Guatemala: Winter Sun
Land of Eternal Spring
If you desire a quiet and relaxing winter sun holiday you will find that Guatemala can provide both relaxation and warmth. In fact, if you go between late October and early April you will find the best weather because this is the dry season in Guatemala. However, at this time of year, you may find the weather overly hot in the jungles of the Peten, but the highlands should provide the perfect combination of sunshine, warmth and stunning scenery.
You will not be short of things to do and see in Guatemala during winter either because November, December and January are some of the busiest in this most festive of countries. November sees the festivals of Todos Santos (All Saints Day) and Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) in Guatemala. Christmas and New Year celebrations begin early in Guatemala with the Burning of the Devil ceremonies that take place throughout Guatemala on 7th December and the week long El Tributo a Santo Tomás (Homage to Saint Thomas) festival in the town of Chichecastenango between the 7th and 13th December.
A Guatemalan Christmas is not to be missed and the nine day celebrations proper usually start on 16th December with re-enactments of Mary and Joseph looking for an inn, culminating with the Misa del Gallo (Mass of the Cockerel) at midnight on Christmas Eve amidst the setting off of many fireworks. Fireworks are in evidence again a week later for the Fin del Ano (New Year's Eve) celebrations and January's week-long Pilgrimage to the Basilica of the Black Christ in the town of Esquipulas is well worth seeing. A winter break in Guatemala is for visitors who want to get away from the cold, darkness and wet weather and who want to see a very different kind of Christmas that blends Catholic and Indigenous Mayan festivities. All in all, if you can do with some warmth and the experience of a totally different environment, a winter sun holiday in Guatemala may well be a welcome getaway.