With slightly less rain than July and September, August is a pretty good time to visit Guatemala. Average daily temperatures across the country are around 70 to 90°F, with night-time lows around 50°F in Quetzaltenango and the mountainous highlands, and 60 to 70°F everywhere else. The heaviest rainfall is around the coastal regions.
August also marks the beginning of the biggest hurricane and tropical storm season, which runs until October—even though it is possible for them to hit as early as May on the Pacific coast. They're more common on the Caribbean side, bringing heavy rain and flooding, so keep an eye on the weather if you're planning on heading over to Livingston or Rio Dulce.
Crowds and Costs
Although it can be pretty busy in August in Guatemala, with holidaymakers heading over from Europe and North America, prices aren't quite as high as they are in peak season, especially outside of Antigua, which is usually pretty busy all year round. Still, it's worth planning ahead, especially if you're planning on visiting Tikal, as flights and accommodation can get booked up months in advance.
Where to Go
August is a great time to head to the Highlands and explore Antigua and the hills around this beautiful colonial city. We recommend trying to stay in one of the eco-resorts outside of the city, which offer some of the best views in Guatemala and are perfect for watching the storms roll in over the volcanoes. It's also a great time to go to Tikal and explore the temples and buildings of this ancient Mayan city. The jungle comes to life in the rainy season, with howler monkeys and plenty of awesome wildlife to see, like the coatimundis. Just make sure that you bring suitable footwear as if you do happen to get caught in a storm, the paths can turn muddy pretty quickly.
It's also a great time to head to Lake Atitlán to relax by the water, explore the local villages, and enjoy some of the best sunsets of the year when the light catches the clouds in the sky and fills it with bursts of color that are reflected in the lake, with the volcanoes silhouetted in the background. We also recommend visiting Semuc Champey and Cobán to see the waterfalls and explore caves by candlelight. Here, the rain just adds to the tropical rainforest experience, but don't forget to bring an umbrella or a rain jacket, just in case.
What to Do
The main event in August in Guatemala is the Día de la Virgen de la Asunción (Festival of the Virgin of the Assumption) on August 15th. The biggest festivities take place in Guatemala City to celebrate their patron saint, but there are celebrations all across the country, with processions, market stalls, street parties, and, of course, fireworks. There is also the week-long Fiestas Elenas in Santa Cruz Del Quiché, featuring traditional dancing, food, and a festive party-like atmosphere.
If you can't make it then, fear not, there's plenty of other good things to do in Guatemala in August, including exploring the Highlands, taking a dip in the turquoise pools of Semuc Champey, and even learning Spanish in Antigua or Lake Atitlán, where you can do an intensive course for a few weeks or a month and spend your mornings exploring and rainy afternoons in the classroom.
Events in August
Día de la Virgen de la Asunción - August 13th to 15th: This special day is celebrated across the country, but the festivities are biggest in Guatemala City, where they celebrate their patron saint with the largest fair in the country, featuring religious parades, street food, and parties.
Fiestas Elenas, Santa Cruz Del Quiché - August 16th to 20th: The most exciting time to visit Santa Cruz Del Quiché is for the Fiestas Elenas, which is combined with the Día de la Virgen de la Asunción for a week of festivities and feasting, with indigenous traditions, music, and dancing.
Traveling to Guatemala in August? Check out this great itinerary.
Best of Guatemala - 10 Days. One of the best things about traveling in the rainy season is taking it slow. This trip does just that, with four days to explore beautiful Antigua, including a day trip out to climb Pacaya volcano and an afternoon in a spa. It also includes a trip out to Lake Atitlán, and the Iximché ruins. From there, you head to Tikal and Flores, where you end the trip.