By Scott S. Bateman
Accurate weather forecasts for Santo Tomás de Castilla are a bit difficult because the port is just a village with no on-site readings. Most forecasts are computer guesswork based on forecasts for other nearby locations.
But cruise lines make it easy for travel planners to avoid many worries about the weather. The majority of cruises visit this small Guatemala cruise port between November and April each year when the risk of rain is lowest.
Santo Tomás de Castilla is only 142 miles west of Roatan and 125 miles south of Belize City. So its weather has much in common with these two more popular cruise ports.
This part of the western Caribbean has a distinct and brief dry season that goes from February through April each year.
The Izabal department (the Guatemala state where Santo Tomás is located) averages about 90 inches of rain during the year, according to Guatemala’s National Institute of Seismology, Vulcanology, Meteorology and Hydrology.
“The rainy season usually starts in the month of May. In the month of June there are usually cloudy and rainy days,” the institute says.
The worst rainfall usually takes place between June and October with averages reaching up to 10 inches or more each month. It rains on average 15 or more days a month.
In contrast, the dry season of February through April averages two to three inches a month. It rains on average less than 10 days a month.
For these reasons, it’s not a surprise that cruise ships usually visit the Santo Tomás de Castilla cruise port from January through April and then October to December each year.
During our April visit, temperatures were in the upper 80s Fahrenheit with almost no clouds in the sky. Humidity was slightly high but not uncomfortable.
Santo Tomás de Castilla stayed comfortably warm throughout the year. Average temperatures range from the low 80s Fahrenheit or high 20s Celsius to the high 80s Fahrenheit or low 30s Celsius.
Unlike many other Caribbean destinations, water temperatures are usually comfortable throughout the year. Air temperatures don’t become oppressively hot as often as places such as Cozumel during the summer.
The port is far enough south that it doesn’t have some of the same chilling trade winds or ocean currents of more northern destinations.
Best Month to Visit
The best month to visit Santo Tomás de Castilla is April because of a combination of warm temperatures and low risk of rain.
March is the second best month for the same reasons. It is only slightly less warm and has the same risk of rain.
The worst months to visit are June through October because of heavy rains. But virtually no cruise ships visit during those months anyway.