Mexico is a land of enchantment, boasting a rich tapestry of diverse landscapes, ancient ruins, colorful traditions, and mouthwatering cuisine. But with such a vast territory, it's essential to plan your trip wisely to make the most of your visit. Join us as we delve into the various regions and climates of Mexico, unlocking the secrets of the best time to visit Mexico and ensuring that your adventure is nothing short of extraordinary. Let's embark on this journey together and discover the optimal moments to explore this captivating destination.
The best time to visit Mexico
The best time to visit Mexico varies depending on the region and your travel preferences. Mexico's diverse climate, vast territory, and rich cultural heritage offer a plethora of experiences year-round. Generally, there are two main seasons to consider: the dry season and the rainy season.
The dry season, spanning from November to April, is regarded as the best time to visit many popular tourist destinations in Mexico. Cities like Mexico City, Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and the Yucatan Peninsula boast pleasant temperatures, lower humidity, and minimal rainfall during this period. It's perfect for indulging in outdoor activities, exploring ancient ruins, and basking in the sun on pristine beaches.
Mexico's peak tourist season typically aligns with the dry season, which runs from late November to early April.
On the other hand, the rainy season from May to October brings warmer temperatures and more frequent rainfall. While this time might not suit everyone's preferences, it offers unique rewards for those seeking lush landscapes and fewer crowds. The rain typically comes in short, heavy bursts.
Best months to visit Mexico
The best time to visit Mexico is November to April when the weather across most of the country is mild and dry, making it ideal for exploring ancient Mayan ruins in Yucatan or basking on the pristine beaches of the Riviera Maya.
During these months, you can partake in vibrant cultural events like the Day of the Dead celebrations in Oaxaca. However, if you're seeking a more secluded adventure, consider visiting during the shoulder seasons of May and November.
Trip Tip: Yucatán is calling you, and this tailor-made Mayan Heritage trip is the way to do it.
Weather in Mexico in January
In coastal areas like Cancun, you can expect balmy temperatures hovering around 24°C (75°F), perfect for beachside relaxation and water activities. In contrast, central regions, such as Mexico City, experience cooler temperatures, ranging from 6°C to 19°C (43°F to 66°F). Northern areas like Monterrey may dip even further, with occasional frost. Pack accordingly.
Read more about the weather in Mexico in January.
Weather in Mexico in February
In February, Guadalajara and the central highlands enjoy moderate temperatures ranging from 8°C to 25°C (46°F to 77°F). Northern cities like Chihuahua embrace a chilly charm, with temperatures varying between -2°C to 18°C (28°F to 64°F). But in popular coastal destinations like Playa del Carmen, temperatures linger around 25°C (77°F), inviting you to revel in the sun and turquoise waters.
Read more about the weather in Mexico in February.
Weather in Mexico in March
As winter bids adieu, Mexico emerges in March with more pleasant climes. Along the Caribbean coast in Tulum, temperatures hover around 26°C (79°F), perfect for immersing in ancient Mayan ruins and vibrant marine life. Mexico City experiences a mild climate, ranging from 9°C to 26°C (48°F to 79°F), ideal for exploring the bustling metropolis and its historic treasures. The northern region, including Monterrey, enjoys milder days, with temperatures between 6°C to 24°C (43°F to 75°F).
Read more about the weather in Mexico in March.
Rough Guides tip: Mexico City seems to have it all. This tailor-made authentic and unique trip to Mexico City shows you the best of this mega city.
Weather in Mexico in April
Inviting temperatures unfurl across the country in April. On the Pacific coast in Puerto Vallarta, expect temperatures around 29°C (84°F), ideal for the beach. In Guanajuato, temperatures range from 11°C to 28°C (52°F to 82°F), creating a pleasant ambience for strolling through charming streets. Northern cities like Hermosillo experience warmer weather too ranging from 15°C to 33°C (59°F to 91°F).
Read more about the weather in Mexico in April.
Weather in Mexico in May
As spring reaches its zenith, the weather in Mexico in May hots up. Along the Riviera Maya, temperatures stick around 30°C (86°F), making it an ideal time for water adventures and beachside bliss. Oaxaca enjoys milder temperatures, ranging from 13°C to 28°C (55°F to 82°F), perfect for exploring its rich colonial heritage. Northern regions, including Ciudad Juarez, enjoy temperatures between 17°C to 33°C (63°F to 91°F).
Read more about the weather in Mexico in May.
Rough Guides Tip: adventure awaits you on this tailor-made trip to the Oaxacan coast, a place as spectacular as the activities you will do.
Weather in Mexico in June
If you are looking for the best time to visit Mexico, you might want to skip June (and July). Although temperatures linger around 32°C (90°F), offering sun-drenched days and balmy nights, June and July are often the most rainy months in Mexico. Depending on where you go of course.
If you don't mind an occasional shower, June is still a good month to visit the country.
Read more about the weather in Mexico in June.
Weather in Mexico in July
As the summer sun shines brightly, July’s weather in Mexico makes coastal paradises like Riviera Nayarit well worth a visit with temperatures hovering around 32°C (90°F). Cities like Guanajuato are milder, with temperatures ranging from 13°C to 25°C (55°F to 77°F). Northern regions, including Monterrey, experience warmer days, with temperatures between 23°C to 38°C (73°F to 100°F).
Read more about the weather in Mexico in July.
Weather in Mexico in August
August sizzles along the Yucatan Peninsula as the likes of Cancun enjoys temperatures of around 32°C (90°F). The cultural haven of Mexico City enjoys a milder climate, ranging from 12°C to 24°C (54°F to 75°F), perfect for discovering its museums and culinary delights. Northern cities like Ciudad Juarez embrace warmer days with temperatures varying between 22°C to 37°C (72°F to 99°F).
Read more about the weather in Mexico in August.
Weather in Mexico in September
September weather in Mexico marks the transition from the rainy season to the cooler months. While the coastal regions, like Playa del Carmen, might still experience occasional showers, temperatures remain warm at around 28°C (82°F). Inland cities, such as Guadalajara, offer a pleasant 20°C to 27°C (68°F to 81°F) climate. It's a great time to explore cultural festivities like the Independence Day celebrations. Keep an eye on weather forecasts for potential storms in coastal areas.
Read more about the weather in Mexico in September.
Weather in Mexico in October
October embraces milder temperatures and reduced rainfall in October. Coastal towns like Cabo San Lucas bask in comfortable 25°C (77°F) weather, perfect for outdoor adventures. In Mexico City, the leaves start to turn as temperature drop to around 15°C to 22°C (59°F to 72°F). If you’re considering visiting during Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), book well in advance.
Read more about the weather in Mexico in October.
Weather in Mexico in November
If you are looking for the best time to visit Mexico, November might be it. This month brings a mix of climates across Mexico. The Pacific Coast enjoys a balmy 27°C (81°F), ideal for beach activities in Acapulco. However, northern areas, such as Chihuahua, witness cooler temperatures at 7°C to 20°C (45°F to 68°F). Mexico City stays comfortable at 10°C to 22°C (50°F to 72°F). November is a great time for exploring archaeological sites.
Read more about the weather in Mexico in November.
Weather in Mexico in December
December is has pleasant weather. Coastal destinations like Tulum welcome visitors with warm 24°C (75°F) temperatures, enticing for snorkelling in the Caribbean Sea. Mexico's capital city experiences a mild 8°C to 22°C (46°F to 72°F) climate, perfect for exploring its historic landmarks. As the year draws to a close, immerse yourself in the joyful Christmas traditions and revel in the captivating beauty of Mexico during December.
Read more about the weather in Mexico in December.
Climate in Mexico
Summer, from June to October, is in theory the rainy season in Mexico, but just how wet it is varies wildly from place to place. In the heart of the country, you can expect a heavy but short-lived downpour virtually every afternoon; in the north, hardly any rain falls, ever.
Chiapas is the wettest state, with many minor roads washed out in the autumn, and in the south and low-lying coastal areas summer is stickily humid too. Along the beaches, September to mid-October is hurricane season – you’ll usually get wet weather, choppy seas and mosquitoes if not a full-on tropical storm.
Though the peak tourist season is December through to April in the resorts when the climate of Mexico is dry and balmy, mountain areas can get very cold then; in fact, nights in the mountains can be extremely cold at any time of year.
Mexico rainy season
The rainy season in Mexico is, in theory, during summer (June to October). However, just how wet it is varies wildly from place to place. For much of the country, especially in the centre, expect heavy, short downpours most afternoons. It also pays to plan ahead.
Surf spots like Zicatela are warm pretty much year-round, but the summer rainy season can leave the town oppressively humid, with vacant, lacklustre air. It doesn’t deter the hard-core surfers but think twice if you're a newbie.
Try and visit Cañón del Sumidero near Tuxtla in the dry season. From the boat, you will always see piles of rubbish collect along the stagnant edges of the canyons. It’s periodically rounded up and disposed of, but it’s particularly bad during the rainy season when the water is highest.
Note too that the heavy rain can wash away key infrastructure. Take Reserva de la Biósfera Sian Ka'an, the road south from Tulum is famously rutted and flooded but it's often impassable in the rainy season.
Best time to visit Yucatan
The best time to visit Yucatán is during the dry season, which spans from November to April. This period offers the most favourable weather conditions, characterized by warm temperatures, clear skies, and minimal rainfall.
Travelling during these months allows you to fully explore and appreciate the region's stunning natural beauty, historical sites, and vibrant culture. It's also the ideal time for activities such as visiting the ancient Maya ruins of Chichen Itza and Uxmal, swimming in the refreshing cenotes, and enjoying the pristine beaches along the Caribbean coast. However, it's worth noting that this period is also the peak tourist season, so you can expect larger crowds and higher prices.
Best time to visit Cabo
The high season for Cabo, as in the rest of Baja, is November until May, though domestic tourists also provide a mini-boom in July and August. January and February is the best time to see whales.
Avoid Christmas and Easter (packed) and Spring Break (Feb/March) if you want to sleep; the fishing competition season in October and November can be fun but also busy.
In the summer and early autumn off-season (May–June and Sept–Oct), the heat (up to 42°C) makes things less appealing (though the sea is warm; many locals swim at night).
Whenever you visit, you can be assured that it rarely rains – all the freshwater comes from desalination plants.
Best time to visit Río Lagartos
This village 100km north of Valladolid is set on a small spit, surrounded on three sides by water and protected from the open sea by a barrier island. The resulting shallow inlet is inhabited much of the year by tens of thousands of pink flamingos, among nearly four hundred bird species in the Río Lagartos Biosphere Reserve.
Though there’s not much in the town itself, the flamingos alone make a visit worthwhile; the best time of year to see them is the spring nesting season, from April to July.
Average temperature and rainfall in Mexico
We've put together an average temperature and rainfall chart to help give you a rough idea of what to expect from the weather in Mexico in any given month.
We've looked at five of the country's most popular areas – each very different – to help you get an overall picture: the capital Mexico City, in the centre; Acapulco on the southwest coast; Mérida on the Yucatan Peninsula; Oaxaca in the south and Tijuana in the north.
Festivals and fiestas in Mexico
You may like to decide when to go to Mexico around the country’s vibrant fiesta programme. Everywhere, from the remotest indigenous village to the most sophisticated city suburb, devotes at least one day annually to partying.
Even the tiniest village in Mexico has an annual fiesta. They usually last at least a couple of days and often involve some blend of rodeos, bullfights, dancing, fried snacks, carnival rides, fireworks and processions around the church.
Usually, it’s in honour of the local saint’s day, but many fiestas have pre-Christian origins, and any excuse – from harvest celebrations to the coming of the rains – will do.
- New Year, Jan 1. Still largely an occasion to spend with family, the actual hour being celebrated with the eating of grapes.
- Twelfth Night (Epiphany, Reyes), Jan 6. Presents are traditionally given on this, the last day of Christmas, when the biblical Magi are believed to have arrived bearing gifts. Nowadays, things are shifting into line with American custom, and more and more people are exchanging gifts on December 25 instead.
- Ortiz Tirado Music Festival, late Jan. A festival of classical music held annually in Alamos, Sonora, in honour of opera singer Alfonso Ortiz Tirado (who died in 1960), draws leading classical musicians and singers from across the world.
- Carnaval, usually Feb or Mar. The last week of taking one’s pleasures before the forty-day abstinence of Lent, celebrated throughout the Roman Catholic world, but is at its most exuberant in Latin America. Celebrations work their way up to a climax on the last day, Mardi Gras (Shrove Tuesday).
- Festival Internacional de Guitarra, late March or early April. A celebration of guitar music held annually in Morelia, and attended by musicians from around the world.
- Semana Santa (Holy Week), moveable. The country’s biggest holiday, beginning on Palm Sunday and finishing a week later on Easter Sunday. Still a deeply religious festival in Mexico, it celebrates the resurrection of Christ, and is also an occasion to venerate the Virgin Mary, with processions bearing her image now a hallmark of the celebrations.
- Cinco de Mayo, May 5. Commemorating the 1862 Battle of Puebla, it’s a public holiday in Mexico, but is actually celebrated more enthusiastically in the US, where many Gringos have come to believe that it’s Mexico’s equivalent of the US’s July 4 (think theme parties involving sombreros, nachos and tequila). In Mexico it’s not such a big deal, except in Puebla, where it is celebrated with an exuberant fiesta.
- Día de San Juan (St John’s Day), June 24. Celebrating the birth of the biblical St John the Baptist, but also handily close to the summer solstice, this is celebrated with bonfires, fairs, charreadas (rodeos) and sometimes water throwing in towns and villages nationwide.
- Día de Santiago (St James’s Day) July 25. An opportunity for a fiesta in many parts of the country, most notably in Chiapas, where big celebrations are held at San Cristóbal de las Casas.
- Día de la Asunción (Assumption Day) Aug 15. This is the day when the Virgin Mary is believed to have ascended to heaven, and although it isn’t a public holiday, it’s celebrated around the country, most notably at Oxkutzcab and Izamal in Yucatán, and Cholula in Puebla State.
- Independence Day, Sept 16. While Easter and Carnaval are popular, this one is more official, marking the historic day in 1810 when Manuel Hidalgo y Costilla issued the Grito (Cry of Independence) from his parish church in Dolores, now Dolores Hidalgo, Guanajuato, which is still the centre of commemoration. The day is also marked in the capital with the mass recitation of the Grito in the Zócalo, followed by fireworks, music and dancing. Nevertheless, in some ways, it’s more solemn than the religious festivals.
- Festival Internacional de Santa Lucía, end of Sept and beginning of Oct. Formerly the Festival Cultural of Monterrey’s Barrio Antiguo, showcasing local rock bands and other eclectic musicians, this festival has been reborn, having outgrown the confines of the Barrio Antiguo to become a citywide event. It’s now Mexico’s third-biggest music festival after Guanajuato’s Festival Cervantino and Alamos’ Festival Ortiz Tirado.
- Festival Internacional Cervantino, mid-Oct. Guanajuato’s big, two-and-a-half-week music fest, dates back to the 1970s. Every October, it brings together Mexican marimba legends, French jazz artists, choral music from England and international dance troupes.
- The Day of the Dead (All Saints’/Souls’ Day, and its eve) Nov 1–2. This event, for many, determines when to visit Mexico. Offerings are made to ancestors’ souls, frequently with picnics and all-night vigils at their graves, and people build shrines in their homes to honour their departed relatives. Sweetmeats and papier-mâché statues of dressed-up skeletons give proceedings a rather gothic air. Head for cemeteries to see the really spectacular stuff, or to Pátzcuaro.
- Día de la Virgen de Guadalupe, Dec 12. Celebrations everywhere, and a huge day for pilgrims at the Basílica de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe in Mexico City, home of Mexico’s most important Virgin (a manifestation, that is, of the biblical Virgin Mary), who appeared on this day in 1551.
- Christmas, Dec 25. Though you can expect Santa Claus and Christmas trees galore, the Mexican festival remains distinct in many ways, with a much stronger religious element (virtually every home has a Nativity crib).