Are you planning to come to Cancun in January? It would be a good idea to know the weather and the events that will take place there!
In this post, you’ll find top-notch information I’ve got from locals and the internet regarding the Cancun weather in January.
Grab your sunglasses, and let’s go!
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Cancun weather in January: The Takeaway
In Cancun, January is in the dry season, so rainy days are rare; the average temperatures are not overbearing during the day, and the humidity is lower.
Mosquitoes shouldn’t bother you too much.
January is also one of the coolest months, so the nights and early mornings are chilly. Just take a cardigan and be happy; you will sleep without turning on the air conditioning.
The month is windy, so there is a higher risk of rough seas. Choose your beach wisely.
On the other hand, although a tad fresh, the water is clear, and there is no Sargassum.
January is one of the busiest months, so prices are higher, and the tourist sites are crowded. Anticipate your reservations and visit early in the morning.
👉 Learn when it’s the best time to go to Cancun.
How is the weather in Cancun in January?
I propose you become a meteorologist to study Cancun weather more deeply, especially January weather.
You will understand why this first month of the year is one of the best months to visit Cancun, Mexico.
Cancun, Mexico, has tropical weather characterized by warm temperatures all year round, a low annual temperature range, and intense sunshine.
The annual average temperature in Cancun is 27.1°C (80.8°F).
In contrast to the Yucatan Peninsula’s interior, the Caribbean Sea’s proximity induces a sea breeze effect, preventing high temperatures from reaching 36°C (97°F) during the hottest afternoons.
The tropical climate is also marked by two seasons.
🌧️ The rainy season in Cancun extends from May to the end of October.
The storms are sudden, short, and intense. It is scorching (average daytime temperature over 31°C/88°F), often overcast, and humidity can reach 100%. The hottest and most humid month is July (min 25°C/77°F – max 32°C/89,6°F)
🌞 The dry season begins in December and lasts until April.
Under the alizes (wind) effect, the conditions are more moderate (average daytime temperature below 28°C/83°F). The skies are clearer, rainfalls are less frequent, and humidity is relatively low (average humidity is 65%). The coldest month is January (min 67°F – max 81°F).
The fact that January is outside the rainy season does not mean it never rains.
The average rainfall is 48 mm (1.9 inches), and a typical month of January in Cancun has 5 rainy days.
Relax! It won’t rain 5 days in a row, and the showers never last long.
So slip a raincoat in your bag if you see the sky is a bit cloudier and you fear getting wet.
Moreover, you will surely appreciate the slight temperature and humidity drop following the downpour.
In mid-January, the sun rises at 7.27 am, the latest time of the year, and daylight lasts 11 hours.
In January, the daily average sunshine rate is 7 hours per day.
The sky is not always a huge blue, but with an average of 72% clear skies, January has the most minor cloud cover (October to mid-May).
You will be able to wear your stylish sunglasses!
In January, the average high temperature is 28°C (82°F) at the hottest times of the day (between 10 am and 7 pm), and the average temperature is 23°C (74°F).
In short, it’s quite nice, especially as there is often a light breeze and the air is not too heavy.
At the coolest time of the day, the average low temperature drops to 20°C (68°F).
This is still very comfortable! Furthermore, you will sleep quite well at night.
In Cancun, the average relative humidity is about 67% in January, which is actually one of the two driest months of the year, along with February.
On average, there are 21 muggy days in January; for comparison, this is 31 days in July and August.
Be happy; you won’t sweat too much.
Cancun is not spared from hurricanes, tropical storms, and strong winds.
Officially the hurricane season lasts from June to November, with the highest probability between August and October.
So no need to watch the horizon; the skies should remain calm during your stay in January!
How is the Sea in Cancun in January?
Of course, everybody comes to Cancun to enjoy its beautiful turquoise sea.
Come on, let’s get in the water; you’ll learn all about the secrets of the Caribbean Sea in January.
Cancun’s water temperature is coolest between the end of December and mid-April.
Don’t panic! You are in the tropics; the sea temperature is warm all year round, you will enjoy swimming.
In January, the average water temperature is 26°C (79°F).
If you’re a fan of snorkeling or scuba diving, and if you’re chilly, just put on a thin diving suit.
The visibility of the water depends on the combination of weather conditions (sunshine, temperature).
In January, the water is clear, so you can enjoy the coral reefs, meet turtles or swim among the statues of the MUSA, the underwater museum.
The wind blows most of the year in Cancun.
The wind blows most between October to May, with March being the windiest month. During this period, the average wind speed is over 8.00 miles per hour (13 km/h).
The average wind speed in January is 8.7 mph (14 km/h).
At this time of the year in Cancun, Mexico, the north winds dominate. The evening breeze can seem cool, especially if you have been sunbathing all day.
If you are a kitesurfing fan, you will enjoy it; the wind conditions are best from November to May.
January is a windy month in Cancun, and wind means waves.
Be careful if you decide to go to sea on your rental boat.
If the sea is too rough, agencies may cancel their sea trips.
Respect the color of the flag on the beach, especially if you are in the middle and southern parts of the Cancun Hotel Zone; the waves can be high.
What to wear in Cancun in January?
You saw that the temperature was rather mild in January (average high temperature 28°C – 82°F), and if you come directly from Canada, you’ll even find it super warm.
So, no need to take your down jacket!
Just pack the outfit of the perfect tourist in Cancun, such as shorts, dresses, T-shirts, and swimsuits, and don’t forget your sunglasses and a hat.
As I said, nights and early mornings can be a bit cool (average of 20°C – 68°F), and January is the coldest month and one of the windiest months. A little blowing north wind might make you shiver if you are chilly.
So bring a light jacket or sweater if you plan to visit Chichen Itza Mayan ruins at sunrise or go on a little sea cruise.
Festivals & events in January
January is not the most festive month in Cancun, but you can satisfy your curiosity about local traditions or your taste for good music.
You should check the calendar of events before you go.
El Dia de Los Reyes
In Mexico, Christmas and New Year festivities end on January 6th with El Dia de Los Reyes (King’s Day). Also called Epiphany, this religious day is significant in many Latin countries.
During this family event, Mexicans exchange gifts and eat the Rosca de Reyes, a kind of ring-shaped brioche filled with candied fruit, into which a figurine of the infant Jesus is inserted.
El Dia de Los Reyes is, of course, very popular in Cancun; shops and tourist sites remain open.
The last week of January (or the beginning of February), the Arena Festival gathers the best techno music DJs for 6 days of great music and a good vibe on the beach.
This festival is very popular with the LGBTQ+ Community and takes place around Playa del Carmen (Cozumel Island in 2023)
Crash My Playa
If you’re a country music fan, attend the biggest country music event in the world, organized by country music icon Luke Brian.
The festival takes place during the second half of January.
An all-inclusive stay package gives you access to the shows and accommodation at the Moon Palace Cancun.
Tips for Travelers coming to Cancun in January
Now that you know all about Cancun weather in January, I’ll give you some helpful information about this month of the year.
Avoid the big Waves
As I told you, the sea can be rough in January, so if you are unfamiliar with waves or travel with kids, I suggest you choose the Playa Mujeres area, a 25-minute drive north of the Cancun Hotel zone.
The shallow waters are not as turquoise as in the hotel zone, but they are quieter thanks to the proximity of Isla Mujeres, and the white sand beaches of Playa Mujeres are stunning.
Moreover, secluded from the hustle and bustle of Cancun, this coast accommodates luxurious all-inclusive resorts with large domains and lush tropical vegetation.
January is one of the busiest months. The touristic peak runs from mid-December to March; prices are at their highest.
Make your hotel and trip excursion reservations in advance to get the best deals and have more choices.
Cancun is overcrowded in January; if you can, choose the end of the month after the rush of the New Year’s Day and Christmas celebrations.
Or, if you want to enjoy peace and quiet, go to Puerto Morelos, a small port town south of Cancun.
In January, the most popular sites in the Yucatan Peninsula, such as the stunning Playa Norte beach in Isla Mujeres or the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza and the ruins of Tulum, are highly visited.
Ensure you get there as early as possible to avoid crowds. If you book private tours, you’ll have the best chance of being the first.
During the tourist season, heavier traffic increases travel time. So avoid the busy times (8-9 am & 5-7 pm), especially if you have to go to the airport; you wouldn’t want to miss your flight.
There is no Sargassum in January
You have probably heard of Sargassum. This brown seaweed drifts by the currents in huge slicks that form in the Atlantic Ocean and host many marine organisms.
These mats approach the Caribbean coastline seasonally between April and September, significantly impacting the tourism industry.
Indeed, the Sargassum considerably disturbs the water, which turns brown.
It ends up washing up on beaches, piling up and decomposing, releasing an unbearable putrid smell.
Bye-bye, swimming and walking by the sea!
The hotels organize beach cleanups but are overwhelmed when the phenomenon is too important.
January is out of the Sargassum season.
So be happy; you will thoroughly enjoy Cancun’s white sand beaches and turquoise waters!
Don’t trust your weather forecast
No need to check the weather forecast days in advance; the tropical climate is far too unforeseeable.
In January, the sky is often clear, and the risk of rain is relatively low.
So look up and if you think the clouds become threatening, take your rain suit and remember that it won’t last long if it rains.
In January, the average sea temperature is 26°C (79°F); if you are chilly, you may find it a bit too cold.
I advise you to choose a resort with a pool. It’s even better if heated, especially if you’re a morning swimmer.
Here are some resorts with dream heated pools.
The all-inclusive Fiesta Americana Condesa Cancun, located in the middle of the hotel zone, has two fantastic outdoor swimming pools, one with a pool bar. There is also a pool for kids.
A beautiful, large pool overlooking the Caribbean Sea is in the heart of the property at the Live Aqua Beach Resort Cancun, a luxurious all-inclusive resort in the hotel zone. It’s for adults only.
Surrounded by the sea at the tip of Punta Cancun, the all-inclusive Hyatt Ziva Cancun resort has 3 huge cascading pools, one with a pool bar. This family-friendly resort also has a small water park for kids.
Located in the middle of the hotel zone between the Caribbean Sea and the Nichupté lagoon, the elegant JW Marriott Cancun is an upscale hotel with a great indoor pool.
With very little rain, no high temperatures, less humidity, and more wind, January weather is ideal for keeping mosquitoes at bay!
This is the perfect weather to enjoy jungle activities such as going to a theme park or exploring the amazing cenotes of the Yucatan Peninsula.
And if you choose to stay in Tulum, you’ll enjoy visiting the Mayan ruins or swimming in the beautiful Playa Paraiso without being swarmed by the huge specimens that frequent the area in the wet season.
Things to do if it’s rain
Don’t grumble; I told you it might rain in January, but you know it won’t last.
And relax. I have some great suggestions to make you wait for sunny skies to return.
1# Explore an underground river
- Avoid the crowd
- Amazing cave
- Need to be in good shape
The Yucatan Peninsula hides some amazing underground rivers.
On a rainy day, go and explore one of them; you will be amazed by the beautiful stalactites and stalagmites.
Several tours propose this activity with a guide.
I suggest you visit Rio Secreto at 1h45 from Cancun.
You can choose between 3 formulas according to your shape and your taste for adventure.
2# Visit a museum
You are in the Mayan territory, with the fascinating culture of Mexico, so while waiting for the sun to come back, I advise you to visit El Museo Maya de Cancun, in the hotel zone.
This attractive museum has a very nice collection of objects from different archaeological sites in the Yucatan Peninsula and an outdoor space with interesting ruins and even a pyramid.
The explanations are well written, and the visit won’t take you more than 2 hours if you read all the information.
When it rains, I’m sure you like to go shopping.
In the hotel zone and located near the Nichupté Lagoon, the Isla Shopping Village is a vast, luxurious shopping mall with many boutiques. There are also several bars and restaurants perfect for waiting for the end of the rain. Everything is costly.
If you prefer the more chilled-out atmosphere of a market, I recommend the Mercado 28 de Noviembre in Cancun downtown.
In this colorful flea market, you will find all kinds of shops selling souvenirs, handicrafts, clothes, and food.
Just know that it is traditional to negotiate prices with the vendors.
Pick another month to visit Cancun
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