Visit Guatemala in October – Weather and Climate and Other Travel Tips
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Planning to visit Guatemala in October? If so, this post is for you. I will share all about what Guatemala is like in October, its weather, climate, events, and more.
Guatemala is a fascinating and varied country, with a comfortable average temperature year-round.
Depending on where you are in Guatemala, the temperature and humidity can range from sweltering and muggy to chilly and dry.
It all has to do with elevation. Volcanoes, mountain ranges, deep ravines, and caldera lakes stud the highlands.
Sinkholes dot the limestone bedrock of Huehuetenango, and glittering black sand beaches slink along the Pacific coast.
Thankfully, conditions are still fairly predictable from region to region and month to month.
So, what is the weather like in Guatemala in October? Read on to find out.
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What is the weather like in Guatemala in October?
October is the tail-end of the rainy season in Guatemala. During this month, the weather transitions from the constant downpours in September, to the windy sunshine of November.
From the 1st to the 31st of October, the number of cloudy days, the amount of precipitation, and the length of the day decreases.
As the month goes on, the number of sunny days increases. So does the wind speed.
The wind can kick up lots of dust in the streets and tear off errant laminas from people’s roofs.
But I’ve always associated October with happy memories… bundling up in a wool blanket drinking hot chocolate on the chilly days, or out flying kites with my brothers on the sunny windy days.
Does it rain in October in Guatemala?
Yes, it does! October is still part of the rainy season in Guatemala, which runs from May to October. However, as the month goes on, there are better chances of clear skies and sunshine.
On average, there are 22 rainy days in October in Guatemala.
Does it rain all day in Guatemala?
Usually, it does not rain all day in Guatemala. During most of the rainy season, there will be a torrential downpour or two at some point during the day.
These could last anywhere from 20 minutes to several hours. More often than not, the sun comes back out and everything gets beautiful again.
It’s also common for conditions to take on a particular pattern.
It may pour every afternoon for a while, or it may only pour at night, and you’ll enjoy one full sunny day after another.
The exception is when there is a hurricane, tropical storm, or tropical depression. When a storm hits, rain can fall for one to three weeks without stopping.
The ground gets saturated and there’s more danger of flooding and landslides.
Weather in October in Antigua Guatemala
Antigua Guatemala is a Spanish colonial town about 45 minutes from Guatemala City.
Picture cobblestone streets and brightly painted houses with crowns of thorns spilling from the window boxes.
Antigua is a UNESCO world heritage site, rich in culture, history, coffee shops, cuisine, and guided tours. It’s one of the prime destinations in Guatemala.
Although Antigua is worth visiting throughout the year, there are a few things you should know if you’re planning your trip for October.
The average temperature in October in Antigua Guatemala
The average high in October in Antigua Guatemala is 73ºF (23ºC) while the average low is 57ºF (14ºC). It can get muggy in the sunshine, at least in mountainous regions. On the Pacific coast, Caribbean coast, and in Petén the air is very sticky!
Average rainfall in October Antigua Guatemala
During the entire month, Antigua gets about 131 mm of precipitation, but it isn’t evenly spread. There’s a 55% chance of rainfall at the beginning of the month, but by the end, the chances are down to 28%. Much better odds!
What is the weather like in Guatemala during the fall?
Fall in North America runs from September to December. But in Guatemala, those months don’t coincide with a single season.
September and October are part of the wet season, while November is a dry season month.
Let’s talk about what weather you’re likely to encounter during September, October, and November in Guatemala.
Climate & Temperatures in September
September is one of the rainiest months of the year in Guatemala. The average rainfall in September is 257mm.
During this month, it’s likely to pour every day.
However, you can still expect to see the sun for at least a few hours on a daily basis. When the sun comes out, it can feel pretty hot and humid.
The average high during this period is 79ºF (26ºC).
Note: Small landslides are pretty common on the roads during this time of year, especially in mountainous areas.
Most of the time, these landslides shouldn’t affect the trips you take around the country. They rarely cover a whole lane.
If there is a landslide on a major road, crews usually clear it quickly. However, if there is a tropical depression or hurricane in Guatemala, expect precipitation throughout the day and night.
Weather & Temperature in October
October is usually rainy and cloudy at the beginning of the month and gradually gets more sunny and windy leading into the dry season.
There are still over 11 hours of daylight, giving you lots of time to pack in fun between showers.
During sunny days in the highlands in October, the sky can be crisp and clear, and the wind can have a bite. It’s sort of what a warm fall day in North America feels like, except that everything is still green.
In October, the average precipitation is 159mm. The average daily high is 75ºF (24ºC), while the average low temperature in October is 61ºF (16 c).
Climate & Temperatures in November
November in Guatemala marks the beginning of the dry season. Although it’s still possible to get rainfall from tropical storms and hurricanes, the weather is usually sunny, clear, and comfortable. The wind can be strong and gusty, but it usually feels refreshing. (And it’s great for flying kites!)
During this month, the high and low temperatures range between 59ºF and 75ºF (15ºC to 24ºC). The average rainfall is only 23mm!
Is October a good time to visit Guatemala?
October is not the best time to visit Guatemala, but it is a much better choice than June or September! During June and September, the amount of rainfall is at its maximum.
However, in October, the season is changing from rainy season to dry season. Expect a fair number of cloudy and rainy days in October. Pack a waterproof jacket!
When the sun burns through the clouds, it can get humid and hot. Of course, the mugginess largely depends on elevation. The higher elevation, the less average humidity, and the cooler year-round temperatures.
If you are going to visit Guatemala during this month, aim for mid-to-late October to increase your chance of enjoying more sunshine.
What is the best time of year to go to Guatemala?
I think the end of October or any time in November is the best time to visit Guatemala. Everything is still lush and beautiful from the wet season.
Visibility is fantastic, especially for views of the famed Lake Atitlán. The average temperatures are comfortable, you’ll enjoy sunshine during most of the hours of daylight, and each sunset promises to be spectacular.
If you come in late October through early November, you can celebrate Day of the Dead in Guatemala.
Everyone eats a cold pickled salad called “fiambre,” visits the graves of deceased family members, and flies kites.
Santiago Sacatepéquez also holds a magnificent giant kite festival, which is worth seeing for sure!
By coming at the time I suggest, you’ll also avoid Guatemala’s peak tourist season, which is in December, January, and February.
Though of course, if you can’t come in late October or November, December is a great second choice.
Just be sure to budget more money for travel, as ticket prices will be at their maximum.
Don’t go in these months
Some articles say that the best time to visit Guatemala is from November to April. Personally, I don’t think March and April are ideal. In fact, I think they are the worst months to visit!
During this period, Guatemala has gone months without rain. Everything is dry and dusty. It’s usually pretty hot, too.
Many farmers and the sugar plantations burn their fields. It can get so hazy that you can’t enjoy the beautiful views of the western highlands.
Even the volcanoes across Lake Atitlán disappear into the mist. Guatemala’s scenery is one main reason to visit, so that would be pretty disappointing.
However, if you’d like to be in Guatemala during the Easter celebrations of Semana Santa, it is totally worth it to put up with a bit of heat and haze.
Just don’t expect clear views, pack lightweight clothes and a hat, and cool off with a “limonada con soda” whenever you’re overheated.
What is the rainy season in Guatemala?
The rainy season in Guatemala runs from May to October. The two rainiest months are June and September.
In July, Guatemala often experiences an “Indian Summer”–two or three weeks of clear skies, sunshine, and a lot less rainfall.
May and October and both transition months, with a mixture of cloudy and rainy days scattered throughout.
Best things to do in Guatemala in October
Visiting Tikal in October
If you visit Tikal in October, be prepared for lots of rain and muggy temperatures. The heat index is a whopping 103.1°F (39.5°C) with 84% humidity and 123 mm of rainfall. Be sure to pack good shoes (waterproof would be a plus!), a rain jacket with a hood, and lots of hydrating fluids.
Hiking Acatenango in October
If you’re in Guatemala in October, it is worth hiking Acatenango Volcano. Acatenango is the third highest volcano in Central America.
Its tallest peak, known as “La Luna” for its similarity to a moonscape, sits at 13,045 feet above sea level. Climbing to the top and watching the clouds drift below is an amazing experience.
But what really makes Acatenango extra special is its proximity to Fuego Volcano.
Fuego is an active volcano. Yup, that means it spews forth hot lava and ash. It erupts so frequently that people who camp on Acatenango sometimes take ear plugs to block out the explosive BOOMS.
At night, it paints the sky with gleaming shards of lava.
Seeing Fuego from Acatenango’s peak (or base camp) is an incredible experience. Don’t miss it!
In general, it is best to climb volcanoes in the dry season, from November to April, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a great time in October either.
The forecast will just be a little iffier.
How is the Pacific coast in October?
Guatemala’s Pacific coast is pretty great throughout the year. Striking black sand beaches, curling waves, pelicans, and whole fried fish, what could be better?
Surfing and Boogie Boarding
If you’re into boogie boarding or surfing, you have a decent chance of catching good waves in October. At this time of year, the swells are usually head high or higher.
They are larger and less perfect than during the dry season, but can still be lots of fun. I actually spent the months of May and June in El Paredón several years ago, and I had a blast learning how to surf!
Baby Sea Turtles
Another great thing to do on the Pacific coast in October is to release baby sea turtles. You can contribute to conservation efforts by sponsoring a nest.
Watching a pile of these babies flippety-flopping across the sand is really cool! You can also see adult sea turtles in the Poza de Nancy, a boat ride away from El Paredón.
Sport Fishing and Mangrove Tours
On the Pacific coast in October you can also go sport fishing for Dorado, Mahi-Mahi, Dolphin, Roosterfish, Marlin, and Yellowfin Tuna.
Touring the mangroves in Sipacate-Naranjo National Park can also be a neat experience.
October is kite season in Guatemala
In October, my brothers and I would hike to a ridge above our house and harvest slender “kite sticks” from pampas grass.
Then we’d sit at the kitchen table, armed with thread, glue, scissors, and multi-colored panes of tissue paper.
We’d make the traditional octagon shape from the sticks, paste tissue paper over top, and give them long tissue paper tails.
Last of all, we’d tie our nylon string to the bridle, and race back up to the ridge to fly our kites.
If you’re interested in a traditional activity, why not buy a kite along the road and join a group of Guatemalan kids to fly it?
They’ll get a big kick out of that. You’ll probably have a blast seeing who can fly the kites the farthest, or struggling valiantly to keep your kite from tangling in power lines, trees, or other kites.
Interesting Events in Guatemala in October
On October 20th, Guatemalans celebrate “Día de la Revolución.” This day commemorates the Revolution of 1944, which marked the end of a fourteen-year dictatorship.
The revolution restored democracy to Guatemala (at least for a while) and led to significant labor and education reforms.
What to wear in Guatemala in October
Some clothing ideas for your trip to Guatemala in October
About the Author
Yvonne McArthur is a writer, word-lover, and adventurer. She lives in Guatemala and spent her childhood swimming in caldera lakes, mountain biking through maize fields, and toasting marshmallows over molten lava. Yvonne enjoys roaming the country on Mo, her motorcycle, accompanied by her goggle-wearing canine sidekick Lily. She loves sharing her passion for Guatemala with visitors and locals alike, whether on her own site, Guate Adventure, or other awesome travel blogs (like this one!).