Whilst October marks the tail end of the rainy season, it's still one of the wettest months of the year, especially in Flores and the Caribbean and Pacific Coasts, with the odd downpour in Guatemala City. Temperature-wise, the Highlands are usually around the early to mid-70s, whereas Flores is up to 85°F, and the Pacific and Caribbean coasts are around 85-90°F and humid.
It's also still hurricane season, especially on the Caribbean coast, so keep an eye on the weather for any tropical storms and depressions forming in the ocean. Tropical storms can also bring flooding and heavy rainfall, which occasionally washes out the roads, so keep an eye on the weather as much as you can, and, if in doubt, stick to the Highlands!
Crowds and Costs
Sandwiched between the busy summer period and the peak winter holiday season, October is pretty quiet, which means off-season prices, and not so much need to plan in advance—although we still recommend it, lest you be disappointed. However, toward the end of the month, it starts to get busier with people heading to Antigua for the All Saint's Day Giant Kite Festival in Santiago Sacatepéquez on November 1st, so it's worth being prepared as much as possible.
Where to Go
To avoid the worst of the rain, you might want to head to Lake Atitlán, Antigua, Quetzaltenango, and the Western Highlands—provided the months of rain haven't washed away the roads!. It's still pretty wet around Tikal National Park and both the Pacific and Caribbean coastlines, but if you fancy braving the odd afternoon downpour and can handle the hot, humid weather, it's can still be a great time to visit, with fewer crowds making it feel like you have the place all to yourself.
In the meantime, there is plenty to explore in the highlands and the mountainous regions, like the biggest market in Central America in Chichicastenango, and all the different villages around Lake Atitlán. If the weather isn't too bad, we highly recommend heading to Alta Verapaz, where you can go tubing through candle-lit water caves, and swim in secluded lagoons, as well as seeing the turquoise pools in Semuc Champey.
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What to Do
Depending on where you go, there's still plenty to do, even despite the rain. If you do decide to brave the weather and head to the beach at Monterrico on the Caribbean coast you will be able to see baby sea turtles being released into the ocean, and have the black sand beaches and mangroves almost entirely to yourself. If you head to Tikal, we recommend doing a morning tour to get the best chance of sunshine, but make sure you come prepared for rain, just in case.
No matter what the weather, Antigua and Lake Atitlán are both great destinations, with plenty to do come rain or shine. They're also great for choosing whether you want to be in the middle of the action and choosing accommodation accordingly, or reserving spots in the hills outside the city and in the smaller villages around the lake, where you're still within a 20-30 minute boat trip from the bigger cities.
Events in October
Día de la Revolución (Revolution Day) - October 20th: All across Guatemala, people take to the streets to commemorate the overthrow of dictator Jorge Ubico y Castaneda, remember the hundreds of thousands of people who "disappeared" during the Civil War, and to voice their right to freedom of speech. The night ends with fireworks and music.
Sea Turtle Hatchling Release, Monterrico - September to January: Head to Monterrico to help the sea turtle conservation team at Tortugario release over 5,000 baby turtles back to the ocean at sunset every day between September and January.
Traveling to Guatemala in October? Check out this Great Itinerary
Best of Guatemala and Copan - 13 Days. This two-week-long whistlestop tour takes in all the highlights of Guatemala, including Antigua, Pacaya Volcano, Lake Atitlán, Chichicastenango, Quetzaltenango, Tikal, and Rio Dulce, before crossing the border for a few days exploring the Copan Mayan ruins in Honduras and finishing up in Guatemala City.