

Peak season is between December and March and again between July and August, seen as the best time to visit Guatemala in terms of weather, but best to avoid if you want cheaper accommodation.

Here’s the full lowdown on the best time to travel to Guatemala.