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When is the best time to visit Cancun?

Once you decide that it is going to be your next destination, you may want to know when it’s the best time to visit Cancun, in order to make the most of it. Here in this post, we’ll help you find out when it’s the best time to travel to Cancun for weather, budget, and other factors.

The Mexican Caribbean city is known for its spectacular beaches, resorts, and nightlife, but every month or every season is different than others and you can enjoy different things depending on when you travel.

You might be looking for near-perfect weather, no crowds, or better hotel deals, Cancun has it all and more.

But I’ll cover all of the things that comprise Cancun’s best-of to help you decide the timing of your tour.

So without any further ado. Let’s dive in!

When is the best time to visit Cancun?

Best time to visit Cancun for the best deals

Cancun hotel zone is built on one of the best beaches in Mexico, lined with world-class all-inclusive resorts, but pricey.

Although these beautiful luxury properties are amazing places to stay, you can still find very cost-effective rates on these if you visit them at the right time.

So, if you want to do that, visiting during the low season months of September to early December, and from May to June is precisely the time you should be planning your trip in.

You can find discount deals of up to 50% off during the summers, making it the ideal time to visit if you’re on a budget.

Check out my favorite hotels in Cancun to find the best deals!

Cancun beach with background - Cancun to Tulum
Cancun Beach

Best time to visit Cancun for good weather

Cancun’s weather is wonderful throughout the year, but summers are hotter and more humid, with more rain and hurricanes, though these are uncommon.

Winter is the high season for a reason: there are fewer rainstorms and no hurricanes, and the nights and mornings are much colder, though the average temperature remains around 83°F/28°C. While the water temperature is cooler, it is still swimmable.

Typically, the best, near-perfect weather in Cancun is between December and April when you can best enjoy the spectacular Cancun beaches.

You may also want to check out

Puerto Vallarta vs Cancun: which one is better?
Cancun vs. Tulum: which one to choose?
Cancun vs Playa del Carmen: where should you go?

Best time to swim with the whale sharks in Cancun

Cancun is one of the best places for swimming with whale sharks, which I found an unmissable thrilling experience.

If you’re an adventure-seeker, it’s the thing for you. In case you want to get yourself one of these tours, you would have to visit between June and September, as they’re only passing through during this time of the year.

If you want to swim with whale sharks in winter from December through April you might want to consider checking out La Paz in Baja California Sur, Mexico.

swimming with the whale sharks
Me, swimming with the whale shark

Best time to visit Cancun to avoid crowds

Visiting during the shoulder season doesn’t only have the advantage of low rates on stays, but the added benefit of thin crowds, and agreeable weather.

Even though the rates are slightly higher as compared to the low season, the weather and serene atmosphere more than justify that.

There will also be plenty of places to stay in Cancun for any budget (though booking ahead is always recommended), and you should be able to find a good deal on flights.

So, visit Cancun during the months of April, May, November, and the beginning of December if you want to enjoy the beach in relative peace and try the most popular Cancun restaurants without having to wait an hour for your turn.

Best time to go to Cancun for avoiding hurricanes

Even though the hurricane season is from June to October, the chances of encountering one are slim. The months of August through October are the most at risk.

But, to put it in perspective, there have only been two major hurricanes in the last 30 years. The rest were merely tropical storms that caused little or no damage.

Best time to visit Cancun for families and kids

The months of May to November are ideal for families traveling with children in Cancun. It’s the off-season, so prices are lower and there are a lot of family-offers to be had. In addition, there are fewer people at all of the attractions and beaches.

The weather is hot, and the water is ideal for swimming and snorkeling with the kids. From June to September is also a good time to visit Cancun if you’re going with your family and kids.

Whale sharks and sea turtles can also be seen during this time of the year. The only time to avoid is during Thanksgiving week, which is normally very busy.

aerial view of a coast in cancun

Best time to visit Cancun for honeymoon

Cancun is at its most stunning from December to May, with ideal beach conditions and clear skies, making it the ideal honeymoon destination.

For honeymooners on a budget, early December, April, and May offer the best combination of good weather, low-ish crowds, and reasonable room rates.

The best weather, with the sunniest days and near-perfect beach conditions, is from January to March, but rates are higher and crowds are heavier.

Punta Cancun nichupte lagoon overview

Best time to visit Cancun for swimming snorkeling and diving

While Cancun is not ideal for snorkeling, several boat tours take you to the nearby Musa (an underwater museum in Isla Mujeres), and Punta Nizuc, where the waters are calmer.

The drier months of November through May provide the best visibility, especially in January and March.

Though it’s possible to snorkel with whale sharks from June to September, the visibility is best in June.

Here are some available snorkeling tours

Best time to visit Cancun for sea turtle hatching

Sea turtles love to lay their eggs on the beaches of Cancun.

Many hotels have their own programs to shield them from predators and aid the entire process from spawning to hatching and the final rush of the newly born to the sea.

It’s a fascinating experience if you happen to be on the beach late at night when they release them. The sea turtle nesting season runs from the end of May to the end of October.

The hatching season runs from the end of July to the end of December.

Sea turtle walking on the beach

Best time for exploring the jungles and Mayan ruins of Cancun

Chichen Itza, Valladolid, and the archeological sites are best visited between December and April. From mid-December to the end of April, the weather is ideal, with sunny days, little rain, mild temperatures, and low humidity.

However, the peak travel season is from January to March, so attractions will be extremely crowded during that period.

Traveling in December or April, at the beginning or end of the best weather, provides perfect conditions for exploring everything that Cancun has to offer.

Traveling to Valladolid and Merida in the summer, it’s extremely hot, like you-can’t-even-move-hot! Don’t say I haven’t warned you. 🙂

Best time in Cancun for the nightlife and to avoid spring break

Cancun, as previously said, is always ready to welcome, including its fantastic nightlife, which is available all year.

The most famous nightclubs are located in the downtown area around Plaza de Toros and in the hotel zone, in the Punta Cancun area.

You’ll see a variety of people depending on the time of year you visit.

In March, spring breakers will take over the entire city, but this is also when the craziest shows and 24/7 parties with foreign DJs and top entertainment will take place.

If you don’t want to go all out with the partying, you can visit between December and February to find a more moderate form of nightlife.

Is it safe to visit Cancun?

Cancun is a reasonably safe place to visit. It’s a tourist destination where visitors are always warmly welcomed and the people are hospitable.

But, as with anywhere else in the world, including your hometown, a healthy dose of common sense is advised. You can check out my detailed post on safety in Cancun where I explain more in detail how to stay safe in Cancun.

Frequently Asked Questions about when to visit Cancun

What are the hottest months in Cancun?

From June to November, the hot season (also known as the rainy season) occurs, with average daily high temperatures exceeding 88°F (31°C).

At this time of year, there is a greater risk of heavy rains, and hurricanes are a possibility but extremely rare.

The cool and dry season runs from December to March, with regular high temperatures averaging below 81°F/27°C, cooler nights, and less rain.

Don’t think about feeling “cold” during the day because of the humidity, which will make it feel like it’s already 88°F/31°C.

Hotel Ziva in Cancun Aerial View

What is the best all-inclusive Cancun resort?

Cancun offers a wide range of lodging options, with the Hotel Zone in Cancun being especially popular. My top choice would be the Le Blanc Spa Resort, followed by the two Hyatt hotels, Hyatt Ziva (family resort) and Hyatt Zilara (Adult Only), depending on whom you are traveling with.

If you want a more independent stay, I recommend looking into Cancun’s vacation rental options.

There is a range of excellent, luxurious options available at reasonable prices.

Which side of Cancun is better?

While it is always recommended to go out and explore, the best way to enjoy Cancun is without a doubt to remain in the beach zone.

The best way to start the day is to wake up on the beach. Cancun beach, though, is about 20 kilometers long and not all of it is the same. Some parts of the sea are rougher than others, making swimming more difficult.

The areas around Punta Cancun, the beach stretch from Krystal Resort to the Hard Rock Cafe Beach Club, and the area around Presidente Intercontinental are the best for swimming.

In addition, the Puerto Juarez neighborhood has become a popular hangout spot. It’s less pricey (in some places) and less glamorous, but it’s still by the sea.

Playa delfines in Cancun
Playa Delfines in Cancun

What should I avoid in Cancun?

There are plenty of things that you can do in Cancun, but there are also a few that you should avoid. Not to worry, though. They’re very easily avoidable, and make your stay in Cancun a better experience. So, do avoid the following.

  • Exchanging money at the airport or at your hotel. It’s best to do it in a bank or Caja de Cambio, a currency exchange service in Cancun.
  • Using a cab to get to the airport. Pre-booking a transportation service is much more convenient.
  • Drinking tap water. The tap water in Cancun isn’t what you would call filtered and clean, so never drink tap water there.
  • Throwing toilet paper into the toilet. It’s advised to avoid doing that if you don’t want your toilet to get stuck and cause flooding, not a nice experience.
  • Booking tours on the beach or on the street. It’s not a good idea and it’s more likely that you’ll be conned.
  • Visiting during Spring Break. Spring Break is not a good time to visit. March, June, and July are the months when you’ll find throngs of inebriated teens screaming and shouting all day.
  • Spending a lot of time in your hotel. Not that is a bad thing, of course, especially if you are in one of the amazing hotels in Cancun. But it would be a shame not to enjoy all the things that you can do in Cancun. The city is surrounded by breathtaking natural wonders and interesting cultural sites. You should rent a car and get out to explore. I have even shared a Yucatan Itinerary where you can get some inspiration. Make sure you check out El Cuyo as well, my favorite place in Yucatan.

Cancun can be an unforgettable holiday destination if you come at the right time of the year. Although there is no truly ideal time of year to visit Cancun, you can decide the best time based on the type of weather you like, the number of visitors, and the cost of living in the city.

I hope this guide will help you do that. You can also visit Isla Mujeres, a nearby island with just as much to offer, while you’re in the area.

There are beaches in Isla Mujeres, snorkeling, diving, all-inclusive resorts, and much more. In fact, a visit to Cancun is incomplete without a trip to Isla Mujeres.

You can book a tour, or you can just take one of the ferries to Isla Mujeres from Cancun and do the touring on your own. Happy vacations!