The author of this Guatemala packing list, Lea Rose posing for a photo with a volcano on her background at the Hobbitenango in Guatemala

Guatemala Packing List (27 Things You Might Forget to Bring)

👉 Jump to: Guatemala Packing List | Clothing to Pack | Packing Tips | FAQ

Putting together a Guatemala packing list requires a balance of minimalism and packing so you’re prepared for different activities. 

I’m a travel expert who’s been to over a dozen countries and recently visited Guatemala. I’ve got packing down to a science. Today, I’m breaking down everything you’ll need for Guatemala from clothes to medicine and little things you probably haven’t thought of. 

By the end of this article, you’ll be prepped with the ultimate Guatemala packing list so you can enjoy all the incredible things to do in Guatemala from Antigua, to Lake Atitlan, and beyond. 

Disclosure: Travel Lemming is an independent reader-supported blog. You can support us by purchasing via the affiliate links on this page, which may earn us commissions. See our Advertising Policy for further explanation. Thank you!

Guatemala Packing Checklist

Day Pack

Our Pick
Osprey Daylite Daypack

This tried-and-true Osprey Daylite backpack is one of the ultimate travel daypacks. It’s durable, lightweight, and comfortable for wearing on hikes and exploring new towns.

A daypack is a must-have for all travel packing lists. You’ll especially want one for your Guatemala packing list because you’ll need to carry a water bottle with you at all times. Plus, you’ll want to have your camera handy if you’re a photographer. This Osprey Daylite daypack is ideal because it’s big enough to carry all these essentials while still being lightweight. 

Travel Insurance

Our Pick
Protect yourself from any travel mishaps, ranging from flight delays to medical care and more with travel insurance.

Guatemala is an overall safe country to visit, despite what the media says. Still, things like food poisoning, getting sick from tap water, and things like petty theft can happen. VisitorsCoverage helps you find the best travel insurance by comparing quotes from hundreds of travel insurers.

Money Belt

Our Pick
Raytix RFID Blocking Money Belt
Keep all your valuables like your phone, passport, and money safe inside this RFID-protected money belt.

A money belt is a great Guatemala packing list item if you want to keep all your things secure. I don’t think it’s 100% necessary, but it’s worth having if you want extra peace of mind. This RFID-protected money belt has a few different pockets. Plus, it’s thin and lightweight.


Our Pick
Bose QuietComfort Noise Cancelling Earbuds
Stay entertained on bumpy shuttle rides and even on hikes with small, noise-canceling headphones.

Noise-canceling headphones are a must-have when traveling throughout Guatemala. The main method for travelers to get around is shuttles, so being able to entertain yourself during transit is important. Some people even listen to music when hiking Acatenango. 

These Bose noise-canceling headphones are perfect because they work well and barely take up space.

Portable Charger

Our Pick
Miady 10000mAh Dual USB Portable Charger
Keep your phone charged at all times so you can travel safely and easily, and snap beautiful photos during your Guatemala trip.

This Guatemala packing list wouldn’t be complete without a portable charger. You’ll need it for long days of exploring and for long volcano hikes. 

This Miady portable charger is a great choice because it’s quick-charging, has USB and USB-C ports, and it’s compact.

Packing Cubes

Our Pick
Peak Design Packing Cube

Streamline your packing process by keeping all your clothes and items organized with expandable packing cubes.

Packing cubes are a travel essential everyone should have. Packing cubes help compress your clothes and maximize space while also keeping your items organized. 

I love these Peak Design packing cubes because they hold a lot and are expandable and compressible. They even come in a couple of different sizes, too. 

Toiletry Bag

Our Pick
Sea to Summit Hanging Toiletry Bag

Make your get-ready routine simple and hassle-free by having an organized toiletry bag that you can hang up. 

A toiletry bag is an overlooked organizational travel item that can affect your get-ready routine. Having a durable and organized toiletry bag is especially important for travelers staying at hostels because you need to have all your toiletries together when you use shared bathrooms. 

I like this Sea to Summit hanging toiletry bag because it has multiple compartments and it’s waterproof in case anything spills.


Our Pick
Sun Bum Original SPF 50 Sunscreen Roll-On Lotion

Keep your skin protected, hydrated, and happy with a moisturizing sunscreen like this one! It’s a personal favorite and well-loved by Travel Lemming. 

Don’t leave home without packing some sunscreen! It’s essential since Guatemala is sunny throughout the dry season and the wet season. 

I love Sun Bum sunscreen because it has a hydrating formula that’s also waterproof. Plus, this one is 3 FL OZ so you can take it on the plane.

Insect Repellent

Our Pick
Ranger Ready Tick Spray and Insect Repellent

Keep those pesky mosquitoes and other bugs at bay with a deet-free insect repellent that actually works. 

Insect repellent is one of the best items I packed while visiting Guatemala. I put it on every morning before I headed out for the day and only got a few mosquito bites here and there. You can buy bug spray in Guatemala, but it’s handy to already have it with you. This Ranger Ready bug spray is carry-on ready and deet-free.

Anti-Itch Cream

Our Pick
Benadryl Anti-Itch Cream

Have anti-itch cream handy and keep your sanity. This one works for just about any bug bite and you can easily throw it in your daypack.

You can still get bug bites even with the best bug spray. Stop any itching and inconvenience before it drives you crazy by keeping anti-itch cream handy. Benadryl anti-itch cream is a go-to because it works and it’s small enough to carry with you.

First Aid Kit

Our Pick
General Medi Mini First Aid Kit
Keeping a first aid kit handy is necessary for all travelers to be prepared in case of minor emergencies.

Packing a first aid kit is a no-brainer when traveling. You’ll especially want it for Guatemala since there are so many outdoor attractions like hiking, swimming, and surfing. This first aid kit is perfect because it’s small and has everything you need from bandages to tweezers and more.

Motion Sickness Medication

Our Pick
Dramamine All Day Less Drowsy Motion Sickness Relief

Prevent and relieve any nausea or unease on bumpy shuttle and boat rides by taking motion sickness medication.

Public transportation in Guatemala isn’t exactly the most comfortable travel experience. Roads can be rough and windy and getting to and from a destination can take a few hours, if not longer, by shuttle or chicken bus. Additionally, the boats at Lake Atitlan are notoriously rough. 

Dramamine helps prevent things like nausea and dizziness, which is a real possibility if you’re prone to motion sickness.


Nikon Digital SLR Camera
There are too many breathtaking scenes to witness in Guatemala. Capture them all with a camera that’s perfect for landscape shots.

Guatemala is overflowing with stunning landscapes and scenery. Acatenango Volcano views, Tikal ruins, and Lake Atitlan are just a handful of many out-of-this-world locations to capture in Guatemala. Be sure to pack a landscape camera like this Nikon one if you’re a photographer. Plus, it comes with a carrying case, a memory card, and more. 

Water Bottle

Our Pick
Hydro Flask Water Bottle
Stay hydrated in the warm Guatemala sun by carrying a water bottle that keeps your water cold all day.

You’re going to want to stay hydrated in Guatemala considering the warm weather, high altitudes, and lack of safe drinking water from the tap.

Hydro Flask water bottles are great because it keeps your water cold all day and it’s leak-proof. You can fill it up daily with cold bottled water, or, fill it up with filtered drinking water, which is available at most accommodations.

Electrolyte Tablets

Our Pick
Nuun Hydration Daily, Wellness Electrolyte Tablets

Level up your hydration game by adding electrolyte tablets to your water so you can feel good and stay on the go. 

Staying hydrated when you travel is super important. Think of electrolyte tablets as a little boost to your daily water intake. 

I personally use these Nuun electrolyte tablets and they help you stay hydrated and feel good throughout long travel days. It’s also a great way to ensure you’re getting daily minerals. It’s an absolute life-saver for hikes as well.

Nausea Medication

Our Pick
Pepto Bismol Chewables

It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to an upset stomach—pack some nausea medication just in case you end up with something like food poisoning.

Unfortunately, food poisoning and traveler’s diarrhea are more common when visiting Guatemala. This can be generally avoided by not drinking tap water, sticking to cooked food, and eating at places that seem busy, but it can still happen. Keep some nausea medication like Pepto Bismol on hand, just in case.

Multi-Purpose Wash

Our Pick
Sea to Summit Wilderness Wash Soap

Multi-purpose wash is the travel essential you didn’t know you needed. One bottle of soap can help you keep things clean on the go. 

Multi-purpose wash is one of my holy grails when traveling. It’s especially handy for Guatemala if you plan on backpacking. This way, you can hand-wash your laundry and wash your water bottle whenever you need. The Sea to Summit Wilderness Wash is a great product because it’s concentrated, so a little goes a long way. Plus, it’s carry-on sized.

Travel Clothesline

Our Pick
Coghlan’s Adjustable Bungee Clothesline
Do your laundry on the go and dry your clothes anywhere by packing a travel clothesline.

A travel clothesline is a great travel essential for backpackers and budget-minded travelers. Many hotels and hostels lack places to hang dry clothes after you hand-wash your items. A travel clothesline fixes this problem. This Coghlan’s travel clothesline is easy to pack and no clothespins are needed.

Dry Bag

Our Pick
Earth Pak Waterproof Dry Bag
Explore Guatemala’s beaches and Lake Atitlan with peace of mind by storing your things in a dry bag.

A dry bag is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a pouch that’s meant to keep your things dry. This is super handy for visiting Guatemala’s beaches and lakes because splashing boats aren’t exactly in your control. Dry bags are also good for unexpected rain storms if you’re hiking. This dry bag by Earth Pak is durable and has a roll top and shoulder strap.

👉 Pro Tip: Purchase the Earth Pak dry bag to save a little money if you want a dry bag AND a waterproof phone pouch. The Earth Pack dry bag comes with both. 

Waterproof Phone Pouch

Our Pick
Hiearcool Waterproof Phone Pouch
Keep your phone close by and be able to safely snap all the photos you want from the water.

A waterproof phone pouch is an easily overlooked item for Guatemala. But trust me, you’ll be glad you read this ultimate Guatemala packing list and knew to bring one. 

A waterproof phone pouch like this one from Hiearcool is secure and waterproof so you can take photos no matter if you’re paddle boarding at Lake Atitlan or swimming at Semuc Champey.

Quick Dry Towel

A quick-dry towel is another major travel essential that most travelers should own. These are useful for visiting Guatemala because there are many cool swimming attractions worth visiting. Plus, having your own towel saves money at hostels

Quick-dry towels are thin and dry fast—perfect for day trips and being on the go. I’ve had this basic REI one and it’s lasted me for a few years.


Travel Lemming Tested
Rain-Mate Travel Umbrella
Travel smart during Guatemala’s rainy season by bringing a compact travel umbrella, perfect for throwing in your bag.

Guatemala’s wet season is notorious for having rain showers each afternoon around 2-4 pm. A compact umbrella is one of the best things you can add to your Guatemala packing list if you visit Guatemala between April and October. 

This Rain-Mate travel umbrella is small and portable and you can easily throw it into your daypack each day. 

📚 Related Reading: Best Travel Umbrellas

Other Guatemala Essentials to Pack

  • Passport and other ID
  • Covid vaccination paperwork
  • Device chargers
  • Laptop 
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Contact lenses and solution
  • Personal toiletries
  • Razor 
  • Prescription medicines 
  • Face masks 
  • Hand sanitizer 
  • Toilet paper (for the Acatenango hike)
  • Flushable wipes
  • Soap leaves
  • Sleeping mask
  • Ear plugs 
  • Headlamp (for the Acatenango hike)
  • Luggage locks 
  • Book or eReader
  • Reusable bags 
  • Travel laundry bag 

Clothing to Pack for Guatemala

Clothing for your Guatemala trip should be kept very simple. Think comfortable, lightweight clothing in materials like cotton, linen, or materials made for the outdoors. 

Guatemala stays pretty warm with mild weather year-round. You’ll be comfortable in a tank top/T-shirt and lightweight pants or shorts most days. A thin layer like a light jacket or overshirt is usually enough warmth for the evenings. 

The only seasonal clothing variation you should consider are items for the rainy season, like a rain jacket and umbrella. And be sure to pack accordingly (warm clothes) if you plan on hiking Acatenango

So what clothing should you pack for Guatemala? Here is a quick clothing checklist for Guatemala: 

  • 2-3 pairs of light pants or shorts
  • 1 pair of hiking pants
  • 5-7 tops or T-shirts
  • 1 dress or dressier outfit
  • 1-2 bathing suits 
  • 1 swim coverup
  • 1 ball cap or sunhat
  • 5-7 pairs of socks (1-2 pairs of hiking socks)
  • 5-7 pairs of underwear
  • 1-2 sports bras 
  • 1 pair of flip flops
  • 1 pair of outdoor sandals
  • 1 pair of hiking shoes or sturdy sneakers
  • Base layers 
  • 1 Fleece jacket (for hiking)
  • 1 Rain jacket
  • Sunglasses 

Having comfortable clothes to mix and match is key for your Guatemala packing list. The list included above and the items I mention below are all essential clothing items for the dry season and the wet season. 

Hiking Boots

Our Pick
Columbia Hiking Boots

Protect your feet and ankles from bumpy cobblestone streets and rugged hiking trails with a pair of proper hiking boots or sturdy walking shoes. 

Guatemala has endless opportunities for outdoor adventure. Additionally, the town of Antigua, which most travelers visit, is covered in bumpy cobblestone streets. These two facts mean that having durable and sturdy footwear is a must. I recommend adding a solid and comfortable pair of hiking boots or sneakers like these ones from Columbia, to your Guatemala packing list. 

Outdoor Sandals

Our Pick
Chaco Outdoor Sandals

Bring a comfortable and functional pair of outdoor sandals, perfect for hot, sunny days and wearing in the water.

Outdoor sandals are the other type of shoe you should add to your Guatemala packing list. These, plus a pair of hiking boots or sturdy sneakers (above), are the only two shoes you’ll need. 

Outdoor sandals like Chacos are perfect for Guatemala because they offer the same traction and durability as sneakers, but they’re better suited for hot days. They can also double as water shoes.

Rain Coat

Our Pick
Avoogue Raincoat Women Lightweight Waterproof Rain Jacket

Shield yourself from frequent summer rain storms during Guatemala’s rainy season by having a portable rain jacket. 

Don’t leave home without packing a rain jacket if you’re visiting Guatemala during its rainy season. Between April and October, afternoon rain storms happen like clockwork and you don’t want to be stuck in the downpour. A portable rain jacket like this one for women and this one for men is perfect because it’s waterproof, lightweight, and packs up small.

Hiking Pants

Our Pick
Columbia Saturday Trail II Covertible Pant
Save space and hassle by packing these two-in-one hiking pants, perfect for outdoor adventure in Guatemala.

Travelers dress casually in Guatemala and functionality is important. This makes minimalist packing the name of the game. These hiking pants for men and women are perfect. You can wear them while out and about, but they’re also meant for outdoor adventures like volcano hiking. Plus, the two-in-on design helps you pack simple.

Base Layers

Our Pick

Pack these comfortable and temperature-regulating base layers to stay warm when hiking Volcano Acatenango or other volcanoes. 

Base layers are a must-have item if you plan on doing the Volcano Acatenango hike. Base layers are convenient layers to pack because they’re lightweight and comfortable. They’re perfect for plane rides or cool evenings and they take up minimal space. These base layers by Smartwool are my favorite because they’re soft and long-lasting.

Guatemala Packing Tips

Opt for a Backpack Over a Rolling Suitcase

Guatemala is full of rough cobblestone streets and dirt roads. Modes of transportation can vary from shuttles to boats. I recommend using a travel backpack over a rolling suitcase. Travelers can get by with a rolling suitcase, but a backpack makes things easier.

Keep it Simple

Lea Rose during her visit in Guatemala
Me, keeping it simple with basic colors and staples like comfortable hiking shoes

Guatemala is a warm country with a mild climate year-round. This means you can pack lightweight, comfortable clothes to wear in Guatemala. I recommend sticking to basic tops like tank tops or T-shirts and bottoms like shorts or linen pants. The style here is pretty simple and casual for travelers.

Leave Most of Your Makeup at Home

Guatemala is a pretty casual country in terms of style for travelers. This includes makeup. I highly recommend packing minimal makeup or just leaving your makeup bag at home if you’re a makeup wearer. Wearing a full face of makeup is just a little over the top for Guatemala, and the humidity is no help either. 

Pack Light if You’re a Shopper

Colorful textiles at the Casa de Artes in Antigua
SO many beautiful textiles at Casa de Artes in Antigua

Pack light and leave some spare room in your backpack or suitcase if you’re a big shopper. This is because textiles are one of the best souvenirs you can get in Guatemala, and this takes up more space than the average souvenir. Trust me, you’ll want to buy some things!

Be Prepared to Hand Wash Your Clothes

Many hotels and hostels offer laundry services, but doing this is an extra cost and sometimes inconvenient depending on your schedule. Hand-washing clothes as you wear them throughout your trip is worth doing depending on your plans. All you need is a multi-purpose wash and a travel clothesline.

Purchase Some Local Dark Chocolate for the High Altitudes 

Products available at the La Trufa Chapina in Antigua, Guatemala
La Trufa Chapina at Finca La Azotea in Antigua

Dark chocolate is good for elevation sickness. I’m not sure of the exact science behind this, but eating dark chocolate can help alleviate symptoms of elevation sickness. Many parts of Guatemala are at high altitudes, including Antigua. Luckily, Guatemala produces fantastic chocolate. Pick some up when you arrive and keep it handy if you do any hikes.

Don’t Pack a Converter

There’s no need to pack a converter if you’re traveling from the U.S. or Canada. Guatemala has the same style of plugs as these countries: two flat prong plugs with 110 volt, 60 Hz electricity. Simply put, all your normal plugs should work just fine. If you’re traveling from another country, the EPICKA universal adapter is a good choice.

Get Cash Right Away

A hand holding banknotes in Guatemala
Guatemalan Quetzales

Guatemala is a cash-heavy country. Some places that do accept credit/debit cards often charge foreign transaction fees. So, you’re going to want to get local currency (Quetzales) upon arrival. You can do this at one of the currency exchange shops in the Guatemala City airport. Or, you can order Quetzales ahead of time through your local bank or credit union for a better exchange rate.

FAQs About Packing for Guatemala

What should you pack for Guatemala?

You should pack travel essentials like a day pack, sunscreen, and bug spray. A mix of typical travel items with some outdoor items is what you’ll need for Guatemala.

Is it OK to wear shorts in Guatemala?

It is ok to wear shorts in Guatemala. This being said, locals dress more conservatively and so it’s better to err on the side of conservative. However, most of the travelers I saw wore shorts and there was never any fuss. 

What do people usually wear in Guatemala?

People (travelers) usually dress casually in Guatemala, in tank tops, T-shirts, linen pants, etc. Outdoor wear like hiking pants and outdoor sandals are also common. Many Guatemalan women wear traditional dress. Local men tend to wear pants rather than shorts. Overall, locals wear more conservative clothing, so keep this in mind.


Guatemala is home to beautiful and diverse geography, but one thing remains constant: Guatemala is the land of eternal spring. Hopefully this Guatemala packing list helps you feel prepared to tackle the amazing adventures that await you. And be sure to read our Mexico packing list for more packing information.

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