Best Time To Visit
When to go
The best time to go to Guatemala is between December and May. Although the region is generally hot and humid all year round, Guatemala’s highlands can get very cold in winter, between October and March.
There are no direct flights from the UK. Iberia flies from Madrid to Guatemala City; alternatively a number of US airlines fly to Guatemala via their hubs in the USA
British passport holders do not require visas to enter Guatemala, though if you fly via the US, the ESTA will be compulsory.
There are no compulsory vaccinations required to enter Guatemala. Always consult your doctor at least six weeks before travel and refer to this useful NHS website for details of recommended vaccinations for travel to Guatemala.
Things To Do
The city of Antigua retains the beauty of its colonial heritage and has a unique atmosphere, while Lake Atitlan and the villages surrounding it seem lost in time with locals wearing distinctive hand-woven costumes in vivid colours.
Chichicastenango with its famous markets and Iglesia de Santo Tomas (a unique church with its own style of worship blended from pre-Colombian and Catholic practices) is definitely worth a visit.
Another highlight of any Guatemala holiday must surely be Tikal, with probably the best setting of all the Mayan ruins - surrounded by undisturbed rain forest and home to howler monkeys and toucans.
Step off the beaten track to float down the Rio Dulce towards the Caribbean coast at Livingston and where you may be lucky enough to spot the elusive manatee.
Combine with Belize or Mexico
Guatemala combines very well with neighbouring Belize and its delightful offshore islands. Alternatively take a side trip from Guatemala into Honduras to visit the well-preserved stelae carvings at the Mayan site of Copan. You can even venture into southern Mexico from the Tikal area towards Yaxchilan and Palenque if you have a keen interest in Mayan culture.
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