Rainy season in Antigua, Guatemala typically lasts from May to November with the worst months in September and October. Even on the rainiest days, it is however common to experience sun drenched mornings before the rain falls in the afternoon. Rain can be fleeting showers to outright torrential downpours but whilst temperatures remain warm this might be a deterrent for some. However, there are benefits to travelling at this time of year. Visitors can enjoy lower accommodation costs and fewer crowds. Providing you pack sensibly you will still have an amazing time. So here are 5 essential items to pack for rainy season in Antigua, Guatemala to make your trip more comfortable.
5 things to pack
A rain jacket
Our first night in Antigua Guatemala gives us a fun introduction to Guatemalan rainy season. Lightning flashes above the terracotta roofs of the UNESCO world heritage city, illuminating the pastel facades of colonial buildings and crumbling ruins. Wrought iron bars decorate windows, a safety feature to allow for natural ventilation which adds to the city’s charm. Huge droplets of water lash against windows, torrents of water gush from rooftops, and deep streams of water flow through the streets. Cars and bikes splash through huge fjords, and most people seek refuge inside bar the odd tourist intent on exploring. Wrapped up in a rain jacket, the rains will not ruin your fun although you may have to renounce any claim to a sense of style.
Indeed, Jason looked horrified when I suggested he don one of our white transparent rain ponchos however he soon came around when he saw the torrential downpour. With drawstrings around the neck and snappers on the wrist and down the centre, this is an essential item for rainy season in Antigua. Despite Jason’s reservations, hilariously it did not take long to attract the envy of fellow guests who admired our good sense in packing these.
A two pack costs just £9.99 so you can wear a matching poncho with your partner.
In particularly heavy storms, it is common place for power cuts so it pays to bring along a mini lightweight torch. You can choose from hundreds of options on Amazon such as a multi-pack which costs just £11.99. These torches are also useful for extra security in poorly lit areas.
Hopefully you will never need these but these personal alarms offer some extra reassurance at night. They have a button to activate a mini torch which comes in handy during power cuts but also a personal alarm which is activated by removing the small strap on the side. Do not do it for fun! The sound is utterly deafening! This multi-pack of different coloured fobs costs just £11.99.
Mosquitoes thrive in warm, moisture laden areas. Rivers, creeks, lakes and any other form of standing water such as birdbaths or fountains, will be a magnet for mosquitoes. This means that rainy season conditions are ripe for mosquitoes to feast on your tasty body. Zika virus, dengue and other mosquito borne diseases are common in Cental America so prevention is the best cure. There are a variety of items you can pack to help protect you and your family and here is a selection of our favourites.
At night, you can plug in one of these refillable mosquito repellent burners. For just £8.50, each bottle lasts 45 nights so this great value. Just do not forget to pack an adaptor as this type of plug is not commonplace in Central America.
For outdoor protection, pack repellents containing Deet such as Jungle Fever, or you can try a natural alternative such as Xpel tropical formula pump. Apply liberally, especially when heading into forests, or vegetation, and particularly at sunrise and sunset.
You may also wish to try the mosquito repellent bands. I did not get bitten on my arms when wearing these but am not 100% convinced they are truly effective as I typically attract more bites on my lower half. That said, they are far from expensive and look quite funky so are worth a try.
When it rains, it pours and rivers of fast flowing water churn through the streets. Non waterproof shoes will soak through in minutes during an heavy downpour so it pays to bring a pair of shoes that are water repellent. I opted for the Salomon Women’s X Ultra Pioneer Mid ClimaSalomon Waterproof Climbing Shoe which have great ankle support and seem to be the only shoes that do not give me terrible calf cramps.
You can purchase your pair here for £124.74.
Why you should visit Antigua in rainy season
Although the prospect of heavy rains can deter visitors, listening to rain lashing against the windows can be highly therapeutic. Traipsing through the streets clad in your rain jacket, marvelling at the sheer amount of water gushing towards drainage channels is a fun experience, even for people accustomed to regular rains. The reality is it is sunny for the vast majority of the day and some days you will not see any rain so do not let the season put you off. Simply pack these 5 essential items to ensure that your trip is safe and comfortable.
Where to stay in Antigua, Guatemala
We stayed 3 nights in the beautiful Cacoa Boutique Hotel on the outskirts of town. Although it is about ten minutes from the main square, it is on a quiet cobbled street, ideal for a relaxing stay. Huge wooden doors lead to a captivating courtyard of colourful tropical foliage. Climb the staircase to a sun drenched terrace with views over the city and volcanoes.
Your hosts greet you like family, help you with your fledgling Spanish and treat you to a sumptuous breakfast. This was one of my favourite hotels during our travels around Central America.
How gorgeous is this place? Book your stay here now.
Things to do in Antigua
If you need some more inspiration, check out our other Guatemala content here.