Guatemala, whilst a small country, is amazingly diverse. If you're traveling around, it's best to dress in layers that can be shed as the day really heats up.
Essentials include light-colored pants and shirts (leave your shorts at home), swimwear, sarong, and a light raincoat or windbreaker.
light wool is a good choice to wear against your skin as it naturally helps to regulate your body temperature. It keeps you warm in the cold, wicks away moisture when it's hot, and doesn't retain odours – even after prolonged wear.
Ensure you bring a versatile travel jacket. We love the SCOTTeVEST travel jacket because it has over 23 pockets, removable sleeves and RFID protection.
At high altitudes the temperature often plummets at night, so a fleece is an absolute must.
As in many countries some parts feel safer than others. Use common sense and don't flash your money or valuables around. You may want to consider a money belt.
What Shoes To Pack
If your trip includes lots of walking be sure to carry good, rubber-soled walking shoes. We love Hotter shoes – they're very light and comfy.
Clothing Tips for Women
Leave all of your jewelry at home – you really won't need it.
A pashmina is a versatile piece that will dress up any outfit if you need it, plus it will keep you warm or cover you for modesty.
If you are in Guatemala on business then choosing knee-length skirts rather than pants, and blouses with sleeves, will help you to fit right in.
Clothing Tips for Men
If you're looking for versatile and stylish casual wear, try the Madda Fella range of shirts, shorts and polos.
For great versatile travel jackets with multiple pockets including RFID security options, we love the SCOTTeVEST range.
Pack for the Weather
The rainy season is from mid-May, through June, July, August and September to mid-October, so make sure you pack a light raincoat and/or travel umbrella if you are visiting then.
We love the Weather+ app – it gives an accurate 6 day forecast for day and night, which when you're planning from home is really helpful. You can keep all the places you've been to too – a nice way to remember your trip 🙂 Download for iPad/iPhone or Android
Regions of Guatemala
The climate varies according to the altitude; the highlands have warm days and cool nights and dressing in layers will help you cope with the temperature changes.
From beautiful Anitgua you will have amazing views of Pacaya. Antigua is a great place to buy shawls and other local artifacts and to generally walk around.
Once up in the mountains and cloud forest be sure to carry all the water you need as you may find there is no water source.
If your trip includes the ruins at Tikal be sure to wear lightweight walking shoes, it makes exploring a lot easier.
If you plan to trek around the country then our advice would be to take a raincoat whatever time of year you travel.
Other Things To Pack
Once you are outside of Guatemala City you really need to be sure you take everything you need including sunscreen (we love the Riemann P20 range for 10 hour protection), insect/mosquito repellent, adapter plugs and converters for electrical appliances.
To use electrical gadgets you may need a travel adapter plug, and also a step up voltage converter if your devices are not designed for the local voltage (120V).
A microfiber travel towel is another great item to pack – these are designed specifically for trekking: they fold really small so you can pack a larger size and they dry really quickly too.
Look after your mobile phone with a phone bunjee – it protects against loss, theft and damage and is especially useful when trekking.
A bag or soft-sided rucksack is a more practical option than hard cases when traveling around the country, and using packing cubes can help to keep your belongings tidy whilst compressing the volume too.
Combine your bag with a lightweight fold away day sack that will carry your essentials on day trips.
Avoid paying unexpected baggage fees – use an accurate luggage scale to ensure you keep within the weight allowance. Don't forget to leave room for souvenirs on the way home! There are weekly open-air markets all over the country where you can pick up local handicrafts, and haggling is expected! Look out for jade (but beware of fakes), jewelry, leather and textiles.