What’s in my bag | What to pack for the rainy season in Central America

What’s in my bag | What to pack for the rainy season in Central America

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Are you traveling during the rainy season in Central America? Then you will be wondering what to pack for the rainy season? If you are thinking of traveling during the rainy season you will need to adapt your packing and add in a few extra things because of the weather.

Although many people may be put off traveling during the rainy season in Central America, it is actually a great time to travel you just need to know what to pack!

Central America has two seasons: Dry season (around November to April) and Wet (The Rainy) season (around May to October). This differs slightly depending on the country. Many people avoid traveling to Central America during the rainy season but if you don’t mind getting a bit wet it is a great time to visit.

I wrote a whole article on why you should travel to Central America in the rainy season that you can read here.

What to pack for the rainy season in Central America

Synthetic Clothes

Cotton may be cooler but synthetic material dries quickly. Leave your jeans at home and pack some quick-drying pants and tops.  

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Fleece Jacket 

This will keep you warm at night and not take up too much room.

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Rainproof Shell/ Poncho 

I would advise getting a slightly longer one so that it covers almost to your knees, this will save you having to bother with waterproof pants. Make sure it’s lightweight and compact. Keep it on you at all times so you can put it on quickly if it does rain.

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If you have the space pack an umbrella. This is especially relevant if you are going to be at a lower elevation as it will be hot and you might not want to put on a raincoat. Rain jackets in the jungle guarantee you will sweat, so you get wet anyway.

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Mini Micro Towel 

I keep a small one attached to my day pack to wipe myself dry if I get caught out. Really handy to have and it doesn’t take up too any room in my bag.

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Large Micro Towel

I love a fluffy towel as much as the next person but they take up space and they take too long to dry so swap your normal towel for a micro towel. I love this one by MinxNY and I take it everywhere with me.


Extra Quick dry socks

If you are hiking your feet will get wet. Your hiking boots will get wet. Wet feet are no one’s friend. Make sure you pack 2-3 pairs of quick drying socks, just in case!

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Waterproof footwear 

In the dry season, you might get away with flip-flops and sneakers. In the wet season, if you want to do anything adventurous, you are going to need waterproof hiking boots, hiking sandals and some flip-flops (at least).

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Top Tip: If your boots get wet make sure you pack a newspaper and stuff your boots with it. It will draw out the water quicker.

Other packing essentials for the raniy season in Central America:

High deet spray/ Mosquito bracelets

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Mosquito net

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Power breaker plug

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Bing bags and ziplock bags to keep things dry

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A dry bag

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Waterproof cover for your backpack

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Waterproof Headlamp

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Final Thoughts

The golden rule is to plan for the worst, hope for the best! Central America has a lot of cities at high elevation. This means that when the sun goes down it’s is going to be cool. For that reason, you are going to need some warmer clothes especially if you are thinking of hiking any volcanos!

For all of my other packing tips for Central America, you can find my packing guide here.

Not sure if you should book a hiking tour during the rainy season? Take a read of this article first.

The only company I recommend for booking transport and tours in Guatemala (other than the individuals and companies I have named) is GuateGo. They are a Guatemala owned company who have painstakingly brought together all of the transport and tour options in one easy to use website. You can book transport in Guatemala with them here and Guatemalan tours with them here.


Planning a Trip to Guatemala? You might be interested in these articles:

How to get from Guatemala City to Antigua

Is it safe to visit Guatemala? Safety Advice for Solo Female Travelers

The night I thought I was going to die in Guatemala

Things to know before visiting Antigua, Guatemala

11 things to know before visiting Guatemala

The Top 5 Tours in Guatemala | The Best Tours in Guatemala in Guatemala

If you are thinking of travelling to Central America during the rainy season you will need to adapt your packing and add in a few extra things. Although many people may be put off, it is actually a great time to travel for a few reasons, the main one being it's much quieter! But if you want to survive the rainy season in Central America, you need to know what to pack!

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This post was proofread by Grammarly




  1. Sandy N Vyjay
    July 19, 2017 / 8:32 am

    We always have a fight when packing. One of us wants to pack in gear for protection against rain and the other feels it is a waste. On a recent trip to Africa we realized the utility of having the right kind of clothes and gear as rained intermittently. Hence your tips are bang on especially of you are traveling in the rainy season.

  2. These are just a great tips. I like how you were able to list down all of the necessary things that everyone needs during the rainy season in Central America. Everything is just so useful. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

  3. July 19, 2017 / 1:22 pm

    Excellent tips! My husband swears by the quick-dry fabrics (including the towels, the shirts, socks, etc), and he swears by his hiking sandals. I never really thought about how long other fabrics might take to dry, but walking around in wet jeans is one of my least favorite things! We’ve only visited Central America in December, but much to everyone’s surprise, it did get rain twice, though it didn’t last long. I definitely wish we’d brought along one of those micro towels and an umbrella!

  4. July 19, 2017 / 5:52 pm

    This is a great list. I haven’t been to Central America but I would need a lot of these items in my home country Norway or my Current Ecuador. I really want that dry bag.

  5. July 19, 2017 / 7:46 pm

    I have never seen a mosquito repellent bracelet! I need to get those because I hate wearing bug spray. I don’t like the smell or the way it feels on my skin. I also love the advice on wearing synthetic material. This is probably great for the high humidity as well 🙂

  6. July 19, 2017 / 9:10 pm

    These are great tips! My husband and I will be in SE Asia at the end of their rainy season, so I’m going to have to check out some of those synthetic tanks. Also, mosquito repellent bracelets?! I didn’t even know those existed!

  7. Stephanie Grace Elkins
    October 23, 2017 / 12:54 am

    Mosquito Repellant bracelet is a STRICT NO people. Sorry to disappoint but as somebody who has studied these, they simply aren’t effective enough for mosquitos.
    Unfortunately, the bug spray is the only thing that will really guarantee no bites. Levels of DEET can differ in these but typically the ones that smell strong and bad are the best. Personally, I prefer the smell to catching a nasty virus or worse. I use a tropical strength bug pump bottle so its not as potent on the nose that is %40 DEET and it does the job.

    As for everything else, spot on! I cant wait for my trip in the next week!

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