Are you considering a trip to Cancun in May?
Get ready for a perfect blend of sunshine, warmth, and exciting adventures!
In this comprehensive guide, I’ve gathered the best information on Cancun’s weather this month, combining expert insights with my personal experiences.
From the temperature and rainfall to sea conditions and tips for travelers, you’ll find everything you need to plan an unforgettable vacation.
So, join me as we explore the tropical paradise of Cancun in May and discover why it may be the ideal time to embark on your dream getaway.
👉 Don’t hesitate to read our Cancun guide to plan your vacation and not make any more mistakes. You will find all our articles about this destination.
Dream makers 😎
Cancun Weather in May: The Takeaway
- Cancun in May offers a delightful balance between the dry and rainy seasons, with mostly clear skies and warm temperatures.
- May is the first month of the rainy season, but don’t worry—it doesn’t mean constant downpours. Expect an average of 7.3 rainy days, with short and refreshing showers.
- Temperatures in Cancun can get hot in May, reaching 30.6°C (87°F) during the day, but refreshing sea breezes help to keep it comfortable.
- Humidity levels are high in May, so be prepared for muggy conditions. Stay hydrated and use mosquito repellent to enjoy your outdoor adventures.
- It’s the Sargasso seaweed season, but resorts mostly manage beach cleanups. Consider choosing resorts in Playa Mujeres or resorts with swimming pools.
- Enjoy underwater explorations with warm water temperatures around 27.2°C (81°F) and excellent visibility for snorkeling and diving.
- May is a shoulder season in Cancun, meaning fewer crowds and more affordable prices for flights, accommodations, and activities.
- Be prepared for exciting festivals and events in May, such as Cinco de Mayo, Cancun Jumpoff, Regata al Sol, Travesia Sagrada Maya, and the opportunity to swim with whale sharks.
👉 Learn when it’s the best time to go to Cancun.
How is the Weather in Cancun in May?
Let’s start with a quick recap of Cancun’s climate.
Cancun is nestled in the tropical climate zone, which means you’ll enjoy high temperatures all year round, with a small annual temperature range and plenty of sunshine. The yearly average temperature in Cancun is a balmy 27.1°C (80.8°F). And don’t worry; the refreshing sea breezes from the Caribbean keep the heat in check, ensuring that temperatures rarely climb above 36°C (97°F).
The tropical climate is characterized by two distinct seasons:
- The dry season (December to April) brings moderate weather conditions, thanks to the influence of the trade winds. Expect average daytime temperatures not to exceed 28.3°C (83°F), low cloud cover, and infrequent showers. The humidity level is also at its lowest (65%) during this season. January is the chilliest month of the dry season, with average temperatures between 19.4°C (67°F) and 27.2°C (81°F).
- The rainy season starts in May and lasts until the end of October. During this time, temperatures in Cancun are higher (average daytime temperature above 31.1°C/88°F), cloud cover is more prominent, and rain showers are more frequent and potentially intense. The humidity level also peaks during this season, hitting 100% in summer. July is the hottest month of the wet season, with temperatures ranging from 25°C (77°F) to 32.2°C (90°F).
Rain, Rain, Go Away (Or Stay, We Don’t Mind!)
Alright, amigos, let’s talk rain. May is officially the first month of the rainy season in Cancun, but you can expect the heavens to really open up only toward the end of the month. So, if you plan on visiting this tropical paradise in May, don’t fret too much about the rain.
Now, when I say “rainy season,” I don’t mean you’ll be swimming in puddles every single day.
The average rainfall in Cancun in May is just 7.3 days, compared to a whopping 14.4 days in September and a measly 4.2 days in March. Plus, the showers tend to be short and sweet, so the chances of experiencing several consecutive days of rain are pretty low (unless you’re really, really unlucky).
And hey, let’s look on the bright side (literally): the rain brings some much-needed coolness to the hot and humid days. With an average rainfall of 71.1 mm (2.8 inches), May is a transition month between the dry and rainy seasons, so you can still expect plenty of sunshine and warm weather.
Soak Up the Sun (But Don’t Get Burned!)
Speaking of sunshine, May is one of the months with the longest daylight hours, with an average day length of 13.2 hours. You’ll have plenty of time to lounge on the beach and work on that tan, just make sure to slather on the sunscreen!
In fact, you’ll get an average of 8.5 hours of sunshine per day in May, which is the maximum value recorded for the year (tied with April). So, if you’re a sun worshipper, this is your time to shine (pun absolutely intended).
Just remember that in May, cloud cover (48%) is almost equal to clear skies (52%) during the day, so don’t forget to pack your sunglasses and a good book for those beach days.
Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot (But Not Too Hot)
Temperature-wise, Cancun in May can get pretty toasty. At the hottest hours of the day (11 AM to 5 PM), the temperature can reach 30.6°C (87°F), with an average temperature of 27.2°C (81°F). And did we mention the humidity? Yeah, it’s rising.
But fear not, dear traveler! May is the last month of the windiest period of the year, which means you’ll still get some refreshing breezes to help you beat the heat and humidity.
My pro tip: schedule your excursions and activities in the morning to avoid the worst of the heat, especially if you’re planning on visiting ancient ruins.
As for those nighttime temps, the minimum temperature is a pleasant 24.4°C (76°F). So unless you’re a polar bear or hail from the Arctic, you probably won’t need to crank up the AC or pack a heavy sweater for those early morning outings. Just enjoy the warm, balmy nights and embrace the tropical vibes.
May is known as one of the “muggy” months in Cancun, with relative humidity ranging from 91% to a whopping 99%. This stickiness starts in April and doesn’t let up until December. With around 30 muggy days in May alone, you might find yourself a bit uncomfortable in the hot and humid air, especially during the latter half of the month. But hey, don’t sweat it (pun intended)! The summer months are even more intense.
May’s weather, particularly on those glorious sunny days, is perfect for exploring the Mayan ruins of the Riviera Maya, such as Chichen Itza, or letting loose at a theme park like Xcaret Park. Just remember to pack a spare T-shirt and a spray bottle for your day trips, and keep yourself hydrated with plenty of water!
As you may know, Cancun is prone to hurricanes and tropical storms, which bring potent winds and torrential rain. Fear not, though! The official hurricane season runs from June to November, with the highest storm probability between August and October. So, take a deep breath and relax – the skies are usually calm and unthreatening in May.
Cancun’s Sea in May: Everything You Need to Know
Let’s dive into the sea conditions in Cancun in May, from water temperature to visibility and everything in between.
First things first: rejoice because the period of the year with the coolest water temperatures (late December to mid-April) is over!
In May, the average water temperature in Cancun is a delightful 27.2°C (81°F), and it only gets warmer as the month progresses.
This means you can enjoy refreshing dips in the sea without shivering and even don your snorkeling gear to swim with sea turtles.
Just remember to protect your skin with eco-friendly sunscreen to avoid harming the marine environment.
And if you’re a diving enthusiast or planning to explore the Riviera Maya’s cenotes, pack a light diving suit for extra comfort.
The waters around Cancun are most transparent between November and May, with January to March being the absolute best for underwater visibility.
With plenty of sunny days and water temperatures that are warm but not too hot, May offers excellent conditions for snorkeling and diving. So, expect fantastic underwater sights as you explore Cancun’s beautiful coral reefs.
Winds are constantly present in Cancun, with the strongest gusts recorded between October and May (peaking in March at 9.2 mph). The average wind speed in May is 8.2 mph (13.2 km/h), and the winds predominantly blow from the East. This means that May is the last month of the kitesurfing season, which starts in November. So, if you’re a kitesurfing aficionado, make the most of it while you can!
Since the wind is still relatively strong in May, you can expect some waves and currents, depending on your chosen beach.
The middle Cancun Hotel Zone has the most beautiful waters but is also the roughest. If you’re a seasoned water sports enthusiast, you’ll have a blast kitesurfing or windsurfing here, but be cautious if you’re not experienced.
For those who prefer calmer waters, I recommend the beaches of Costa Mujeres (north of downtown Cancun) or south of the Cancun Hotel Zone, near Punta Nizuc.
Playa del Carmen, located south of Cancun, is also a family-friendly option.
Alternatively, catch an early ferry from Puerto Juarez to Isla Mujeres and soak up the serenity at the stunning Playa Norte.
What to Wear in Cancun in May?
You’re probably already daydreaming about your first dip in those warm turquoise waters. But before you put on your sunglasses, let’s talk about what to pack for your Cancun adventure in May.
- Pack light and loose clothing for hot daytime temperatures.
- Leave cozy pajamas at home, as nights are pleasant.
- Bring comfortable walking shoes for visiting Mayan sites.
- Don’t forget water shoes for exploring cenotes.
- Protect yourself from sunburns with long-sleeved shirts.
- Pack mosquito repellent to ward off pesky insects.
- Bring a long-sleeved swimsuit for snorkeling.
- Don’t forget snorkeling gear and a GoPro for underwater adventures.
- Essential items include a sun hat, sunglasses, and eco-friendly sunscreen.
- Pack a light rain jacket for the start of the rainy season.
- Stay hydrated with a reusable water bottle (preferably with a filtration system).
Festivals & Events in May
Cancun’s stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, and Mayan ruins are a given, but have you considered attending a local festival or event? Mexicans love to party, and Cancun is no exception.
Here are some of the top events and celebrations happening in Cancun in May:
#1 Cinco de Mayo
Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican army’s victory over the French army in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.
Though it’s a national holiday, there aren’t any parades or special events in Cancun. However, some bars offer happy hours, and several resorts host parties to mark the occasion.
#2 Cancun Jumpoff
Think of this as Spring Break for grown-ups.
Over six days and nights, Cancun Jumpoff hosts live music concerts, pool parties, and themed beach parties and welcomes internationally renowned DJs. With hip-hop, R&B, Soca, and Reggae on offer, there’s something for everyone.
The 2023 edition took place from May 24 to 29. Check out the official Cancun Jumpoff website for accommodation and event packages.
#3 Regata al Sol
If sailing floats your boat, watch competitors in this regatta arrive on Isla Mujeres after crossing the Gulf of Mexico from Pensacola, Florida.
The 32nd Regata al Sol sets sail on May 8, 2024. While you’re there, explore the beautiful Isla Mujeres!
#4 Travesia Sagrada Maya
For a taste of Mayan culture and rituals, attend this 500-year-old ceremony re-enacting the pilgrimage of 300 canoeists across the Caribbean Sea from Xcaret Park to the island of Cozumel. The event pays homage to the Mayan goddess of the moon, fertility, and childbirth.
Check the Travesia Sagrada Maya website for the exact dates of the 2024 edition.
#5 Swim with the Whale Sharks
Though not technically a festival, swimming with these gentle ocean giants is an unforgettable experience.
Whale Sharks are typically spotted between mid-May and mid-September, so that you might get lucky during your visit.
Tours depart from Cancun to observe these creatures between Isla Contoy and Isla Mujeres—book in advance, as spaces are limited.
Tips for Travelers Heading to Cancun in May
So, you’re getting excited about visiting Cancun in May? Fabulous! Let me give you some handy tips to help you plan your trip like a pro.
Avoid the Big Waves
You might have heard that in May, Cancun can have some pretty strong waves.
If you’re not an avid swimmer, it’s best to steer clear of the beaches in the middle of the Hotel Zone.
Yes, those turquoise waters are mesmerizing, but Playa Mujeres in the north of the Hotel Zone also boasts stunning beaches with white, powdery sand. While the waters might be a tad less blue, the nearby Isla Mujeres protects from the wind, creating a shallow and calm swimming environment.
What’s more, the area is home to some lovely all-inclusive resorts surrounded by lush tropical vegetation.
The beaches of Punta Nizuc, located south of the Hotel Zone, are also better sheltered. If you’re seeking peace and tranquility, you’ll appreciate being away from Cancun’s hustle and bustle.
May falls during the shoulder season for tourism, meaning it’s between the high and low seasons.
Spring Break and Holy Week have come and gone, so visitor numbers and prices are on the decline.
Flights and hotel rates are reasonable; you can find deals on various experiences and activities.
In short, May is a budget-friendly month for your Cancun adventure! Try not to book at the last minute to snag the best deals.
As I mentioned earlier, May is part of the shoulder season, making it an ideal time to visit Cancun to avoid crowds.
You’ll have a more relaxed experience at popular Quintana Roo tourist sites like Chichen Itza—one of the most incredible Mayan sites—and the numerous cenotes.
But don’t expect complete solitude as you stand at the base of the famous Kukulcan Pyramid or zip through the jungle at Xcaret Park. Cancun remains one of Mexico’s top attractions, after all.
Honeymooners, in particular, are drawn to the pleasant weather and reasonable prices in May. However, it’s nothing compared to the noise and chaos of peak season.
Plan your visits for the morning hours to beat the heat and make the most of your excursions.
Sorry, the Sargasso season has started!
I guess you’ve already heard about Sargassum, especially if you’re planning to visit Cancun for a while.
This brown seaweed originates from the west coast of Africa and travels across the Atlantic Ocean in huge shoals carried by the currents. While these thick mats are at sea, they’re a boon to the food chain, as they’re rich in marine organisms.
The problem arises when these algae wash up on the Caribbean coast and, therefore, Cancun.
The Sargasso season changes every year but usually lasts from April to September.
The strandings can be so severe that swimming and even sunbathing on the beach become impossible. The idyllic waters turn brown, and the piles of sargassum emit a nauseating smell as they dry.
Now, don’t start panicking just yet.
May is still the beginning of the season, and beach resorts in Cancun are usually able to organize themselves to clean their sandy peace of paradise. Still, double-check with your resort.
The phenomenon has grown so much over the last few years that it affects the tourism economy of Quintana Roo. The authorities are doing their best to carry out cleanup operations and set up floating booms.
To avoid this inconvenience, I recommend choosing a resort on Playa Mujeres, north of downtown Cancun. These beautiful beaches are usually more spared from the Sargasso. Consider staying at a resort with swimming pools for even more peace of mind. They may not have the charm of the Caribbean Sea, but at least you can cool off.
Don’t trust your weather forecast
Cancun’s weather is pretty unpredictable, so don’t rely too heavily on the weather forecast. Keep in mind that even though humidity increases in May, it’s still generally great weather, with rain not yet too frequent.
As I mentioned earlier, the risk of Sargasso can be a bummer. If you want to wait until the beach of your dreams recovers its beautiful colors (hope is free), choose a resort with swimming pools.
If you’re really sensitive to the cold, I recommend resorts with heated pools.
- For a classy stay with your partner, check out Secrets The Vine Cancun in the Hotel Zone—an adult-only, all-inclusive resort with three magnificent infinity pools.
- The Live Aqua Beach Resort near the Nichupté Lagoon is also a stylish, all-inclusive resort for adults, featuring a beautiful pool facing the sea.
- If you’re traveling with your family, consider the Fiesta Americana Condesa Cancun, located in the heart of the Cancun Hotel Zone. You’ll forget about the Sargasso while enjoying one of the two lovely pools, and the kids will have fun in their own pool.
- If you prefer a quieter location, try the Nizuc & Spa, a beautiful luxury hotel in the South of the Hotel Zone (Punta Nizuc).
Mosquitoes are coming!
In May, the weather gets hot, and the rain isn’t falling too much, but humidity increases.
These conditions are favorable for the return of mosquitoes! Always carry repellent and wear long sleeves if you can stand it. Don’t let this discourage you from exploring the Riviera Maya—you’ll regret it. And remember, the summer months are much worse!
It’s still okay compared to places like Tulum Beach.
Rainy Days in Cancun: Embrace the Wet and Wonderful Adventures!
I’ve got your back with a handful of exciting activities that’ll make you forget all about the moody skies.
1# Plunge into an Underground River Adventure
Why not take advantage of the rain and explore an underground river?
Quintana Roo, the region where Cancun is located, has plenty of jaw-dropping hidden gems for you.
Rio Secreto, just south of Playa del Carmen, is the perfect spot for adventurers and geology enthusiasts alike. Swap your umbrella for a helmet and headlamp, and prepare for a subterranean escapade you’ll never forget!
2# Soak Up Some Mayan Culture at a Museum
If you prefer keeping your feet dry and learning something new, why not immerse yourself in the fascinating Mayan culture?
El Museo Maya de Cancun, situated right in the Hotel Zone, houses an impressive collection of artifacts discovered at various archaeological sites across Quintana Roo, including captivating ruins.
Set aside about two hours to explore this engaging and informative museum – you won’t regret it!
3# Retail Therapy: Shop ‘Til the Rain Stops
Are you a self-proclaimed shopaholic, especially on rainy days?
You’re in luck!
Cancun has plenty of shopping options that’ll keep you entertained and dry.
For a touch of luxury, head to Isla Shopping Village on the Nichupté Lagoon. This picturesque mall resembles a mini-Venice, complete with canals and gondolas. Grab a bite to eat or indulge in some ice cream while enjoying live mariachi music.
If you’re in the mood for a bustling shopping experience, check out Forum By the Sea in Punta Cancun, the heart of the Hotel Zone. This expansive mall boasts a variety of popular shops for your retail pleasure.
And, if you’re on the hunt for memorable souvenirs, I highly recommend Mercado 28 de Noviembre in downtown Cancun. This vibrant and colorful flea market is brimming with artisanal handicrafts and clothing boutiques. Remember to bring along your bargaining skills – haggling is all part of the fun here!
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