Combine 300 years of Spanish rule with 1000 years of Mayan influence and you’ve got today’s Guatemala. Home to 13 million people (the most populous in the region) and thanks to the hundreds of thousands of travellers booking flights to Guatemala every year, the country remains economically stable and full of variety.
Although tourism increases and the economy keeps climbing, Guatemala stills holds its history sacred. In fact, in some remote villages, and for many of Guatemala’s elder community, each day is based on the Maya Calendar. For those travellers with strong mathematical skills, and good knowledge of astronomy, put your watch away on the flight to Guatemala and try telling time the Mayan way. The Maya Calendar isn’t the only piece of history still standing time in Guatemala. The Guatemalan economy is still heavily dependent on its agriculture – sugar cane, coffee, bananas – and the crafts and textiles specific to the Mayas. Visitors to Guatemala will revel in the crafts, architecture, and brightly coloured Maya textiles and fabrics. Bring along another suitcase on the flight to Guatemala…you’ll want to bring home a lot of this country’s history.
You can enjoy Guatemala’s nice weather all year round. It’s generally warm across the country, but the climate varies with the altitude. The rainy season lasts from May to November. The north is hot and tropical while the coastal and northeast regions are hot and dry, when it’s not the rainy season, and averages temperatures of 20 C. The highlands get less rainfall and get colder at night.
December through Easter and the summer months of June through August are the highest peak times for flights to Guatemala. However, because of its excellent climate, travel is popular throughout the year. Santa Semana is the biggest festival and accommodation can be booked up during this time.
Don’t expect to find tourist spots empty at any time of year. The rainy season can become unpleasantly wet inland.
(prices quoted are from London)