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Traveling to Tulum in January: Weather, Events, and Things to Do

So, you’re planning on traveling to Tulum in January and wondering if it’s a good idea.

The short answer is that it’s a superb idea; January is one of the best months to visit the town as the weather is perfect (neither too warm nor too cold), the humidity is low, and there are tons of things to do and enjoy.

However, as January is part of the high season, there will be thousands of other people visiting the town to enjoy their vacations.

You’ll encounter crowds at all the frequently visited places (prepare to stand in line at the popular restaurants unless you make a reservation first), and will have to book your tickets, accommodations, and trips months in advance.

Traveling to Tulum in January

Now that you have the short answer, let’s dive into the long one; that’s what this article is all about.

I’ll be covering the weather, events, and things to do in Tulum during January, and more. Let’s get started!

Tulum by month

JAN | FEB | MARCH | APRIL | MAY | JUNE | JULY | AUG | SEPT | OCT | NOV | DEC

Weather in Tulum in January – At a Glance

January is the coldest month of the year in Tulum. But not to worry, the weather is perfect for those who enjoy warm days and cool nights (who doesn’t).

It is warm and sunny during the day, and the water temperature, day or night, is great for activities like swimming and snorkeling.

The temperature in Tulum in January

Average High and Low Temperature in January in Tulum
Photo © weatherspark.com

The average daytime temperature is usually around 76 F (24.3 C); on some days, it might go as high as 90 F (32.2 C), but those are very rare.

At night, the average temperature drops to about 70 F (21.2 C); still very enjoyable, but humidity usually rises a little bit. Some nights might go as low as low 60s F, but those are quite rare too.

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.

Precipitation in Tulum in January

Average Monthly Rainfall in January in Tulum
Photo © weatherspark.com

Rainfall in January ranges anywhere from 30-70mm. Essentially, you’ll see anywhere from 4 to 7 rainy days if you stay the whole month.

Luckily, even when it does rain, the rain showers usually pass within an hour or two at most and you don’t have to cancel any plans.

Sunshine in Tulum in January

Undoubtedly, sunshine is one of the biggest reasons travelers flock to this town during the high season.

The chance for a perfect sunny day during January is around 60%; around 40% of the days will be somewhat cloudy. Expect to get about 7-8 hours of sunshine a day.

Cloud Cover Categories in January in Tulum
Photo © weatherspark.com

Sea water temperature

The sea water temperature hovers around 80.6 F (27 C) from January to March.

It’s a very enjoyable temperature, even if you want to remain submerged for longer periods.

Snorkeling, anyone?

Average Water Temperature in January in Tulum
Photo © weatherspark.com

Sargassum Seaweed in Tulum in January

With the rising sea temperatures, sargassum seaweed becomes a bit of a problem in Tulum during the warmer months.

Lucky for you, that’s not a problem you’ll have to face as January is the coldest month of the year.

The beaches will be picture-perfect for all activities and you won’t have to deal with any sargassum.

people on Riviera Maya beach in Tulum
Photo © Canva

Events in Tulum in January

🎇🥂 New Year’s parties

Technically, the New Year’s parties take place on December 31st. But given that they continue well into the mornings of January the first, they’re worth a mention here.

If you happen to get an early flight and end up in Tulum before January 1st, you might want to look into these parties.

Almost every bar and restaurant in town hosts a New Year’s party, with each one offering a different feel; so whether you’re looking for a quiet night or a wild party, you’ll be able to find something to suit your taste.

🎵 Zamna festival

Zamna is an electronic dance music festival that takes place from December to January.

The festival features a variety of EDM DJs and tickets can be purchased for each DJ’s sets individually.

This is one of the best events for those of you who are fans of EDM and love to party.

New Year and festivals in Tulum Mexico

👑 Three Kings’ Day

In Mexico, El Día de Los Reyes, or Three Kings Day, is celebrated on January 6th.

The holiday commemorates the day when the three wise men, also known as the three kings, arrived in Bethlehem to visit baby Jesus.

During Kings Day celebrations in Tulum, people often wear brightly colored clothing and gather together in public spaces to sing and dance. Children receive gifts and families usually have dinner together.

A popular tradition is to bake a special cake called a Rosca de Reyes, which has a small figurine of baby Jesus hidden inside.

Whoever finds this figurine hosts Candlemas, also known as Fiesta de la Candelaria, in February.

Comunité Festival

🎧🎭 The Comunité Festival in Tulum is a music and arts festival that takes place every January.

The festival features a variety of genres of music, as well as art installations and performances. The focus is not just on Mexican culture but also on world culture in general.

Arena Festival

🏳️‍🌈 The Arena Festival Internacional in Tulum is a one-of-a-kind event that celebrates LGBTQ culture and diversity.

Held every January, the festival features a wide range of activities and events.

Parties are held in both Playa del Carmen and Tulum at various locations. You can enjoy activities like live music and DJ sets, art installations, and beach parties.

Portal Maya Sculpture in Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Portal Maya Sculpture in Playa del Carmen, Mexico – Photo © Canva

Pros of Visiting Tulum in January

Perfect weather: If you’re looking for perfect weather, Tulum is the place to be in January. With an average temperature of 76 degrees Fahrenheit (24.4 degrees Celsius) and very little rainfall, you’ll be able to enjoy all that the city has to offer without having to worry about the weather.

Although the town does tend to be a bit more humid than other places in Mexico, it’s nothing that a little air conditioning can’t fix. You’ll be able to enjoy all your favorite outdoor activities without having to worry about inclement weather.

The beaches are incredible: Thanks to the great weather, the beautiful beaches in Tulum are breathtaking and offer plenty of activities to keep you busy. From snorkeling and swimming to just sunbathing, you’ll find everything you need to make your vacation perfect. Best of all, there’s no sargassum to worry about, unlike in warmer months.

Vibrant nightlife: January might be the coldest month in Tulum, but when the starts to drop, the nightlife heats up! There are tons of great bars and clubs to check out when you’re looking for a fun night out. Since there are so many other tourists in town, many bars and clubs stay open until 4 to 5AM.

Playa del Carmen Mexico
Playa Del Carmen – Photo © Canva

Cons of Visiting Tulum in January

👎 January is by far one of the busiest months: If you’re looking for a quiet, relaxing vacation in January, Tulum is not the place for you. The popular Mexican resort town is bustling with tourists this time of year. Almost every popular place, including the beaches, is crowded.

If you don’t mind the hustle and bustle, Tulum is a beautiful place to visit. The weather is perfect for spending days lounging on the beach or exploring the Mayan ruins. If you visit during this month, just be prepared to deal with large crowds.

👎 Also, one of the most expensive months: As the town is seeing an influx of tourists and everything is so busy, demand is higher. Many of the best hotels and restaurants are booked solid months in advance.

You might get to enjoy the town when the weather is perfect and you have plenty of activities to keep you entertained, but you’ll be paying noticeably more for the privilege. If you’re on a budget, you might want to visit during the shoulder season (May to August) for cheaper prices.

Things to Do in Tulum in January

► Enjoy the beaches

As I’ve mentioned before, visitors in January get to enjoy perfect beach conditions during January.

There’s plenty of sunshine, the water temperature is great, the beaches are clean and picture-perfect, and you get to enjoy plenty of activities such as swimming, sunbathing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, and more.

If you find the beaches too crowded, you can also visit the cenotes; some of the remote ones, you might be able to get all to yourself, depending on the time of the day.

► Go on outdoor adventures

With the perfect weather, it’d be a sin to visit Tulum and not go on at least a few outdoor adventures. The town offers practically unlimited opportunities for adventures no matter what you’re into.

You can visit the Mayan ruins, you can go on day trips to neighboring towns, take a hike through the vast jungle, go ziplining, visit cenotes, and much more.

Gran Cenote Tulum Mexico
Gran Cenote, Tulum, Mexico

► Enjoy the rich culture, delicious food, and vibrant nightlife of Tulum

Immersing yourself in a completely different culture is one of the biggest joys of traveling, and Tulum offers you a taste of authentic Mexican culture.

The town is also home to many restaurants that serve up traditional Mexican cuisine as well as international dishes.

There are also a number of bars and clubs that stay open late into the night. Visitors can dance the night away or relax with a drink in hand.

► Go snorkeling

There’s a reason I’m mentioning snorkeling and diving separately from outdoor adventures.

Water visibility is at its highest in waters around Tulum from January to April, so if you’re a snorkeling enthusiast or you just want to try it out for the first time, this is definitely one of the best months to do so.

Not only is the water temperature enjoyable, but the visibility is also as excellent as it can be.

Tips For Visiting Tulum in January

✔️ Book your accommodations, tickets, etc. in advance: January is a very busy month in Tulum. You don’t want to be going there on a whim during this month, because you’ll have a really hard time finding accommodations.

The biggest tip for visiting Tulum during high season is to make your bookings months in advance (the earlier the better).

It doesn’t matter if it’s air tickets, accommodations, events, or restaurant reservations (if they take reservations that early), do all of it in advance so you don’t face any hassles when you arrive.

✔️ Check the weather forecast: When you travel to Tulum, it’s important to check the weather forecast and pack your clothing and accessories accordingly. The temperature in Tulum during January can range from warm to cool and breezy, so it’s important to be prepared.

✔️ Bring sunscreen and insect repellant: Be sure to include plenty of sunscreen and insect repellent. The sun is very strong in this region and the bugs can be relentless, so it’s important to be prepared. Choose a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, and pack enough for everyone in your group; you’ll likely need more sunscreen than you think.

Reapply your sunscreen every couple of hours that you’re out during the day, even if the weather is cloudy. Insects can also be a problem in Tulum, so it is important to have repellent with you to keep them at bay.

✔️ Keep an insulated water bottle with you: Adventuring is fun and all, but it is very important to stay hydrated when you’re outdoors. The best way to do this is to keep an insulated water bottle with you at all times. Insulated water bottles keep your water cold and refreshing, even in the hot Tulum sun.

✔️ Keep cash in Mexican Pesos: It is important to keep cash in pesos when traveling to Tulum. This is because many places in town only accept cash.

While you can use USD, EUR, and GBP, the exchange rate they’ll give you is really bad and you’ll end up paying significantly more. Even if a business does accept credit cards, they may charge an additional fee for doing so (especially common with smaller businesses). In order to avoid getting overcharged, always keep cash in local currency.

There are a few ways to get pesos before your trip, such as exchanging money at the airport or withdrawing money from an ATM. Once you have arrived in Tulum, there are a few places to exchange money if needed.

✔️ Rent a bike and go off the beaten path: There are many reasons to rent a bike while vacationing in Tulum. First, it’s cheaper than renting a car and you save on the fuel/cab costs too.

Second, you can go off the beaten path and really get a feel for the more authentic side of the town. Third, it’s an eco-friendly way to get around. And finally, it’s just plain fun!

✔️ Follow some basic safety precautions: Tulum is a beautiful place to visit, but, just like anywhere else, it is important to follow basic safety precautions while you’re here.

First, be aware of your surroundings and don’t leave your belongings unguarded in public areas. Second, avoid walking alone at night on deserted streets or stretches of the beach.

Third, only use reputable tour operators and taxis, and make sure you have adequate travel insurance. I have a separate post covering travel safety tips here.

Tulum packing list for the beach

Tulum in January FAQs

What is the weather like in Tulum?

The climate in Tulum is tropical, with average temperatures ranging from 64 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit (17.7-27.7 degrees Celsius).

The rainy season runs from May to October, with August and September being the wettest months. hurricanes can occur during this time as well.

The dry season runs from November to April and is the best time to visit if you’re looking for sunny weather.

Mayan Ruins in Tulum Mexico
Mayan Ruins in Tulum Mexico – Photo © Canva

Is January a good time to go to Tulum?

The weather in Tulum in January is perfect – not too hot nor too cold.

The water is also just right – not too cold for swimming but still cool enough to enjoy yet warm enough to be comfortable if you stay submerged for longer periods.

It is the perfect time to go to Tulum if you’re looking for a relaxing vacation. There are also plenty of activities to keep you busy in Tulum, even if you’re not a beach person.

There are Mayan ruins to explore, as well as caves and cenotes. You can also go snorkeling or scuba diving, or take a day trip to nearby locations like Cozumel and Playa del Carmen.

If you’re looking for a sunny getaway in January, Tulum is the perfect place to go. You’ll find plenty of things to do, whether you want to relax on the beach or explore the ancient ruins.

Tulum Mexico in January

Does it rain in January in Tulum?

In January, the weather in Tulum is usually dry and sunny. However, it is not uncommon for there to be a few days of rain; on average, there are about 4-7 days of rain in January.

The rain usually comes in the form of short showers that last for a few minutes, not more than an hour or two tops. These rain showers are short enough that you don’t need to cancel any plans.

Is it safe to visit Tulum in January?

Yes. Tulum is a perfectly safe location all year round, and January is no exception.

That being said, you still need to take some basic safety precautions; it’s nothing extreme, just common-sense stuff that you’d do everywhere like not leaving your valuables unattended.

I have a more detailed post about safety precautions for Tulum here.

Traveling to Tulum in January – Final thoughts

The weather in Tulum in January is perfect – not too hot nor too cold. The average daytime temperature is usually around 76 F.

Essentially, you’ll see anywhere from 4 to 7 rainy days if you stay the whole month.

Tulum will offer you a taste of authentic Mexican culture, you can visit the Mayan ruins, or take a day trip to nearby locations like Cozumel and Playa del Carmen.

However, have in mind that January is the most popular month for traveling to Tulum and the city will be bustling with tourists this time of year. Almost every popular place, including the beaches, is crowded.