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When Is the Best Time to Visit Cancun in 2023?

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!

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BEST TIME TO VISIT CANCUN

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.

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.

However, the best time to see whale sharks in Cancun is from mid-July through mid-August.

Keep in mind that Cancun in August is quite hot and humid but definitely worth it.

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 for avoiding 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.

Do I need travel insurance in Mexico? Yes, you do! I can never stress enough what a lifesaver it can be in unexpected situations. Although I hope I never need it, it gives me peace of mind to know that whatever happens I am covered. I have been using  Safety Wing and I find it quite fair, covering a lot for its pricing level. Depending on your needs or you can compare different insurance companies on this useful site, TRAVEL INSURANCE MASTER. Make sure you read carefully what’s included before making the purchase. If you are undecided yet you can read my post on the best travel insurance for Mexico for more clarity.

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 families 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. 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 this 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.

VALLADOLID MEXICO
READ ALSO: Things to do in Valladolid Mexico
BEST TIME TO VISIT CANCUN

Cancun weather and events month-by-month

Cancun in January

Cancun in January is a gorgeous time of year. The weather is cool (for Cancun!), with highs of 81°F (27°C), little rain, and many clear sunny days. It’s a great time to explore the jungles and Mayan ruins

In January, you’ll also enjoy brisk temperatures in the evening, night, and early morning. It can feel refreshing after the heat of the day. Take some light sweaters so you don’t get chilly when you’re out on the town!

At 78°F (25°C), the water temperature is still nice for swimming in January. However, if you plan to dive for long periods of time, you might want a wetsuit.

In early January, you can celebrate the traditional Mexican Holiday: Día de los Reyes (Day of Kings). Bring a unique toy to donate to a toy drive, give gifts to friends, and drink delicious Mexican hot chocolate. Yum!

Another fun event in late January is the Annual Handline Barracuda Tournament. This event is held on the nearby Isla Mujeres, just off the Cancun coast.

If you’re an angler, you can have fun fishing and help raise money for local charities. Win-win!

Scuba Diving in Cancun
READ ALSO: The best Scuba Diving Spots in Cozumel

Cancun in February

Just like January, February has amazing dry, sunny, and warm temperatures. The weather ranges from 68°F (20°C) to 82°F (28°C) during this month.

February in Cancun involves many great events, ranging from cultural celebrations to Mandala Night Pool Parties.

During this month, Mexicans celebrate Candlemas Day (Día de Candelaria), Constitution Day, Valentine’s Day, and the OHL classic for golfers! 

Valentine’s Day isn’t just about romance in Mexico, but about friendship as well.

Hang out with friends or your significant other at a beach, bar, or restaurant. Just make sure you book well in advance because reservations fill up fast! 

Or keep things chill with a sunset picnic on the beach, complete with sangrias, candles, and the wash of the surf.

Another amazing intimate option is to book a private Old Galleon Dinner Cruise while a saxophonist serenades you.

Constitution Day is especially fun, with parades, concerts, fairs, and picnics.

You can also enjoy popping nightlife in Cancun as things start to rev up for the spring break season.

Cancun by night
Cancun by night

Cancun in March

March is one of the driest months in Cancun, with only three rainy days on average. The water is balmy at 79°F (26°C) and daytime temperatures range between 72°F (22°C) and 84°F (29°C).

March is spring break season in Cancun, so the nightlife can get pretty wild. Enjoy boat parties with open bars, DJs, and the chance to leap off the deck into the turquoise waters of the Caribbean.

Then there are shows with flying acrobats, world-class artists and musicians, tropical drinks, and any number of live acts.

Check out Feels Summer for the Cancun spring break calendar, and/or pick up a Cancun Club Pass.

On March 19 or 20, the Spring Equinox takes place. This is the perfect moment for a day trip to Chichén Itzá!

You can watch the play of light on the pyramid of Kukulcan. I’m sure it will be unforgettable!

This month isn’t a good time to visit Cancun if you don’t like crowds. Keep that in mind if you’re planning to travel to Cancun in March, as we are still in the peak season just like the winter months.

Cancun in April

April is probably the driest month of the year in Cancun, with only two rainy days in the entire month. You’ll enjoy nine hours of blissful sunshine!

This is a great month to spend swimming! Take an edge off the heat with Mexican cocktails (such as a Paloma) or a refreshing natural drink (such as Rosa de Jamaica or Horchata).

You’ll see less of the spring-break crowd in April, but more of the Holy week vacationers who flock to Cancun from other parts of Mexico to enjoy Semana Santa festivities.

Holy week is the busiest week of the year and the real peak season but it also marks the end of the high season in Cancun.

This is a good opportunity to enjoy a spectacular night show at Coco Bongo.

Mexicans celebrate Children’s Day on April 30th in Cancun. If you’re traveling with kids, you can enjoy special events for children on this day. Some of the activities include parades and kid-friendly parties.

Cancun in May

May is a great month to find great deals! Although May is considered the start of the wet season, it still only has an average of four rainy days during the entire month.

The water temperature is nice and warm at 82°F (28°C). The daytime temperature ranges between 77°F (25°C) and 88°F (31°C).

If you are in Cancun in May, this is a wonderful time to find nesting sea turtles!

Whale sharks also start to come into the area in May. But it’s not yet time to see them as the whale sharks season officially starts in mid-June.

On May 10th, people in Mexico celebrate Mother’s Day. This is a big deal for Mexicans and usually involves giving their mother vibrant flower bouquets.

Many people also gather outside their mother’s home to serenade her in the morning, sometimes with a full mariachi band!

Cancun in June

June is another great month for cheap rates in Cancun! The city isn’t as crowded, so you can often find nice offers for hotels and events.

There are six rainy days on average in June. The temperature can get up to a smoking 90°F (32°C)! As long as there aren’t storms in the area, this is a fantastic time to go snorkeling or scuba diving.

June is one of the best months for underwater visibility. It is also the start of whale shark season.

Going on a whale shark tour is an amazing experience.

► Learn all about it in my post on swimming with whale sharks!

High-school graduates come to Cancun to celebrate finishing high school, so there will be many parties in Cancun during this time.

On a more somber note, June 1st is Día de la Marina. Keep an eye out for floating wreaths of flowers, which are laid on the waves to honor sailors lost at sea.

Another great June activity is to visit the Mayan ruins in Cancun and participate in the summer solstice celebrations.

Cancun in July

July is a perfect month for snorkeling with whale sharks. Sea turtles also start to hatch in Cancun in July, which you won’t want to miss.

The weather in July is pretty hot, with temperatures ranging between 79°F (26°C)  and 90°F (32°C). The ocean is a balmy 84°F (29°C). On average, there are only four rainy days in July, although hurricanes can come through occasionally.

This is the perfect time to explore all the different beaches in Cancun, take surf lessons, go on a scuba diving adventure in Cancun, or visit Isla Mujeres.

You can also celebrate the rebirth of the Mayan calendar in Cancun. Their year started fresh every 26th of July.

Cancun in August

Ever gone to a beach party that stretches for seven miles and lasts for three whole days? On August 12-14, natives and visitors to Cancun celebrate the “Fiesta de la Playa.” 

During the event, turquoise waters, palm trees, and white sand beaches become the backdrop for surfing competitions, frisbee tosses, soccer tournaments, live music, and DJ and runway shows.

This is the world’s biggest beach party!

The weather in August in Cancun is pretty hot and humid, with temperatures up to 90ºF (32ºC) and only four rainy days on average.

Isla de Mujeres celebrates Founding Day on August 17th, with music, parades, and fun festivities. Take the boat over to keep the party going.

August is still a good month to see baby sea turtles hatch or to go snorkeling with whale sharks.

Read more about visiting Cancun in August

Cancun in September

If you are traveling to Cancún in September, you’re likely to get discounted hotel rates during this month. Hurray!

September is often rainy and cloudy, but the daily highs still reach 90°F (32°C). September is considered hurricane season, so it’s possible a storm may hit while you’re there.

However, there are only seven rainy days on average. Still, it’s a good idea to have a few rainy-day backup plans. 

On a rainy day, you could visit the subterranean river caves at Xplor Park.

Another option is to explore the Mayan Museum or the old car museum (Museo del Automovil Antiguo).

At night, you could do a food-tasting and mixology tour, or watch a Cirque du Soleil show.

Events you can enjoy in Cancun in September include the Latin America Foodshow (a gourmet event), the Fiestas Patrias (independence day festivities with music, dancing, traditional food, and parades), and the Autumn Equinox.

The equinox was of great importance to the Maya. To celebrate, visit some Mayan ruins, or watch a ceremonial re-enactment.

Cancun in October

October in Cancun is another great month for discounts. The weather is the rainiest at the beginning of the month (with an average of eight rainy days).

However, the climate gets sunnier and more clear as the month goes on.

The weather is a bit cooler in October, ranging from 73°F (23°C) and 86°F (30°C). The water is still a nice temperature for swimming, at 84°F (29°C).

October is a great time to take a cooking class, or shop in some of Cancun’s famous shopping centers, such as Mercado 23 or Mercado 28. You can also see sea turtles hatching.

In mid-October, join in the celebrations for Día de la Raza. Watch the processions, and then have some fun at a street party.

Cancun in November

November is the perfect shoulder season in Cancun, with a nice mix of good prices and few crowds. (although there is an influx of visitors during American Thanksgiving).

Hop right into the cultural events in Cancun in November with a celebration of the Día de los Muertos. This major Mexican holiday occurs on the first of the month.

Dress up like La Catrina, the most iconic of the day of the dead symbols, visit a cemetery, eat sugar skulls, or have a Coco movie night with your kids.

Other cool events in Cancun in November include colorful parades on the Día de la Revolución and a food festival called Taste of the Playa.

Head to Mamitas Beach in late November in Playa del Carmen for the Riviera Maya Jazz Festival. Claim a spot on the sand and enjoy amazing music during this free cultural event.

November is also a wonderful month to go diving. You might get to see female bull sharks! They come to the area at the end of the year to have their babies.

Cancun in December

December is a beautiful month to enjoy Cancun. The weather is perfect, with only six rainy days, and temperatures of 70°F (21°C) to 82°F (28°C). Why not go kayaking, take a Captain Hook tour, or visit the interactive aquarium?

Prices are still pretty good up until mid-December, although things pick up as the month goes on.

Early in the month, Mexicans re-enact the birth of Jesus during “Posadas”. They walk around in groups, searching for a place to stay, asking for lodging, and singing. Once they make it to the host’s house, they enjoy food and drink.

The Day of Innocents is another interesting celebration. It occurs on December 28. On this day, you can join many Mexicans in a bit of mischief! Pull a prank to join in the spirit of Mexico’s April Fool’s.

New Year’s Eve is also an awesome time to be in Cancun. There are parties throughout the entire city, giving you plenty of places to ring in the new year!

BEST TIME TO VISIT CANCUN

Frequently Asked Questions about when to visit Cancun

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.

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.

Read also my post on the best All inclusive adult-only resorts in Cancun.

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.

BEST TIME TO VISIT CANCUN

The best time to Visit Cancun: final thoughts

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!


For further reading

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


✨ Mexico Travel Planning Guide ✨

👉 Do I need travel insurance to travel to Mexico?

I would do it if I were you. You never know what can happen and know that no matter what, you will be covered with any expenses will give you peace of mind, and make your travel worry-free. You can check out SafetyWing which I have used and find it affordable and comprehensive and also Travel Insurance Master which is great because you can insert all your information and what kind of insurance you need and their system will pull out the best insurance for your need.

🚰 Can I drink tap water in Mexico?

No, you can’t! Maybe in some areas or in some homes where they have installed water filters but to be on the safe side, I would say, never drink tap water in Mexico. Carry a water bottle with you and fill it up where you find available potable water sources. Most of the hotels have those.

🚗 Is it safe to drive in Mexico?

The short answer is: depending on where you are. Although in general if you stick to the main roads and don’t drive at night you should probably be safe. In lesser tourist areas you should probably check the local news to stay up to date. Driving in the Yucatan Peninsula is easy everywhere, even at night, although I would still avoid it. I usually use Discover Cars because the site offers the options to compare prices among different car rentals and you can add their own full coverage.

Read more on my guide on Renting a car in Mexico.

📱 Will my phone work in Mexico?

It will probably work, especially if you have a European or US phone, but your roaming rates may be to the stars (check with your SIM provider). Even if have an affordable international rate, you will be much better off by buying a Mexican SIM Card. It’s cheap, easy to set up, and it will keep you connected with your friends, family, and, more important, google Maps so you will never get lost!

🤕 Is it safe to travel to Mexico right now?

The short answer is, yes it is. However, there are parts of Mexico that are indeed troubled and you should avoid for now, and others that are super safe and easy to travel around.

Regardless of where you are you should always use some common sense rules such as, never flaunting expensive clothing, accessories, electronics, or money and keeping a low profile.

Read more on my detailed guide on safety in Mexico. If you are traveling to a specific destination I have got you covered as well:

💉 Do I need any vaccine to travel to Mexico?

No, there is no vaccine requirement (of any kind) to travel to Mexico

🇲🇽 Do I need a visa to travel to Mexico?

If you are coming from the US or Europe you don’t need a VISA to enter Mexico. Once you get in you need to fill out a form that you need to keep with you until you leave. If you don’t have it you will pay a fine.

Although the tourist visa for US and European travelers used to be 6 months long which you could easily renew by leaving the country for a couple of days and going back, nowadays they have been stricter. You may be asked how you would sustain your living and other similar questions. Sometimes they even ask you to show your credit cards.

It seems odd but they can do that. If you intend to stay longer than a usual couple of weeks’ vacation time, just be honest and explain your plans. If you are not from the US, check this site to see if you need a visa

💸 Where do I find the best travel deals for Mexico? 💸

A trip to Mexico can be expensive if you love to travel with all the comforts (like I do). There are a few tricks that will help you find the best deals. Here are my tips:

👉 DON’T travel in the high season, which is Holy week, Christmas and winter in general, and August.
👉 Book months in advance to find early booking discounts
👉 Use aggregators such as Discover Cars to find price comparisons and VRBO for vacation rentals!
👉 Look for packages flights+hotels on Expedia or Skyscanner as usually, that’s where the best deals are.
👉 Check on Booking.com or Hotels.com for hotel deals

Happy travels!!