You are considering spending your next vacation in Mexico and would like to know the best time to go to Cancun this year.
Between the Sargasso, the spring breakers, the rain, the humidity, and the prices that can triple, it’s hard to make a choice. Plus, depending on the month you choose, your dream vacation can turn into a nightmare (okay, I may be exaggerating a bit).
I stayed 2 months in the Riviera Maya and was able to ask this famous question to many locals and local travel agencies.
Simply put, the best months are February, May, and November.
But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t come the other months! The answer may be quite different depending on what you want to do.
Read the rest of this article to know which month to travel to Cancun (part 1), get an overview of the climate month by month (part 2), and many valuable tips to consider before coming (part 3).
Plan your trip around Cancun
In 2 months, I’ve spent more than 10,000 USD to test the best activities in the Riviera Maya. Stay with me to quickly decide which experiences you should do and learn how to make the most of your trip.
Best time to visit Cancun: Tell me your plan
In this section, I tell you which month to go depending on what you want to do (or not) in Cancun.
You hate humidity
If humidity is a problem, avoid the period from June to September, with the highest temperatures (average temperature > 31°C – 88°F) and the highest rainfall (humidity > 74%). The humidity is close to 100%, and the atmosphere is heavy and oppressive. The best time to visit Cancun is from December to March, the least humid months of the year (65% on average). The air is damp but comfortable enough. April, May, October, and November are acceptable.
You hate rainy days
Cancun is in the tropics; shoers are intense, but unless you are unlucky, they are short. The period of the year with the lightest cloud cover is March to May. The sunniest days are between December and April, but from November and even into May, the sky is mostly clear (60% on average).
The hottest months
It is always hot in Cancun, but the hottest time of year is from May to October (average temperature: 28°C – 83°F ). Between November and April, temperatures are more bearable, humidity is the lowest, and there is a welcome breeze. Note that the early mornings and evenings can be chilly from December to March.
It’s simple, the prices are cheapest in the low season and during the hurricane season (which, by the way, is not so frequent), i.e., in May and June and from August to November.
You will get the best deals from September to November. Be careful; however, some tourist sites and restaurants are closed in October due to decreased affluence.
Avoid the crowd
If you want to avoid the tourist crowds, don’t come to Cancun in the high season (mid-December – March), nor in August. Also exclude Thanksgiving week, which is very popular for Americans, and Holy Week, which Mexicans love to spend in Cancun. Avoid Spring break crowds (March), when memorable parties are organized almost day and night.
In fact, the best months to enjoy a quiet holiday are May, October, and November.
Quality family time
November is ideal for a family holiday: affordable prices, good climate, and no seaweed on the beaches. If you can come in summer only, choose a hotel with nice pools for the days of seaweed. April is a good option too, temperatures permit outdoor activities, and Children’s Day, celebrated on the 30th in Mexico, offers discounts. May remains an interesting possibility (bearable climate and warm sea). Do not come for Thanksgiving.
Enjoy outdoor day trips
→ Jungle trip: December to April is the best time to explore the jungle (the sun shines, there is low humidity, and there are no mosquitoes). May is even better because there are fewer tourists (peak season lasts from January to March). November is great too, but there is a higher risk of heavy rainfall.
→ Boat trip: Sail on calm, warm seas between July and September, but it may rain. Book at the last minute after checking the weather forecast 2-3 days beforehand. A boat trip in may can be nice too.
Swimming, Snorkeling, and Diving
If you dream of swimming in the Caribbean Sea, go to Cancun between November and March as it is out of seaweed season, but the sea is warmer between July and October (average temperature 28°C – 83°F).
Cancun is not really the best place for snorkeling tours and diving (often rough sea, low visibility, and lots of dead coral), but for the fans, May and June are the best months. While diving, you can observe whale sharks, bulldog sharks, turtles, manta rays, and eagle rays (May to September is the best time to see them). From August to November (tropical depression and hurricane season), waves and surges can affect diving conditions.
To fully enjoy a cenote with a constant water temperature (23-24°C – 73°F), choose a sunny day.
Swim with whale sharks
As a protected species, the Mexican government decides when it is allowed to swim with whale sharks. In 2022, this was set from 15 May to 17 September. However, depending on the weather conditions and the number of specimens, their observation is not guaranteed (in case of strong winds, the trip may be canceled).
July and August are the best time to swim with whale sharks.
Swim with bulldog sharks
The bulldog shark is classified as one of the five predatory species of sharks potentially dangerous to Humans. This slightly exaggerated reputation is based on its habitat being close to activity areas at the seaside. When diving without any food, it is a rather shy animal. Diving with bulldog sharks is easy (shallow waters of Playa del Carmen and close to the coast); the best period is November to March.
Swim with Sailfish
Each year the sailfish, the fastest fish, frequents the Mexican Caribbean waters, attracted by the abundance of sardines moving into huge and impressive schools. February and March are the best months to swim and snorkel with them.
Swim with Sea Turtles
The two most common sea turtle species in Cancun are the Green Turtle and the Loggerhead Turtle.
Between June and September, you can see nesting sea turtles at night on the beach and observe them swimming and feeding in the nearshore waters during the day. In August, the baby turtles hatch and head out to sea. The hatching period can last until December.
Sailfish are abundant in the Cancun area between January and April, when they come to feed.
Blue and White Merlin are present between May and July (larger specimens at the beginning of the season). You will have more chances to catch them at the full moon.
The Mahi Mahi, a beautiful and colorful fish, is a favorite of sportive fishermen between April and August.
Respect the quotas, sizes, and fishing periods.
Cancun nightlife is famous all the year (mainly in Punta Cancun), but there are 3 particularly festive periods: Thanksgiving, Holy Week, and Spring Break. The audience and age range change depending on the time of year. Selling alcohol to people under 18 is forbidden in bars and clubs.
Celebrate my Honeymoon
If the budget is not a problem, spend your honeymoon in Cancun between January and March. In February, you have fewer crowds and enjoy great weather and clean beaches. In March, choose an all-inclusive resort away from the spring breakers.
You will get great deals in the shoulder season, but there is a risk of rain in December and seaweed in April.
Join Cool Events
In November and December, you can enjoy many music festivals apart from the traditional Christmas and New Year’s Eve parties.
In May, the Travesia Sagrada, a 24-hour race of 300 canoes, takes place with music and dancing and if you are a good swimmer, take part in the crazy Cruce Cancun, which consists of swimming from Cancun to Isla Mujeres.
Beach quality time at the resort
To fully enjoy the beach at your all-inclusive resort, you need sunny days and no seaweed. The best months are from January to March. The ocean temperature is a little cooler than during the summer months (average temperature 26°C – 79°F), but it remains nice for swimming.
Best time to go to Cancun: Month by Month
In this section, discover a brief analysis of the climate, the type of travelers present you’ll meet, and the events not to be missed!
Visit Cancun in January
🎉 The Christmas festivities end on January 6th with El Dia de Los Reyes (Day of Kings). Mexicans give each other gifts and eat the traditional Rosca del Reys, a sweet cake with fruits in which a figure of Jesus is hidden. It is a family event; shops and tourist sites are open.
If you are a festival lover, book an all-inclusive stay at one of the 4 Moon Palace Cancun resorts and attend the Playing in the sand, a 3-night concert series by the band Dead & Company. During the day, enjoy a stunning kilometer-long white sand beach, meet famous artists around the pool or explore the Yucatan Peninsula.
☀️ The weather is warm, dry, and sunny, quite nice then. The temperature can reach 28°C (82°F) during the day; at night, you will appreciate that it drops to much more comfortable values (average temperature 20°C – 68°F).
The ocean is a little cooler (26°C – 79°F).
👪 In January, Cancun is overcrowded with tourists.
🔎 January is excellent for outdoor activities, and the water is super clear for snorkeling and diving. You will enjoy your days on the beach.
Visit Cancun in February
🎉 That’s the month of Carnival! A very important festival for Mexican people.
Carnival takes place in downtown Cancun. Parades in glitter costumes, lively dances, decorated floats from where candies are literally raining down, the vibes are fantastic for 3 days. While trying to follow the rhythm, you can taste some delicious local specialties cooked in the street, have a drink at many stands, or buy souvenirs.
You will also be able to attend super Caribbean music concerts with national and local artists.
☀️ The weather conditions are more or less the same as in January, sunny and dry (28°C – 82°F max during the day and average temperature of 20°C – 68°F at night).
👪 Even if it is still the peak tourist season in Cancun, the tourist flow is slightly lower than in January.
Visit Cancun in March
🎉 If you are a party addict, Spring break is in full swing in March, and it’s the time and place for the world’s biggest parties.
The American students come and celebrate the end of their exams too. They crowd the resorts and hold wild, well-drunk fiestas 24/7 everywhere. This vibe isn’t for everybody.
Running fans can participate in the annual Cancun Half Marathon, organized on March 5th for International Women’s Day. This race takes place in a warm Mexican ambiance and superb landscapes.
For a mystery experience, join the crowd in Chichen Itza on the spring equinox day to see the feathered serpent god Kukukkan descending the temple of El Castillo. Note that the phenomenon can be seen a few days before and a few days after the equinox.
☀️ In March, the maximum and minimum temperatures increase very slightly compared to January and February (March average temperature is 29°C – 84°F), and the risk of rain decreases. The air is a little more humid but still comfortable.
👪 In March, Cancún is invaded by the party animals. It’s up to you to choose whether to join them or to move to a more peaceful place.
Visit Cancun in April
🎉 In April, the Paradise Blue Festival, a 3-day music event, attracts music fans worldwide. In the Cancun hotel zone, two resort partners of the festival, the Paradisus and the Fiesta Americana will offer you all-inclusive packages.
If you are a fan of Electronic Music, the Cancun Music Week is also organized during the month for 5 days. In addition to the concerts, you can join conferences and workshops to improve your knowledge of this musical style.
Every year, during the whole month, you will enjoy many events and festivities celebrating the anniversary of the foundation of Cancun.
If you travel with your family, take advantage of discounts on activities on Children’s Day, April 30.
☀️ The temperature (April average temperature is 31°C – 88°F) and the humidity level continue to increase compared to the previous months, but the air is comfortable enough to go and visit. There is very little rain, and sunshine and light breeze make it very pleasant to stay at the seaside.
👪 In April, you’ll never be alone, and you must remember that Cancun is the place to be for the Mexicans to spend Holy Week.
🔎 This is the month that sees the arrival of the first Sargasso. Depending on where you stay, you may not be able to enjoy the beach.
Visit Cancun in May
🎉 The whale sharks start gathering.
You can also immerse yourself in the legendary and world-famous Cancun Jumpoff, a music festival that takes place over the American Memorial Day weekend in amazing locations and offers day and night festivities. All-inclusive packages are available.
If you like to swim, participate in two great open water races in Isla Mujeres, the Iron swim or the Cruce Completo for the more skilled swimmers.
Don’t miss the Travesía Sagrada Maya, a Mayan ritual from the pre-Hispanic era, which gathers 300 canoes each year.
☀️ In May, the sea breeze helps to forget the high humidity. The cloud cover is greater than in previous months, but you can still enjoy sunny days, and the ocean is warming up (may average temperature is 32°C).
👪 Cancun is getting quieter; the peak tourist season is over.
🔎 If you really want to swim with whale sharks, you might be disappointed as you may have to wait without seeing them.
As days are pretty hot, it is best to save visits to sites or adventure parks for the morning, especially at the end of the month.
Visit Cancun in June
🎉 If you are a naturalist, you can observe the first turtles nesting on the beaches at night.
If you like military parades, go to the Día de la Marina on June 1st, which salutes the men and women of the maritime service in Cancun, as in all the Mexican seaside towns.
If you are concerned about the protection of the oceans, you can attend the Festival de Los Oceanos, which organizes concerts and public sensibilization events from mid-May to mid-June (free of charge, but registration is required).
☀️ It’s one of the rainiest months of the year (11 days on average), but the falls do not last long. It is also the beginning of the hurricane season. The temperature is comparable to the previous month (June’s average temperature is 32°C – 90°F). Humidity is still acceptable, but you will feel most comfortable in the seaside breeze.
👪 Cancun is less quiet than in May; American students come to party.
🔎 Be aware if you are afraid of them, mosquitoes are coming.
Visit Cancun in July
🎉 You will be able to see the first hatching of baby sea turtles and their first steps into the sea. It is also a good month to observe marine life (whale sharks, turtles).
July 25th is El Dia Fuera del Tiempo, the first day of the year according to the Mayan calendar. It is mainly a day to think about the year passed and the beginning of a new cycle. Large festivities are organized on the ancient Mayan ruins of Tulum, and smaller ones take place in some of Cancun’s resorts.
For more fun, come to Destination X The Urban Summer Oasis, a 5-day festival that ignites Cancun’s nightlife and beaches for all kinds of festivities, from DJ concerts to bikini contests.
☀️ There are fewer rainy days than in June (10 on average), but the storms are stronger. The humidity is oppressive, the wind is less frequent, the days are warmer (July average temperature > 32°C – 90°F), and the minimum temperatures do not go below 25°C – 77°F (mainly in the second part of the month).
👪 The number of tourists is lower than in June, particularly after July 15th. There are more families (local or from abroad).
🔎 You will be able to enjoy more boat trips as the sea is calmer.
This is the best time of the year to swim with whale sharks, and the ocean is warmer than in previous months.
Visit Cancun in August
☀️ In August, Cancun is still very hot (August average temperature is 33°C – 91°F), and the air is suffocating because of the high humidity, especially during the first two weeks. During the second part of the month, the temperature decreases, and the number of rainy days increases, but the rainfalls do not last long. The weather is changeable, from sunny skies to tropical storms.
The ocean is really warm (29°C – 84°F).
👪 You won’t have to worry too much about crowds; most tourists are Mexican or foreign families.
🔎 This is the last month of the year when you can observe turtles nesting on the beaches at night or see whale sharks.
To escape the heat and humidity, favor the beach or explore a cenote.
Visit Cancun in September
🎉 If History interests you, attend the Mexican Independence Day festivities, celebrating the beginning of the war against Spain that led to the defeat of the Spanish after 300 years of occupation. Historical reconstitution, dance, music, and fantastic fireworks attract thousands of people.
As in Spring, Mexicans celebrate the Autumn Equinox in Chichen Itza, but you may have difficulty seeing the feathered serpent god, Kukulkan, as the weather is often rainy and cloudy.
☀️ September is the rainiest month of the year (15 days on average), and the sky is cloudy most of the time. The frequent and intense rainfalls last a little longer than in August. The still high temperature (September average temperature is 32°C – 90°F) and the extreme humidity make the atmosphere very muggy.
Even if they are rare, hurricanes hit Cancun in September or October.
👪 It’s the low season; you will be alone, Wilson!
🔎 You can get great deals, but beware that it’s the closing season for some restaurants, bars, and agencies.
Plan activities for rainy days when going to the beach is not possible.
September is your last chance to see whale sharks. It is also the end of the sea turtle nesting and hatching season.
Visit Cancun in October
🎉 On the occasion of Halloween, you will be able to party in costume in many clubs in Cancun.
If you are a music lover or a fishing aficionado, go to the Island Time Music Festival, which for 4 days organizes intimate musical shows and fishing competitions in the paradisiac site of Isla Mujeres.
If you are a golf fan, do not miss the Mayakoba Championship, where more than 100 professional golfers compete during one week on the beautiful golf course of El Camaleón, just north of Playa del Carmen. Check the date as, depending on the calendar, it might start at the beginning of November.
☀️ In October, it still rains a lot (13 days with rain), but the weather becomes more pleasant as the month progresses. It is a bit less hot (the October temperature average is 31°C – 88°F), a little wind clears the sky more often, and storms are less frequent. The water temperature drops slightly (28°C – 82°F).
👪 You will still be alone in Cancun with Wilson, your balloon friend.
🔎 The seaweed invasions are less frequent, so enjoying the beaches is more pleasant.
The mosquitoes go away.
There are still great deals to be done.
If you escape the rain, outdoor visits are pleasant again.
Visit Cancun in November
🎉 Fancy some jazz, disco, pop, or funk? For the Solfest, the Moon Palace Cancun welcomes many artists for great concerts, night and day. Don’t forget to book your ticket in advance.
Don’t miss the fantastic Cancun Jazz Festival either, where you can get all-inclusive packages.
If you’re looking for a more intimate festival, join We Are Mexico, a 7-day festival with shows, excursions, and well-being activities.
On the occasion of El Dia de Los Muertos, the deceased are joyfully celebrated on November 1st and 2nd. You can see the cemeteries decorated with flowers and presents, lit with hundreds of candles. First, it’s a family event. You can attend traditional ceremonies in the city’s parks or follow the parade in Cancun.
☀️ The November average temperature drops to 29°C (84°F). The days are clearer, it rains less and less, and the humidity level decreases. At the end of the month, we have almost ideal weather. The ocean cools down very slightly (28°C – 82°F). It is the end of the hurricane season.
👪 It is the low season except for the horde of Americans at Thanksgiving.
🔎 November is the best month to visit Cancun.
Visit Cancun in December
🎉 Music lovers can attend various friendly festivals, such as the Ember Shores and the Electric Zoo Family.
With 6 concert venues in Cancun, you can dance to the crazy rhythms of the Holy Ship, attend this year’s Sun Soaked Event for a festive and relaxed mood, or experience country music at Strings & Sol.
During the Sunset Boat Parade, you can admire the parade of illuminated boats in the Nichupte Lagoon with family or friends.
And, of course, on New Year’s Eve, Cancun is bursting with lavish parties and fireworks.
☀️ It is the beginning of the dry season, with occasional rainfall, sunny days, and super temperature (28°C – 82°F). The nights are deliciously cool (20°C – 68°F), and the ocean is at 27°C (81°F). Great weather.
👪 From mid-December, the hordes of tourists start pouring in again.
🔎 Great visibility underwater for snorkeling and diving.
👉 Do you want to know more about this month? Read our post: Cancun in December.
Best time to go to Cancun: useful tips
We all make mistakes the first time we travel to a new destination. Read this section carefully to be better prepared for your visit to Cancun.
A Sargazo tsunami is coming
If you come to Cancun between April and October, you may be disturbed by the seaweed. Choose a resort in Playa/Costa Mujeres where the beaches are more protected or a hotel with nice pools and regularly cleaned beaches.
Is Cancun fun in the rain?
Yes, Cancun is still fun in the rain. The first good news is that it won’t be cold even when it rains. The second is that you’ll still find fun things to do:
🔦 Explore an underground river: On a bad weather day, you can explore one of the many underground rivers. Several tours offer family excursions.
🤠 Visit the Museo Maya de Cancun: Ideal for learning more about Mexican history and admiring the beautiful pieces found in the archaeological sites of the Yucatan Peninsula.
🛍️ Shopping: Shopping addicts will be happy in Cancun’s huge shopping mall or at the Mercado del 28 de Noviembre, where many souvenirs are bargained for.
🏎️ ATV/Buggy: I rode a buggy in the rain; it was a crazy experience! There were mud puddles everywhere and 0 dust. Adrenaline guaranteed!
What is the rainy season in Cancun?
The country is tropical, so it often rains, and the showers are usually intense but short. The rainiest months are from June to October, with July being the “driest.” In the presence of nearby hurricanes, there may be a succession of rainy days.
Spring breakers are in my hotel
Spring breakers will less invade a resort in Riviera Cancun, Playa Mujeres, or Isla Mujeres.
Is Cancun weather predictable?
Even if the weather is changeable, looking at the forecasts a little in advance is advisable, especially if you have to make reservations for activities.
Does Cancun have hurricane season?
Officially, the hurricane season is from June to November, with most storms between August and October. But don’t worry! Only two major hurricanes have hit Cancun within 17 years.
Get better prices
Travel in May, June, September, and October to get the best prices and book your flight ticket 3 to 4 months in advance. Book hotels as early as possible.
What to do in Cancun when it’s cold?
It never gets cold in Cancun! And no doubt you will appreciate the freshness of some mornings and nights between January and March.
Low season in Cancun
The low season is from June to October, with September and October being the least crowded.
Tourists won’t surround you, and you’ll get the best prices. On the other hand, the weather is very hot and muggy, short showers are unpredictable, and it’s seaweed and hurricane season (rare!). Plus some tourist places and restaurants are closed for the season.
Medium season in Cancun
American students celebrate their graduation in June, and in July and August, Cancun is mainly frequented by Mexican and other foreign families.
High season in Cancun
The high season is spread throughout the year, with various tourist profiles. Travelers worldwide come in January, February, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.
For Spring break, young, crazy Americans arrive.
The visitors are mostly Americans, Colombians, and Mexicans for Holy Week.
And the Americans love Cancun for the big Thanksgiving weekend.
Of course, all prices are skyrocketing. You can still make some good deals if you book in advance, including activities and your spot on the beach!
The shoulder season is April, May, and November until mid-December.
A good time to go to Cancun; few tourists, and the weather is pretty good. In November, you won’t get any seaweed on the beaches, and the clientele is mainly made up of locals and regulars. April and May are also a good choice if you avoid Easter.
Come to Cancun in July or August if you like to observe animals. You can swim with whale sharks, watch sea turtles nesting on the beach at night, and enjoy the first bath of the baby turtles.
The worst time to visit Cancun
There are no worst months to visit Cancun, depending on what kind of holiday you are looking for.
If I really have to pick one, I would say January, Spring Break, June, August, and September for different reasons (crowds, weather, seaweed, etc.).
Bottom line: Best months for your Cancun Vacation
Think about what you want to do before buying your plane tickets to Cancun. The key is considering the high season (hordes of tourists), the climate, and the Sargassum. For these reasons, February, May, and November seem to be a good compromise.
Now that you know when to come, it’s time to plan your trip!