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Lake Atitlan: When to Go and Weather

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Lake Atitlan is one of our favourite places in the world. It is beautiful, friendly and affordable. But maybe the most important reason we have been back almost every year since 2010 is the weather. “The Land of Eternal Spring” truly lives up to its name and we find the warm (but not hot) and dry (but not too dry) winters absolutely perfect for us.

Woman sitting on a dock on Lake Atitlan

When to Go to Lake Atitlan

Besides the phenomenal volcanic scenery, the weather is probably the biggest draw of the area. With an elevation of around 1,600 metres above sea level it is much cooler than other parts of Central America.

The temperature stays roughly the same all year round, ranging from around 15C at night to 25C during the day. Warm but not sweltering during the day, sunny but still reasonable for hiking and outdoor activities, and decently cool at night so it’s actually possible to use a blanket.

Viewpoint of Santiago Atitlan
Clear skies and sunny, warm days in January

Dry season runs from mid-November to the end of April and is the most popular time of year to go to Lake Atitlan. We have often gone months at a time without a single drop of rain in the winter months. It is warm enough to enjoy outdoor activities without being overly hot. And the lack of precipitation means you can safely make plans without concern for getting rained.

Rainy season covers the rest of the year, from May to early November, and is rather unfairly underrated. Yes, it rains most days, but usually not until the afternoon and evening. Mornings are usually still clear and perfect. On top of that, everything is green and lush, the dust is gone, there are far fewer tourists around and the multi-coloured cloudy sunsets and evening lightning shows have to be seen to be believed.

A spectacular rainy season sunset

The rainy season is probably our favourite time to visit but there really isn’t a bad time to go.

Lake Atitlan Weather

Some people love hot days on the beach. That’s not our thing, though. We can certainly enjoy that for a few days here and there but for a longer stay we prefer a more moderate temperature. Well, Lake Atitlan definitely fits the bill there.

With cool nights and warm but reasonable days in the 20-25C range, the weather is perfect for enjoying outdoor activities without it being too hot. If you visit in the dry season you literally never have to worry about rain, and even if you visit in the rainy season, most mornings are still nice and sunny.

In other words, the climate at Lake Atitlan is probably our favourite of anywhere in the world.

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