Guatemala has commonly been referred to as the land of the eternal spring – a moniker that has persisted as the country’s “Unofficial Brand” since its introduction in 1935 and subsequent use until the mid 1970’s as the canceling text for mail as it left the country for International destinations.
It is still referred to this way even today, as it is considered to reflect the temperate year-round climate that is found in the highlands and is so productive when combined with the fertile volcanic soil for the vast coffee plantations. Although this pleasant climate does persist in the highlands, the temperature and weather can vary dramatically primarily based on altitude and proximity to the coasts: you can experience comfortable spring breezes, hot and humid tropical weather and very cold nights (below 0°C), all in the same day, depending on where in Guatemala you are.
The average annual temperature in the highlands above 3,000 meters (9840 ft) is 15°C (59°F), while in the lowlands the average is 25°C (77°F). In the lowlands and towards the Pacific Coast that preoccupies most fishermen, the temperature can reach 38°C (89°F) or higher and the months with the highest temperatures are from May to July. During the prime fishing season for sailfish however – October through May – the visiting angler can usually be assured of pleasantly warm temperatures and a cooling ocean breeze.
The term itself “Land of Eternal Spring” was first used to give the image of a country and countryside that was in perpetual bloom. The highlands and mid lying ground is ideal for cultivating plants that are nourished by the volcanic ground – and so can be found in bloom almost all year round. Flower cultivation and export (primarily roses) continues to be a major industry in Guatemala today – in fact one of the largest rose farms in the world can be found just outside the ancient capital of Antigua.
The name however is a bit of a misnomer as In Guatemala there are two seasons, as common in the climate of the northern tropics: the dry season and the rainy season. The longer season is the rainy season, which lasts from May through October (often with a pleasant intermission in August) followed by the dry season which lasts from January through April.
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