Best Time to Visit Mexico for Ideal Weather and Activities

Georg Aare
Author: Georg Aare

Best Time to Visit Mexico for Ideal Weather and Activities

Thinking about your next trip to Mexico? Choosing the best time to visit can make or break your vacation. In this article, well solve that problem by covering:

  • Best months to visit
  • Dry and rainy seasons
  • Ideal times for specific activities
  • Top times to explore popular destinations

Keep reading to find your perfect travel window.

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What are the best months to visit Mexico?

The best time to visit Mexico is from December to April. This period is the dry season, offering ideal weather conditions. You can expect sunny days and cooler nights, perfect for exploring. Plus, if you're on the West Coast, it's a great time to spot whales.

May and November are also good options. These months help you avoid peak season crowds while still enjoying pleasant weather. Coastal areas like Cancun remain warm year-round, so you can visit anytime.

When is Mexico's rainy season?

Mexico's rainy season runs from May to September. During this time, you'll experience short afternoon showers followed by sunny stretches. Its also hurricane season from June to November, with the highest risk in September and October.

If you're planning a trip during these months, be prepared for some rain. But don't worry, the showers are usually brief and won't ruin your plans. Just pack a light rain jacket and you'll be fine.

Best times to visit Mexico for specific activities

If you're in for some whale watching, surfing, or going to festivals

When is the best time for whale watching in Mexico?

The whale watching season in Mexico runs from late November to March. During this time, whales migrate from the Alaskan coasts to the warm Mexican beaches. Key whale species to observe include:

  • Blue Whale: Found in Loreto Bay National Park, the largest animal in the world, weighing up to 180 tons and reaching lengths of 30 meters.

Blue whale
Blue whale
  • Gray Whale: Best seen at El Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve, a World Natural Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO in 1993.
Gray whale
Gray whale
  • Humpback Whale: Commonly spotted in Cabo San Lucas and Sinaloa (Mazatlan).

Humpback whale
Humpback whale

Cabo San Lucas offers vibrant city life and various tourist activities, making it a popular destination for observing gray and humpback whales.

When is the best time for surfing in Mexico?

Mexico offers consistent swell throughout the year, but the prime surf season runs from late April/early May to October. Key surf spots include:

  • Baja California: Divided into north and south regions. Rosarito Beach is great for beginners, while La Fonda suits intermediates. The south has less crowded beaches between Cabo San Lucas and Todos Santos.
  • Nayarit: Famous for San Blas and Playa de Matanchen, known for having the longest surfable wave in the world. Sayulita is ideal for beginners and intermediates.
  • Puerto Escondido in Oaxaca: Renowned for Zicatela, the "Mexican Pipeline," suitable for experienced surfers. But if you're a beginner, I'd go for La Punta.
  • Colima and Michoacan: Offer waves for intermediate and advanced surfers, with notable spots like Cuyutlán, Pascuales, and La Ticla.

When is the best time to visit Mexico for festivals?

The best time to visit Mexico is from December to April when the weather is drier and temperatures are cooler. Key destinations and their ideal visiting times include:

  • Cancun: Best visited from February to April, with temperatures around 2230°C and sea temperatures around 26°C.
  • Mexico City: Ideal to visit between November and April, with cooler temperatures averaging 727°C and less rainfall.
  • Acapulco and the southern coast: Best visited from November to April, with temperatures ranging from 2332°C and very dry conditions.

January to March is great for nature lovers due to bird, butterfly, and whale migrations, and for festival-goers with events like Carnaval and Semana Santa.

When is the best time to see Mexico's butterfly migration?

The Monarch butterfly migration season in Mexico runs from mid-November to late-March, with February being the best time to visit. Monarch butterflies can be seen in four official sanctuaries within a biosphere reserve in Michoacán and Estado de México:

  • Cerro Pelón
  • Piedra Herrada
  • El Rosario
  • Sierra Chincua Reserve

The biosphere reserve covers over 560 square kilometers and is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Monarch butterflies travel up to 4000 km between their summer breeding grounds in the USA/Canada and their winter habitats in Mexico.

Best times to visit popular Mexican destinations

Mexico city
Mexico city

When is the best time to visit Mexico City?

The optimal time to visit Mexico City is during the dry season, from November to April. This period offers pleasant weather, fewer crowds, and a variety of cultural events. You can enjoy outdoor activities without worrying about rain. Plus, the air quality is better, making it easier to explore the city.

When is the best time to visit Cancun?

The best time to visit Cancun depends on your preferences for weather, crowd size, and activities.

  • Winter (December to February): Offers the most pleasant weather with temperatures in the low 80s. However, it is also the most crowded and expensive time.
  • Spring (March to May): Provides moderate temperatures, lower humidity, and smaller crowds. Ideal for families and wildlife spotting, especially whale sharks and sea turtles.
  • Summer (June to August): Best for budget travelers, with fewer crowds and lower prices. But it comes with high temperatures and frequent rain showers.
  • Fall (September to November): Least crowded and offers discounted rates. However, it is the peak of hurricane season, with September being the rainiest month. November is a hidden gem with great weather and fewer tourists, except during Thanksgiving week. Learn more.

When is the best time to visit Tulum?

  • High season (December to April): Best for warm, sunny weather and various activities. Expect increased hotel rates and crowds, especially around Christmas and spring break.
  • Low season (May, June, and September to November): Ideal for budget travelers looking for deals on hotels. Be aware of potential rain and hurricane warnings, especially in the fall.
  • Shoulder season (July to August): Perfect for nightlife enthusiasts. Despite the heat and humidity, this period offers lively beach parties and bar hopping.
  • January: One of the busiest months due to late-night partying and music festivals. Expect high prices and large crowds.
  • November: Marks the beginning of the festival season with events like Día de Muertos and Art with Me. The weather improves, and prices remain relatively low.

When is the best time to visit Oaxaca?

  • High season (November to April): Cool and dry weather ideal for outdoor activities like hiking and mountain biking.
  • Shoulder season (July and August): Features the Guelaguetza festival and Feria del Mezcal, with pleasant weather and some afternoon thunderstorms.
  • Low season (May to June and September to October): Offers the best deals on airfare and hotels, despite some busy periods like Independence Day on September 15.
  • Key events: Día de Muertos on November 1-2, Guelaguetza in late July, and La Noche de Rábanos on December 23.
  • Budget travelers: Should consider visiting during the low season to experience Oaxaca's attractions without the crowds and at a lower cost. Learn more.

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Best times to visit Mexico’s beaches

Best time to visit Cancun beaches

The best time to visit Cancun depends on your preferences. Winter (December to February) offers the most pleasant weather, with temperatures in the low 80s. But, it's also the most crowded and expensive time.

Spring (March to May) provides moderate temperatures, lower humidity, and smaller crowds. You might even see whale sharks and nesting sea turtles.

Summer (June to August) is the best time for deals and fewer crowds. However, it's hot and rainy, with a higher chance of hurricanes.

Fall (September to November) offers discounted rates due to hurricane season. November is particularly good for fewer crowds and pleasant weather.

Best time to visit Playa del Carmen

The optimal time to visit Playa del Carmen is from November through April, characterized by the dry season with minimal rain, warm, and sunny days. From May to October, the region experiences the rainy season, which is very humid and can have all-day rain.

Best time to visit Puerto Vallarta

The best time to visit Puerto Vallarta is during the dry season, which spans from November to April. This is when you have the best weather, with warm temperatures and minimal rainfall. It's ideal for beach activities and outdoor adventures.

Best time to visit Tulum beaches

The best times to visit Tulum for smaller crowds are during the summer or fall, specifically from July to August and November to mid-December. However, be aware that hurricane season runs from June to November, with October being the wettest month.

For good weather, the ideal months are February, March, and April, with temperatures in the low to mid-80s and minimal rain. Alternatively, November and early December offer pleasant weather with temperatures ranging from the low 70s to low 80s and fewer crowds.

To save money, consider visiting Tulum between July and October, which aligns with hurricane season, or in May, November, and early December. Staying in inland neighborhoods like Tulum Centro or Aldea Zama can also help reduce costs.

To avoid seaweed, plan your trip between November and April. Seaweed season typically occurs from May to October, but properties often have teams to clean the beaches daily.

The worst times to visit Tulum are during peak season (holidays and spring break) due to large crowds and high prices, and during hurricane season (June to November) due to the risk of storms and seaweed.

Best times to visit Mexico’s ruins

Best time to visit Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza
Chichen Itza

The best time to visit Chichen Itza is from November to April. This period avoids the rainy season and the coldest months. Chichen Itza, an ancient Mayan capital, is 75 miles east of Merida. The site covers about six square miles and features the Pyramid of Kukulcan (El Castillo), which stands around 100 feet tall. Named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2007, it's a must-see.

Other notable structures include the Cenote Sagrado, a 60-meter diameter sinkhole, and the largest ball court in Mesoamerica, measuring over 160 meters long and 70 meters wide. When visiting, wear light clothes, a hat, sun cream, and comfortable shoes. Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water.

Best time to visit Teotihuacan


Visiting Teotihuacan without a tour is feasible and cost-effective. You can save money by taking public transport and buying tickets at the gate. Entry tickets cost 80 pesos per adult. Public buses run every 15 minutes from Mexico City North Bus Station to Teotihuacan, costing 106 pesos for a return ticket. The bus ride takes about an hour.

Arrive early, by 9:00 AM, to avoid crowds and midday heat. Weekdays are less crowded than weekends, especially Sundays when Mexican citizens get free entry. Most visitors spend 3-4 hours exploring the site, but including transport and waiting times, the trip can take nearly an entire day.

Bring sun protection, water, and snacks to save on costs and stay comfortable. You can exit and re-enter the site on the same day with your ticket.

Best time to visit Palenque


The best months to visit Palenque for good weather are January, February, March, April, May, November, and December. The warmest months in Palenque are April, May, June, July, and August, with April reaching up to 37°C. The rainiest months are June and October, with June experiencing up to 414mm of rainfall.

Palenque has a tropical monsoon climate with an annual average maximum temperature of 32°C and annual rainfall of 2673mm. The peak tourist season in Palenque is in December, while the very low season includes May, June, September, and October.

Best time to visit Tulum ruins


The optimal time to visit the Tulum ruins is during the shoulder months of May, July, and August. These months offer good weather, fewer crowds, and lower prices. Tulum is a stunning site with beautiful coastal views and well-preserved ruins.

In short, when choosing the right time to visit Mexico, consider this:

  • Best months to visit Mexico vary by activity and destination.
  • Dry season is ideal for most outdoor activities.
  • Rainy season can be unpredictable but offers lush landscapes.
  • Specific activities like whale watching and surfing have their own peak times, and so do popular destinations like Mexico City, Cancun, and Tulum.

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