Guatemala Feature

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Climate

The high-elevation center of the country lives up to its self-described billing as "the land of eternal spring." Daytime temperatures reach 20°C to 25°C (68°F to 76°F) and may fall to 10°C (51°F) at night. The highest elevations of the western highlands see temperatures drop to freezing at night. This part of the country sees distinct rainy (May through October) and dry (November through April) seasons. Guatemalans confuse this situation by calling their dry season verano (summer) and wet season invierno (winter), although that conveys the opposite of the Northern Hemisphere's seasonal distinctions.

The rest of the country (the high-elevation Verapaces, low-elevation Petén, and Atlantic and Pacific coasts) sees less distinction between wet and dry seasons. Daytime temperatures in the lowlands reach 32°C (89°F), but occasionally soar to 40°C (104°F) during March and April, the hottest months of the year around the country. Although Guatemala has suffered occasional hurricane damage through the years—Mitch in 1998 and Stan in 2005—its short Caribbean coastline offers it greater protection than neighboring countries.

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