The best time to visit Mexico is during the dry season between December and April. This season has the best weather out of the year, with temperatures hovering around 23 ℃ / 75 ℉, blue skies, and no rainstorms.
Going to Mexico during the proverbial “best weather season” is everyone’s first move when they’re planning a vacation. But, there are still other times of year to consider depending on your preferences. There are also certain seasons in Mexico, like the hurricane season, that you should avoid.
Deciding when you’ll visit Mexico is a crucial step in the travel-planning process. In this article, I’ll help you figure out the best time to visit Mexico for your trip goals. Whether you want to relax in constant sunshine during your school holidays or hope to see Mexico’s cities with fewer crowds.
Table of Contents
- When is the Best Time to Visit Mexico
- The Best Time to Visit Mexico for Good Weather
- When to Visit Mexico for Cheap Prices
- The Best Time to Visit Mexico for Sunny Beach Days
- The Best Time to Visit Mexico for Families and Kids
- When to Visit Mexico for Avoiding Crowds
- The Best Time to Visit Mexico for Seeing the Monarch Butterflies
- When to Visit Mexico for Holidays
- The Best Time to Visit Mexico for Whale Watching
- Mexico Travel Seasons
- Mexico Weather and Climate by Region
- Tips for Visiting Mexico
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When is the Best Time to Visit Mexico
The best time to visit Mexico is during the dry season, which runs roughly from December to April. This time is ideal if you want a perfect weather forecast and virtually no rain during your trip to Mexico.
While that’s the simple answer, the reality is that the best time to visit Mexico will totally depend on your personal circumstances.
If you’re going on a spring break getaway with friends, you’ll probably want to visit in March. Are you hoping to take advantage of fewer crowds right before the wet season begins? You’ll want to book a trip for the shoulder season in May.
So, let’s break down Mexico’s seasons and figure out the best time for your vacation.
The Best Time to Visit Mexico for Good Weather
Though it varies by region, the dry season from December to April generally has the best weather out of the year. During these months, most of the Mexican country has sunny skies, pleasant temperatures around 23℃/ 75℉, and almost no rainy days.
The winter and early spring months are the perfect seasons for taking advantage of Mexico’s outdoor activities. A few of my recommendations are swimming in cenotes, ziplining, and surfing.
However, note that December to April is also considered a peak season in Mexico. So, it’ll likely be crowded with lots of other travelers appreciating the great weather.
When to Visit Mexico for Cheap Prices
The best time to visit Mexico on a budget is during the shoulder season in April, May, mid-October, and early November. The shoulder season is that brief period of time right before Mexico’s rainy season starts. This means that you’ll still have good weather without all the high prices that come with the peak tourist season.
While it might be tempting to book a trip to Mexico during the summer months, in many places summer is the worst time to visit Mexico. It’s hot and rainy on the Mexican west coast, and the Yucatan beaches are often covered in sargassum. Plus, later in the summer, hurricanes start to become a potential risk of visiting coastal destinations.
If you’re sticking to a strict budget, visit Mexico’s beaches and cities during the spring and fall.
The Best Time to Visit Mexico for Sunny Beach Days
The best time to visit Mexico for lots of sunny beach days is December to March.
In other parts of the world, this is the winter season. In Mexico, it’s nothing but warm, gorgeous weather and blue skies on the beaches.
The Best Time to Visit Mexico for Families and Kids
When traveling to Mexico with children, avoid the hurricane season, which happens from August to October. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Also, it’s probably a good idea to avoid spring break hot spots like Cancun during March and April. That is, unless you want to be running into many drunk college students during your family vacation.
When to Visit Mexico for Avoiding Crowds
For many travelers, the perfect vacation is when there’s nobody else around.
The low season from May to mid-December is generally ideal for tourists looking to avoid crowds during their visit Mexico.
Note that late February through early April is generally the most crowded time to visit Mexico’s beaches, as the US’s spring break and Mexico’s Semana Santa drive crowds to the beaches.
While this time period is mostly the rainy season, that doesn’t actually mean that it’ll rain daily. Most days, it’s more like a quick afternoon sprinkle.
It’s also important to remember that some areas of the country, like Mexico City, will be crowded all year long because it’s just a densely populated area.
The Best Time to Visit Mexico for Seeing the Monarch Butterflies
From December to March, thousands of monarch butterflies fly from the United States and Canada to Central Mexico. In Mexico, they hibernate for the winter.
If you’re staying in Mexico City during this time, there are many tours that can take you to see the incredible monarch butterflies. I’d recommend this 12-hour Butterfly Monarch Tour from Mexico City.
When to Visit Mexico for Holidays
There are a variety of unique holidays in Mexico, but some of the most popular include:
- Holy Week / Semana Santa (April 10 – April 16)
- Cinco de Mayo (May 5th, 2022)
- Mexican Independence Day (September 16)
- Day of the Dead (October 30 – November 2)
- Navidad (December 25)
While some of these holidays are well-known to foreigners, others, like Holy Week, are a little more unknown. Holy Week, or Semana Santa, is the first week in Mexico’s extended Easter celebrations. It’s a very important holiday for most Mexican families, and many flock to the beach for family vacation. For this reason, expect prices to soar at hotels in Playa del Carmen, hotels in Tulum, and any other popular beach destination.
Showing up to a celebrating region of Mexico during a national holiday period like Semana Santa or Cinco de Mayo can be super fun if you’re expecting it. But, if you’re hoping for a more low-key vacation, it could put a little too much action for you.
The Best Time to Visit Mexico for Whale Watching
Whale watching is another popular activity when you’re visiting Mexico, but the season for it is brief, and it changes depending on where you are.
Along Mexico’s Pacific Coast or in Baja California, you might be able to spot humpbacks gray or blue whales from December to March. Your best chance of successful whale watching near Puerto Vallarta is between January and early February. When staying on the east coast, whale shark watching tours are available from the middle of May to mid-September.
If you’re planning your vacation around a specific activity, like whale watching, the middle of the season tends to be the best time for catching a glimpse.
🌴 Read Next: 25 Best Things to Do in Puerto Vallarta
Mexico Travel Seasons
The Rainy Season (May/June to October/November)
- ☁️ Weather – Expect quick bursts of afternoon rain daily but pleasant weather throughout the rest of the day. The renewing rain tends to make the entire country more colorful with thriving nature.
- 🎟️ Events – Dia de Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is one of the most significant events throughout Mexico during the country’s rainy season. It happens from October 30 to November 2, but the festivities can bleed into the surrounding weeks. In June, there’s also the Gay Pride Parade in Mexico City and around the country.
- 🧑🤝🧑 Crowds – There are usually minimal crowds in Mexico during this low season because the “rainy” title scares away a lot of visitors. So, you’ll probably be one of only a few tourists around during this time.
- ✨ Activities – While it’s still possible to go outdoors during the rainy season, you should keep indoor activities in mind. Some of the best things to do during this time of year are visiting museums, going to a spa, or taking a traditional cooking class.
The Hurricane Season (August to October/November)
- ☁️ Weather – Mexico has very rainy weather during the peak hurricane season, especially along the Carribean and Pacific coasts. Usually, heavier and longer-lasting storms. Even though the season has an intimidating name, the chances of becoming victim to a hurricane are still pretty low. But, it’s possible.
- 🎟️ Events – The main events are the Nanacamilpa Firefly Sanctuary, Mexican Independence Day, the Morelia International Film Festival, and the Corona Capital Festival.
- 🧑🤝🧑 Crowds – There won’t be that many other people around from September Mid-October. However, August is still technically considered the peak season. So, there will be crowds at the end of summer.
- ✨ Activities – Some of the best things to do when you’re visiting Mexico during a questionable season is to enjoy the food and local culture. August can ironically also be a good time for water activities like snorkeling and tours to see whale sharks.
📚 Curious About Travel Insurance? Even if you avoid Mexico’s hurricane season, natural disasters can still happen. That’s why travel insurance is so important. If you want to know more, read Nate’s article about travel insurance in Mexico for 2022.
The Dry Season (December to April)
- ☁️ Weather – As the dry season progresses, temperatures rise and the rain slowly fades away (although storms can still happen). The beaches won’t be as stiflingly hot if you’re on the coast and the wet weather lightens up. In Central Mexico, there will be cooler nights but mostly perfect temperatures during the day.
- 🎟️ Events – There are lots of events throughout the country during the dry season. Christmas is celebrated heavily in Mexico and the rest of Latin America throughout December. In January, there are loads of festivals. Including the International Migratory Bird Festival, the January Festival, and the Merida
- 🧑🤝🧑 Crowds – This is the peak tourist season in Mexico, so you should expect very busy crowds around this time.
- ✨ Activities – The dry season is commonly regarded as Mexico’s best weather out of the year. It’s the perfect time to experience all of Mexico’s outdoor activities. Lounging on the beaches, visiting ancient pyramids, scuba diving, and taking a hot air balloon ride are all great options.
Mexico Weather and Climate by Region
Yucatán Peninsula Weather
The Yucatán Peninsula is one of the warmest regions of Mexico with an average daily high temperature of 34℃ / 93℉. It’s going to either be hot or hotter no matter when you visit the Yucatán hotspots of Cancun, Playa Del Carmen, and Tulum. This region is also very humid all year round.
This area gets the most rain from June to October. The ideal times for avoiding rain and overcast in the Yucatán Peninsula are from November to May.
🛎️ Need a Hotel? The Yucatán Peninsula is one of Mexico’s most popular vacation spots and there are lots of accommodations to choose from. I’d recommend Hotel Una Vida in Tulum for its gorgeous scenery and central location.
The Oaxaca region has a fairly warm climate throughout the year, but it isn’t nearly as humid as Yucatán because it’s more centrally located. The temperature in Oaxaca also varies more throughout the year. Temperatures drop to a low of 27℃ / 80℉ in January and get back up to 32℃ / 90℉ by May.
The rainy season rolls through Oaxaca from May to September mainly. It isn’t too windy in this region, but the windiest time of year is from late September to January.
Central Mexico, Weather
Mexico City, Queretaro, San Miguel de Allende, and Guadalajara are part of the massive region that is Central Mexico. The climate in central and southern Mexico tends to be pretty enjoyable for most of the year, even during the rainy seasons.
The central Mexico region is generally a lot cooler than other parts of the country. Temperatures tend to stick around 23℃ / 75℉ during the daytime and drop down to 12℃ / 55℉ at night. It can be even colder if you’re visiting the mountains. The windy season in this region lasts from January to April.
📍 Visiting San Miguel de Allende? Check out our list of the 31 Best Things to Do in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.
Pacific Coast Weather
The Pacific Coast is made up of cities like Puerto Vallarta, Tijuana and Mazatlan. Towns on Mexico’s Pacific coast have very comfortable weather with highs of 32℃ / 90℉ and lows of 21℃ / 70℉. The rainy season stretches from June to October. But, the region mainly only sees quick showers during the later afternoon.
The Pacific Coast gets the most rain during the month of August.
🛏️ Looking for Hotels in Puerto Vallarta? Read our guide to the 18 best hotels in Puerto Vallarta.
The Veracruz area has both high temperatures and high humidity throughout the year. That can be nice sometimes, but it can also be a bit exhausting. The region can get rain year-round but gets the most rainy days from June to September.
It can get fairly windy in Veracruz, reaching wind speeds of 9.7 miles per hour. The windiest month in Veracruz is November.
Northern Mexico Weather
Northern Mexico is composed of places like Baja California, Nuevo Leon, Sinaloa, and Chihuahua. Understandably, Northern Mexico is the coldest region in the country. The warmest it gets in areas like Baja California is 29℃ / 84℉ with temperatures dropping to 23℃ / 73℉ during the day in December. During the nighttime, temperatures can even drop below freezing.
The rainy season in Northern Mexico lands between November and March. The region gets the most rain in January.
Side Note: For more tips, bookmark our full list of 22 Mexico travel tips.
Be Careful When Renting a Car
Rental companies can make it seem like renting a car in Mexico is super cheap and easy, but that’s not actually true. There are quite a few rental car scams, from overcharging for insurance to faking damage on the car when it’s returned. Keep these things in mind when you go to rent a car in Mexico.
👉 Pro Tip: The best way to avoid overpaying or getting scammed for a rental car is by using a reliable search engine like Discover Cars to compare local rental agencies. Be sure to check individual agency reviews (and go for a rental agency with an average review score of 8 or higher).
Milk Isn’t Always in the Fridge
One thing about Mexico that sends a lot of tourists for a loop is that milk often isn’t refrigerated. It seems like a small thing, but most Americans are astounded when they stumble upon the warm milk aisle at the grocery store.
The milk in Mexico is pasteurized using a different process, which allows the drink to be stored outside the fridge and have a much longer lifespan.
The Rainy Season Can Be a Good Time to Visit Mexico
Many people hear the words “rainy season” and immediately assume that this is the worst time to visit Mexico. However, these months can offer a really nice alternative to Mexico’s high season.
While there will be rain, probably daily, these are usually just passing showers that barely last an afternoon. It can actually be super refreshing to split up a smoldering hot day with a touch of rain. If you’re hoping to avoid crowds and the chaos of the high season, I definitely recommend visiting Mexico during its rainy months.
Take a Bus or Two for Short Trips
The bus system throughout Mexico is cheap and awesome. I’ve been on a lot of buses around the world during my travels, and I must say, Mexico has some pretty comfortable buses. If you’re traveling between cities that are pretty close, like Tulum and Cancun, it’s a really efficient way to travel.
However, if you’re planning on making the trek from Playa Del Carmen to Mexico City, you should opt for a flight. Flighting within Mexico is fast and cheap, so there’s no reason to submit yourself to a 12+ hour bus ride unless you’re feeling adventurous.
Some Areas of Mexico Have Cool Nights
While many travelers associate Mexico with blissfully warm weather, some areas can actually get pretty cold at night. Mexico City, Oaxaca, and Northern Mexico all have cooler nights. If you’re planning on visiting these areas, bring some extra clothing layers.
👉 Wondering What Else to Pack? Head over to Taylor’s comprehensive Packing List for Mexico.
When should I avoid Mexico?
You should avoid traveling to Mexico from August to Mid-November because this is the peak hurricane season. Additionally, if you are hoping to avoid party-goers on spring break, do not come to Mexico from the end of March to April.
What is the best month to visit Cancun?
The best month to visit Cancun is January, when Cancun is still relatively cool but the holiday crowds have passed.
What is the cheapest month to go to Mexico?
November is the cheapest month to go to Mexico. Both May and November are known as the very short-lived Mexico shoulder season. This is the time period right after the rainy season has passed and right before the high season arrives. During these months, beach resorts and hotel rates tend to get a lot cheaper because there aren’t as many tourists booking places. So, the people who do visit get a deal.
What months are hot in Mexico?
The hottest months in Mexico are May, July, and September. In Southern Mexico, April and May are the hottest months of the year. The Pacific Coast hits its highest temperatures from July to September. Finally, the Yucatán Peninsula gets extremely hot from May all the way up until September.
Mexico is a vast country with different weather conditions throughout the year, depending on where you are. Almost every single one of those seasons and places is the perfect fit for some travelers out there.
I hope that this guide to the best times for visiting Mexico helped you decide on the perfect season for your trip.
If you still need more advice for visiting Mexico, check out Nate’s 22 Mexico Travel Tips.