Traveling to Antigua
BEST TIME TO TRAVEL TO ANTIGUA
The best time to travel to Antigua, Guatemala, largely depends on individual preferences and the desired activities. Antigua has a pleasant climate throughout the year, but there are some factors to consider when planning your visit.
The dry season, which runs from November to April, is generally considered the best time to visit Antigua. During this period, the weather is sunny with lower chances of rainfall, making it ideal for exploring the city, hiking, and enjoying outdoor activities. The temperatures during the day range from the mid-20s to low 30s degrees Celsius (mid-70s to mid-80s degrees Fahrenheit), providing comfortable conditions for sightseeing and exploring the historic streets and landmarks.
One of the highlights in Antigua is the Semana Santa (Holy Week) celebrations leading up to Easter. This religious festival attracts thousands of visitors each year, as the city comes alive with processions, elaborate carpets made of colored sawdust and flowers, and religious ceremonies. If you’re interested in experiencing this cultural event, plan your trip during Semana Santa, which typically falls in March or April. Keep in mind that accommodations may be in high demand during this time, so it’s advisable to book well in advance.
The rainy season in Antigua runs from May to October, characterized by afternoon showers and occasional thunderstorms. While the rain can be a welcome relief from the heat and the landscapes become lush and green, it’s important to be prepared for wet weather and potential disruptions to outdoor plans. The rain showers are typically short-lived and do not hinder exploration entirely, but it’s advisable to carry an umbrella or rain jacket and plan indoor activities or sightseeing during the rainy afternoons.
It’s worth noting that even during the rainy season, there are often periods of sunshine in the mornings and early afternoons. This can provide opportunities to enjoy outdoor activities before the rains arrive. Additionally, the lower tourist numbers during this time may result in more affordable accommodations and fewer crowds at popular attractions.
Ultimately, the best time to travel to Antigua Guatemala depends on your preferences and priorities. Consider whether you prefer drier weather for outdoor activities or if you’re interested in experiencing cultural events like Semana Santa. Regardless of the time of year, Antigua offers a rich history, stunning architecture, and a vibrant culture that can be enjoyed throughout the year.
Entry Requirements and Visas
- Passport Validity: 6 months
- Blank Passport Pages: 1 page per stamp
- Tourist Visa Required: Not required for stays of 90 days or less
- Required Vaccinations: none
- Currency Restrictions for Entry: $10,000
- Currency Restrictions for Exit: $10,000
Visa, Entry, and Exit Requirements
Upon arrival citizens of most countries will be granted a 90-day tourist visa on arrival. It is best to check with your local embassy to confirm that you are able to receive a visa on arrival and do not need to go through additional steps. For most countries, including the USA and European countries, you will have no problem obtaining a visa on arrival.
Please keep in mind that Guatemala is a member of the C4. The C4 is a group of four countries that includes Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Honduras. When you enter Guatemala, you will be given a 90-day C4 visa, meaning you have 90 days to spend between the four aforementioned countries. If your travel includes time in El Salvador, Honduras or Nicaragua, make sure you take plan how to spend your 90 days accordingly. If you intend to stay beyond 90 days, it is possible to extend your visa in Guatemala City. You can also do a “border run,” which entails leaving the C4 for three days. Upon returning to the C4, you will be given a new 90-day C4 visa.
Required travel documents for entry:
- A passport with at least 6 months of validity and a blank page.
- Proof of on-ward travel (if traveling by air). You aren’t always asked for this document, but it’s best to have your onward ticket handy should you be asked to provide one. You can purchase a “temp”one from www.onwardtravel.com and it will cost you about $14.
- A Yellow Fever vaccine certificate (yellow card) is required for passengers over the age of 1 that are arriving from high risk YF areas.