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Packing for Two Weeks in Guatemala

packing for guatemala

For my first trip of 2017, I spent two weeks gallivanting around Guatemala, my first Central American country. I knew I would be going carry on only since I was flying Spirit. It would also be easier to get around that way. I brought a backpack smaller than the one I took around Southeast Asia, the Outdoor Products Artemis 35L, reviewed on Her Packing List. I also brought my PacSafe Slingsafe as my day pack/personal item.  I would be dealing with a few different climates, from the humid weather of Tikal to the cold nights atop the volcanoes in Antigua, so it was important to bring layers and items that could be worn multiple ways. I also didn’t want to purchase items just for this trip, so I brought clothes that I hadn’t worn in a while. I did need one pair of athletic shorts, however, and ended up buying a pair of Brooks running shorts from my local Goodwill for $4. If they end up getting trashed, I won’t feel bad about it. And lastly, I knew Guatemala was fairly conservative, so I wanted my clothing to be respectful to the culture. I’ve also noted whether these items were necessary.

packing for guatemala


  • 1 casual midi dress
  • 1 Encircled Chrysalis Cardi *served as a blanket on a night bus!
  • 2 basic tanks
  • 2 basic tees
  • 1 ExOfficio long sleeved hoody
  • 1 Eddie Bauer waterproof jacket *not needed, but good to have
  • 1 secondhand jean jacket
  • 1 pair of Madewell black jeans
  • 2 pairs of leggings, one long and one short
  • 1 pair of secondhand athletic shorts
  • 1 swimsuit
  • 3 bras and 7 undies
packing for guatemala

Ditched for a smaller bag.


  • 3 pairs of shoes: Tevas, Birkenstocks, running shoes *I only wore the Tevas at Semuc Champey, but was glad to have them for this. My running shoes were worn out and uncomfortable, but necessary for Pacaya and Tikal.
  • 3 hats: baseball, beach, cold *Cold only necessary on Pacaya.
  • 1 Turkish towel
  • 2 pairs of sunglasses *Both were broken or lost, but I bought another pair for $5. 
  • 1 Buff and 1 headband


  • contacts/glasses
  • medicated lotions
  • 1 travel hairbrush and hair ties
  • small amount of makeup
  • meds (including Pepto Bismol, rehydration salts, Ambien, ibuprofen, antihistamines, bandaids, sunscreen)
  • face wash
  • razor
  • deodorant
  • tweezers
  • nail clippers
  • Trekr washcloth
  • Aroamas solid perfume
  • mosquito wipes
  • Epic Wipes

packing for guatemala


  • Canon DSLR camera
  • GoPro
  • iPad (in place of laptop)
  • Kindle Fire
  • unlocked phone (that may or may not work) *I didn’t end up using it.
  • personal alarm
  • surge protector
  • headphones *Conveniently broke on the way home.
  • iPhone


Could you go carry on only for two weeks in Guatemala?


guatemala packing list

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4 Responses to Packing for Two Weeks in Guatemala

  1. Tracey February 15, 2017 at 10:52 pm #

    Did you go swimming with the waist pouch? My solo travel dilemma is how to take a kindle or camera to the beach and still be able to go swimming without having them stolen!

    • Caroline February 16, 2017 at 10:43 am #

      Tracey, yes! It was the best purchase of the trip. I fit my phone inside, but not my camera or kindle. It’s not quite that large, but you can find larger versions.

  2. Kasi February 18, 2017 at 7:36 pm #

    Do you have a running shoe brand recommendation?

    • Caroline February 20, 2017 at 8:17 pm #

      Hey Kasi, I can’t recommend what I was wearing then, a super old pair of Asics, but I recently bought some Nikes I like. There was a big sale. I recommend consulting an expert as I have all sorts of foot problems caused by shoes that weren’t good for me.

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