Visiting Guatemala in Summer
Guatemala in summer is a unique time to visit. There will be some crowds due to the alignment with vacation months in North America and Europe, but summer in Guatemala is in the middle of Guatemala’s rainy season. Do not let that fool you, the sheer beauty of Guatemala is stunning and worth the trip in the rainy season! This is when Guatemala’s natural wonders flourish. During the wet season, you will be able to see Guatemala’s dramatic environment blossom in full force.
You’ll be able to do whatever your heart desires in Guatemala in the summer. During this time in the rainy season, you can expect sunny mornings with potential storms in the afternoon. This leaves plenty of time for seeing some of Guatemala’s greatest sites! Don’t forget to bring a rain jacket and umbrella in case you encounter afternoon showers!
Summer is high season for the inland areas because they’re actually drier than the coast. Places like Monterrico Beach have a better chance of experiencing storms, which is why the inland areas are so popular. Even though it is the “wet season,” many people still venture to Guatemala, as they may have vacation time during the months of July and August. This can mean that prices will increase, and you will find fewer deals, however, not to worry- as this time is still not as popular as the peak, dry season!
Things to do in Guatemala in Summer
Tikal was the capital of the state during the Mayan Period, and one of the most powerful cities in the world at the time. Evidence showing that the city existed since the 4th Century BC, the city dominated much of the Mayan civilization between the 200 to 900 CE. It was a major trading hub between the Mayans and the Mesoamericans, with archaeological evidence supporting regular trade between the city of Teotihuacan, with even a period of conquest by the Mesoamerican capital during the Classical Period. This contributed to its eventual decline.
Today, Tikal has been partially restored by the efforts of the Guatemalan government as well as foundations run by universities around the world. You are able to view the beautiful limestone structures managed beautifully to give a sense of how massive and significant this city was at its peak. View the large royal palaces, the temples span 70 metres high, you can marvel at the planning of residential structures, the majesty of the administrative buildings and even a building that is believed to have been a jail. This is especially interesting as most Mayan ruins do not feature this branch of enforcement. Visit the Plaza of the Seven Temples where you can astonish yourself with the South Acropolis, which climbs up to 300 metres high!
Read our guide: What to do in Tikal
The Pacific Coast’s many beaches take advantage of the lack of tourists and Sea Turtles emerge from the deep blue to reclaim the sands. The sheer numbers and the synchronized dance of their egg layings are a sight to see on its own, and you can take part in protecting these animals as they fulfill their natural responsibilities. You can volunteer with a turtle conservation program for a few days to observe these wonderful creatures, collect the eggs and steer away any animal or human poachers who take advantage of these vulnerable organisms.
Read our guide: The Best Beaches in Guatemala
Guatemala advertises itself as an ideal place to learn the Spanish language with its many immersion programs dotted around the country. The most famous of which is in the picturesque colonial city of Antigua, with one of the highest amounts of Spanish Immersion courses in the country. These courses have different timelines, where you are placed in a highly immersive and interactive environment where you can learn structure and grammar, but also putting it to the test with conversational classes and field trips where you can speak and learn with the local population to both get a sense of the local culture, dialects and the differences between formal Spanish and the slang terms around the country. This is the best way to create a learning experience for yourself while you’re out and about, or if you want to be productive while escaping the afternoon drizzles.
Best Places to Visit in Guatemala in Summer
During the hot days of summer in Guatemala, you may want to escape the what to cool off. If you head up the mountains into the highlands, you’ll surely find that relief! There will be less crowds, and you’ll be able to see more of the Mayan culture in these highland villages. Visiting Quetzaltenango and Huehuetenango are both great villages and worth visiting whether you are trying to escape the heat or not, when visiting Guatemala in summer!
A colorful, picturesque town, with cobbled streets and amazing volcanic landscapes surrounding every part of the town. Summer is the perfect time to visit Antigua as you can discover the bright colonial architecture but then wander to the ancient ruins with the town, and just outside the town itself! Then head to Mercado de Artesanías where you can see one of Antigua’s biggest markets- from textiles to food, it’s a colorful market, reflective of the local spirit! With so much to do and see, Antigua is a great place to go in Guatemala in summer!
Read our guide: What to do in Antigua
In Guatemala’s southwestern highlands lies the Atitlan Volcano. Lake Atitlan is created from one of Atitlan Volcano’s craters and sits just below the volcano. Surrounded by hills and volcanoes, Lake Atitlan’s views are unmatched. Known as a popular site to visit, due to its beauty and Mayan history, it should not be missed when visiting Guatemala in summer. Lake Atitlan is perfect for visitors going to Guatemala in summer, because it is perfect for a swim and you’ll have the most stunning views on clear, bright, sunny days!
Events in Guatemala in Summer
La Fiesta Nacional Indígena de Guatemala
If you’re looking for a festival that is packed with Mayan culture, and a great way to meet the locals, La Fiesta Nacional Indigena de Guatemala is the perfect time for your visit! Taking place in Coban, during the last weeks of July, you’ll experience traditional events, festivals, live music, and delicious food! La Fiesta Nacional Indigena de Guatemala is the perfect event to partake in when visiting Guatemala in July.
Dia de la Virgen de la Asunción
This is the main August event celebrated throughout the country. The biggest festivities take place in the capital Guatemala City on August 15 as a celebration of the city’s patron saint. You will be amazed by the extreme display of devotion as the city comes alive with market stalls, parades, parties and celebrations of light using fireworks and firecrackers. This is a great experience for people wanting a fun family atmosphere with lots for the kids to do. For a quintessential local experience, you are able to try the traditional foods, dance the night away and just take in the festive atmosphere that this beautiful country has to offer on one of the most important summer festivals.
Accomodation in Guatemala
July and August are quite popular months to visit Guatemala. This is because most people in North America and Europe have vacation time during these months. This can mean crowds and full bookings in the months of July and August. But, June is another story. Just before the tourist season goes back into full swing, June is a quiet month in Guatemala, and you can usually find great deals and fewer crowds all around the country!
How hot is Guatemala in the summer?
Temperatures in Guatemala are in the range 25.8°C / 77.7°F. This can be more or less, depending on the weather for the particular year. It’s also best to plane for rain showers during the afternoons.
What months are summer in Guatemala?
Guatemala does not particularly go by the four seasons, but by the wet and the dry season. While we consider the summer to be June-August, it can have a lot of rain. The dry season in Guatemala is from November to April, and these months see more of the typical (what we would consider) ‘summer’ weather.