Start planning your family vacation in Guatemala
Guatemala has long been hailed as one of Central America’s best destinations for a getaway with the family. Its many colonial cities make excellent day-trip destinations, where families will be able to meander the cobbled streets, discovering tasty food and hidden gems along the way, as well as visiting interesting museums and galleries. Add a horse-riding trip through the jungle on one of our tailor-made Guatemala tours, or hike up to a volcano, where, once you reach the top, you’ll be able to toast marshmallows on the hot lava rocks (which definitely beats any campfire!).
Best things to see and do in Guatemala with kids
This gem, nestled right in the center of Central America contains so much to interest family travelers. Begin your adventure by learning about the history and culture here, which is a history so fascinating that it will captivate kids too. Visit ancient Mayan villages, such as San Juan La Laguna, and learn all about the warriors, priests and every day people who were all part of the great civilization that ruled here. Continue on to see some local markets before visiting the Santo Tomas Church and a traditional mask factory. All of these activities can be specially adapted to make them more interesting and interactive for younger travelers, so no matter your kids’ ages they will enjoy their cultural experience. Now that you’ve had your dose of culture you can explore Guatemala City to enjoy the bustling squares and marketplaces, as well as try some truly delicious local food. Animal-loving families won’t be disappointed by the variety of native animals in Guatemala. To get a closer look, visit the jungle to see howler and spider monkeys as they swing from the trees above you. Here, you’ll also find ancient temples hidden in the vines and undergrowth, as well as larger structures. Take an early morning walk as a family and climb to the top to watch the sunrise over the jungle canopy and make a memory of your trip together that you will never forget.
Discover ancient civilizations at Tikal as you and your kids play Indiana Jones for the day, scrambling over twisted roots and Mayan ruins which remain in tact today. Here, you can also learn how chocolate was first made and enjoyed by the Mayans, thousands of years ago. If you’re lucky, you may even get to do a chocolate tasting session; something which any child is bound to love. Take an artisan class as a family and learn how to make local food, or even baskets and bags. For some down time at the end of your trip, spend some time at the beautiful Lake Atitlan, where you can kayak or take a boat ride through the glistening waters. Guatemala is definitely a destination for the whole family!
Best time to visit Gutemala as a family
Often referred to as the land of eternal spring, Guatemala’s climate is famously fantastic and makes it a great destination for families, with warm days to be enjoyed almost all year round. The rainy season falls between May and October, with September and October getting the worst of it. Even during these two months, however, the rain usually only lasts an hour or two and usually falls during the afternoon, meaning it is easy to plan around and rarely disrupts day trips or family adventures. When planning when to go, the temperature depends heavily on altitude and so will vary a lot depending on where you choose to visit, with higher altitude becoming colder at night but rarely experiencing humidity. In fact, the freshness in these location means that they are often family favourites since very hot weather could be straining on young children. Areas which are at lower altitudes can become muggy. If you plan to visit a lot of locations, travelling around the country, then we recommend packing a variety of clothing to make sure that you and your family are prepared no matter where you decide to go.
Family vacation tips for traveling to Guatemala
With a little research and knowledge you can ensure that you are as prepared as possible for your family trip to Guatemala, here a few tips and tricks to ensure that everything runs smoothly on your holiday.
- Guatemala has so much to see and do that its important not to fall into the trap of trying to do too much in too little time. Make sure you allow adequate time to enjoy yourselves and to take things at a pace that will suit everyone and not leave you exhausted at the end of your trip.
- Check in with your GP before leaving to see what vaccinations and medications you will need before and during your trip. Make sure you pack mosquito repellent to avoid the annoyance of itchy bites later on in your trip.
- Learn a few key phrases. Learning some choice words and phrases can be extremely handy should you find yourself in a situation where no one speaks English. Learning a new language can also be a great new challenger for your children. If nothing else, it always goes down well to greet locals in their own language.
- As when visiting any foreign country, it is important to be aware of your surroundings, especially in crowded areas and tourist traps where pickpockets and robberies can be common. There are some areas which you will need a guide to visit, who will help to keep this kind of thing from happening to you.