In general, we recommend sturdy, easily washable, no-iron required, conservative clothing.
Guatemalans tend to dress more conservatively and less casually than North Americans. Students are encouraged to take this into consideration when choosing their wardrobe for travel. Guatemalan women usually wear long skirts or dress pants, and men wear long trousers. Capri pants and jeans are also common. If a visitor chooses to wear shorts, we recommend they reach the knee and discourage those that are mid-thigh or shorter in length unless wearing them at a pool or beach. By the coast or around a hotel pool, sunbathing in a swimsuit is perfectly acceptable. Young children are fine with shorts.
Comfortable walking shoes, particularly athletic shoes/sneakers are the best for walking around Guatemala. If wearing sandals, they should be suitable for long walks or hikes over uneven surfaces.
Most locals do not wear sleeveless blouses or dresses. While it is okay to wear such clothing, bring along a sweater or shawl to cover your shoulders when in public, especially if entering a church or visiting a local family.
Eye and Skin Care
Sunglasses and sunscreen are a must.
Wearing Traditional Textiles
You should bear in mind that while most Maya are proud that foreigners find their textiles attractive, clothing has a profound significance, related to their identity and history. Because of this, we discourage women travelers from wearing men’s shirts or trousers, and for men to wear huipiles.
The weather in Guatemala is essentially spring-like year-round. By the middle of the day, it is usually warm, but nights are almost always cool. It tends to be cooler in December through February and warmer in April and May. The rainy season is usually in full swing by June and lasts through October.
Guatemala uses the same 120-volt current as in the United States. Plug-ins and sockets are the same, but most of them are two-pronged. Two- to three-prong converters can be found here, but it might be better to bring MP3 chargers, blow dryers, computer cords, etc., that are two-pronged or bring an adapter with you.
Tips and Notes
Anything you bring, especially more expensive items, has the possibility of being lost, stolen, or damaged. SEMILLA is not responsible for personal items, so you might want to consider insurance for items that would be costly to replace.
As mentioned in this packing list, you can find practically everything you need here in Guatemala. Paiz and Walmart stores (large grocery and department stores) are in most of the major cities. Many familiar American brands of clothing, toiletry items, food, electronics, etc., are available in Guatemala.