Best (and Worst) Times to Visit Cancun According to Travel Experts

Cancun is a popular destination for people who love nature and adventure. But it’s important to know the best and worst times to visit Cancun, so you can have the best possible experience. Come with us as we uncover the hidden secrets of when to visit Cancun, leading you to the most enchanting moments of this tropical paradise!

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Best Time to Visit Cancun

The high season from November to April is the best time to visit Cancun because you can bask in temperatures ranging from 65 to 85 degrees with January being the coolest month.

March brings clear skies and minimal rainfall which becomes ideal for beach lounging. While sharing the beaches with spring breakers, you can soak up the warm 75 to 85-degree days.

But it’s not just the weather that makes Cancun a captivating destination during this season. Festivals such as Christmas, New Year’s Celebrations, Three Kings’ Day, Cancun Jazz Festival, Carnival, Semana Santa (Holy Week), and Easter, can make every visit to Cancun truly unforgettable.

You can use this Cancun yearly weather and rainfall forecast as a guide!

Month Average Rainfall (mm) Average Temperature (°C)
January 50 23°C to 28°C
February 45 23°C to 28°C
March 40 24°C to 29°C
April 45 25°C to 30°C
May 85 26°C to 31°C
June 170 26°C to 32°C
July 100 26°C to 33°C
August 110 26°C to 33°C
September 200 25°C to 32°C
October 205 24°C to 30°C
November 95 23°C to 29°C
December 70 22°C to 28°C

Peak Season

The ultimate Cancun escape can be experienced during the peak season which typically occurs from December to April. This period aligns with the region’s dry season offering visitors the perfect combination of warm temperatures, clear skies, and idyllic beach conditions.

Cancun Peak Season
Cancun Peak Season

During this time, travelers can indulge in a wide range of outdoor activities, such as swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing, while also taking advantage of the vibrant nightlife and cultural events that flourish in Cancun. However, it is important to note that the peak season attracts a larger influx of tourists, resulting in higher accommodation rates and more crowded attractions.

Shoulder Season

For those seeking a balance between crowds and costs in Cancun, the shoulder season is another amazing time to visit Cancun. Spanning from April through May and October through November, this period offers pleasant weather with warm temperatures and minimal rainfall.

Cancun Shoulder Season
Cancun Shoulder Season

Although the beaches may not boast peak season perfection, the shoulder season grants a tranquil atmosphere with fewer tourists, allowing you to fully enjoy attractions, beaches, and activities. Moreover, accommodation rates and travel costs are often budget-friendly, making it an enticing option for cost-conscious travelers who still crave the allure of Cancun’s beauty and attractions.

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Worst Time to Visit Cancun

The hottest months from May to September are the worst time to visit Cancun because they bring scorching temperatures exceeding 90 degrees. June is often the peak of the hot season.

Cancun Average Temperature
Cancun Average Temperature

Rainfall patterns fluctuate with a spike in June followed by a decrease in July and August. However, September and October experience a significant increase, with over eight inches of rainfall. In these months, expect an average of 14 rainy days in September and 16 in October, as reported by Mexico’s national weather service.

Hurricane Season in Cancun

When planning your visit to Cancun, it’s important to consider the impact of the Caribbean hurricane season, which lasts from June through November. Cancun, being in a prime location, faces a higher risk of hurricanes and tropical storms, particularly in September and October. On average, the Caribbean experiences six to eight hurricanes and 12 to 16 tropical storms during this season.

Hurricane Damage in Cancun
Hurricane Damage in Cancun

Research conducted by Harvard University indicates that hurricanes and tropical storms typically approach the Yucatan Peninsula from the east-southeast, often making landfall in the northeastern part of the peninsula, precisely where Cancun is situated.

These weather conditions can disrupt travel plans, affect outdoor activities, and even pose safety concerns. So, we recommend you avoid traveling to Cancun during the hurricane season. However, if you still choose to go, it is vital to take the necessary precautions:

  • Understand the timing of the hurricane season
  • Secure appropriate hurricane insurance
  • Stay updated with weather forecasts
  • Pack a hurricane emergency kit
  • Research safe accommodation options
  • Create a flexible travel itinerary
  • Maintain communication channels
  • Follow safety guidelines

Avoiding Spring Break Chaos in Cancun

During the spring season (March to May), particularly during spring break (March to April), there can be an increase in crowds and party-oriented activities. This period is known for attracting college students and young adults looking for a lively and energetic vacation experience.

Cancun Crowded
Cancun Crowded

The atmosphere may become more chaotic, with crowded beaches, busy nightclubs, and a generally festive atmosphere. If you’re seeking a peaceful vacation in Cancún and want to steer clear of the rowdy spring break chaos, we have some valuable tips for you:

  • Avoid staying in the Hotel Zone, as this is the primary area where spring breakers tend to congregate. Look for resorts and accommodations outside of the Hotel Zone if you are looking for a more relaxed atmosphere.
  • Consider exploring other cities and towns near Cancún. There are plenty of beautiful destinations and attractions in the Riviera Maya region, such as Playa del Carmen, Tulum, and Cozumel, which offer a more tranquil experience.
  • Take into account that Easter is a busy time for travel in Mexico. Mexican students have time off during Easter, and families often head to the beach for vacation.
  • Stay informed about local events and festivals happening in Cancún. Avoid planning your trip during popular spring break events or music festivals that may attract a large number of college students.
  • Look for activities and attractions that are more family-oriented. Explore the Mayan ruins, visit ecological parks, go snorkeling or scuba diving, or enjoy water sports. These activities are less likely to attract spring breakers.

Our team member, Bilal Ahmed, said “I visited Cancun in late March during my spring break, hoping for a relaxing beach getaway. Unfortunately, the crowds and party atmosphere were overwhelming. The beaches were packed with rowdy college students, making it difficult to find a peaceful spot. Additionally, the prices for accommodations were exorbitant due to the high demand. In hindsight, I would have chosen a different time to visit Cancun, perhaps during a quieter season.”

Cheapest Times to Visit Cancun

Prices for all-inclusive hotels fluctuate throughout the year, but there are certain patterns to take advantage of. From May to June and September to October, hotel prices hit their lowest points due to high temperatures, rainfall, and humidity. Ultimately, these are the cheapest times to visit Cancun. Embracing these off-peak seasons ensures significant savings and a chance to enjoy uncrowded beaches.

During the off-season, the number of tourists tends to decrease, creating a more intimate atmosphere and allowing you to appreciate the historical marvels of the Mayan ruins at your own pace. Furthermore, the mild weather during this time adds to the overall comfort and enjoyment of your visit.

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Special Promotions and Off-Season Discounts

Promotions such as 30% or even 50% discounts are common during the off-peak seasons when hotels may have lower occupancy rates. Keep in mind that these discounts may have specific terms and conditions, such as minimum stay requirements or blackout dates, so it’s essential to read the fine print before booking.

Occasionally, you may come across hotels offering nightly rates as low as $59, particularly during slower periods or as part of limited-time promotions. These offers can provide excellent value for travelers looking for budget-friendly options.

Money-Saving Tips for Cancun Travel

With a little planning and the following tips, you can make your Cancun adventure budget-friendly:

  • Choose smaller hotels away from the beach for affordable accommodations.
  • Use pesos instead of U.S. dollars for better exchange rates and no added fees.
  • Get pesos from bank ATMs to avoid high fees.
  • Buy tickets online for theme parks and shows to avoid inflated prices.
  • Take public transportation (colectivos, ADO buses) to visit attractions like Chichen Itza and Tulum.
  • Shop for souvenirs in local markets for better prices.
  • Check your bill carefully and tip around 10% if not included.

Tips for an Amazing Cancun Vacation

When preparing for your Cancun adventures, here are some essential items to consider for a comfortable and enjoyable trip:

Anti-Diarrhea Medicine: We suggest bringing medicine to prevent diarrhea, which can be a common issue when visiting Cancun or other destinations with different bacteria strains.

Waterproof Case for Your Smartphone: A waterproof phone case is recommended for activities like snorkeling or enjoying the pool to protect your phone from water damage.

Snorkel Gear: Bringing your snorkel gear including a mask, water shoes, and related accessories can save money if you plan to snorkel multiple times during your vacation.

Beach Bag: A large beach bag is recommended for carrying essentials like books, sunglasses, sunscreen, and water to the pool or beach.

Safety Precautions

To ensure a secure visit, it is vital to follow these tips closely. By implementing these precautions, you can enjoy your trip with peace of mind:

  • Beware of scams.
  • Use ATMs safely.
  • Secure important documents.
  • Avoid walking alone at night.
  • Minimize cash.
  • Learn basic local phrases.
  • Use a paper map.
  • Pay attention to beach warnings.

Hopdes’ team visited Isla Mujeres, and we covered some of the most important things you need to take care of when visiting Isla Mujeres. Follow our guide to learn more.

Must-Visit Attractions and Activities

When it comes to maximizing your trip to Cancun, several must-visit places should be at the top of your list. Start your adventure by exploring the fascinating ancient Mayan ruins of Tulum and Chichen Itza, where you can witness the incredible architectural feats of the past. Relax and soak up the sun on the stunning white sand beaches that line the coast, such as Playa Delfines and Playa Norte.

Dive into the mesmerizing underwater world of the Great Mesoamerican Reef, home to an abundance of colorful marine life. For an adrenaline rush, head to Xplor Park and enjoy thrilling zip-line rides through the lush jungle. And don’t forget to explore the breathtaking cenotes, natural sinkholes with crystal-clear waters that offer a unique swimming experience.

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Month-by-Month Analysis: Worst Time to Visit Cancun

If you are still confused, you can use this month-by-month analysis to avoid the worst time to visit Cancun!

January

  • Average temperatures: 23°C (73°F) to 28°C (82°F)
  • Weather: Warm and mostly dry with occasional rainfall
  • Activities: Snorkeling, scuba diving, exploring Mayan ruins, swimming in cenotes
  • Special events: No major events, but some resorts may organize New Year’s celebrations
  • Crowd level: Moderate, but can be busy during the first week of January due to holiday travelers

February

  • Average temperatures: 23°C (73°F) to 28°C (82°F)
  • Weather: Warm and mostly dry, with occasional showers
  • Activities: Beach activities, water sports, visiting eco-parks, nightlife
  • Special events: Carnival celebrations with parades and festivities
  • Crowd level: Moderate to high due to winter break travelers and Carnival celebrations

March

  • Average temperatures: 24°C (75°F) to 29°C (84°F)
  • Weather: Warm and mostly dry, with increasing heat and humidity
  • Activities: Snorkeling, sailing, fishing, visiting nature reserves, exploring Tulum
  • Special events: Cancun-Riviera Maya Wine & Food Festival
  • Crowd level: High due to spring break travelers, particularly during the first two weeks of March

April

  • Average temperatures: 25°C (77°F) to 30°C (86°F)
  • Weather: Warm and dry, with increasing heat and humidity
  • Activities: Swimming, jet skiing, zip-lining, visiting Xcaret Park
  • Special events: Holy Week and Easter celebrations
  • Crowd level: High due to spring break travelers, particularly during the first week of April and Easter weekend

May

  • Average temperatures: 26°C (79°F) to 31°C (88°F)
  • Weather: Warm and humid, with occasional rainfall
  • Activities: Exploring Isla Mujeres, visiting the underwater museum, snorkeling with whale sharks (May to September)
  • Special events: Cinco de Mayo celebrations
  • Crowd level: Moderate, transitioning from high season to low season, fewer spring breakers

June

  • Average temperatures: 26°C (79°F) to 32°C (90°F)
  • Weather: Hot and humid, with occasional showers
  • Activities: Beach relaxation, visiting Xel-Ha natural aquarium, exploring the jungle
  • Special events: No major
  • Crowd level: Moderate, with fewer tourists compared to the previous months

July (Worst Time to Visit Cancun)

  • Average temperatures: 26°C (79°F) to 33°C (91°F)
  • Weather: Hot and humid, with occasional showers or thunderstorms
  • Activities: Diving, snorkeling, visiting the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza
  • Special events: None major
  • Crowd level: Moderate, popular among families due to summer vacations

August

  • Average temperatures: 26°C (79°F) to 33°C (91°F)
  • Weather: Hot and humid, occasional showers or thunderstorms
  • Activities: Watersports, visiting Cozumel Island, exploring the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve
  • Special events: Mexican Independence Day celebrations (September 16th preparations start)
  • Crowd level: Moderate, popular among families due to summer vacations

September (Cheapest Time to Visit Cancun)

  • Average temperatures: 25°C (77°F) to 32°C (90°F)
  • Weather: Hot and humid, occasional showers or thunderstorms (rainy season begins)
  • Activities: Exploring Cancun’s hotel zone, visiting archaeological sites, experiencing local cuisine
  • Special events: Mexican Independence Day celebrations (September 16th)
  • Crowd level: Moderate, but decreasing due to the start of the rainy season

October

  • Average temperatures: 24°C (75°F) to 30°C (86°F)
  • Weather: Hot and humid, occasional showers or thunderstorms (rainy season)
  • Activities: Shopping, visiting local markets, spa and wellness activities
  • Special events: Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebrations (end of October to early November)
  • Crowd level: Moderate, with fewer tourists compared to peak season

November (Best Time to Visit Cancun)

  • Average temperatures: 23°C (73°F) to 29°C (84°F)
  • Weather: Warm and humid, occasional showers or thunderstorms (rainy season)
  • Activities: Exploring Isla Holbox, visiting Xoximilco Park, golfing
  • Special events: Cancun Jazz Festival
  • Crowd level: Moderate, increasing towards the end of the month due to Thanksgiving holiday travelers

December

  • Average temperatures: 22°C (72°F) to 28°C (82°F)
  • Weather: Warm and mostly dry, occasional showers or thunderstorms
  • Activities: Water sports, snorkeling, visiting Isla Contoy
  • Special events: Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations
  • Crowd level: High, particularly during the weeks of Christmas and New Year’s, also popular among winter vacation travelers

Conclusion

Cancun is one amazing place you wouldn’t regret spending your vacation at! However, visiting this spot at the right time is equally important if you want the best possible experience. In our extensive guide, we covered various aspects of the best times to visit Cancun, the worst times to visit Cancun, and the cheapest times to visit Cancun. We hope that you don’t have any confusion after reading through our in-depth guide to Cancun!

Check out more guides on When to Visit other destinations!

Best and Worst Time to Visit Cancun - FAQs

What is the best time to visit Cancun?

The best time to visit Cancun is during the dry season, which typically runs from November to April. During this time, you can expect pleasant temperatures, lower humidity, and minimal rainfall. It is considered the peak tourist season, so be prepared for higher prices and larger crowds.

When is the worst time to visit Cancun?

The worst time to visit Cancun is during the rainy season, which usually starts in May and lasts through October. This period is characterized by higher temperatures, high humidity, and frequent rain showers or thunderstorms. It’s also the hurricane season, so there’s a higher risk of tropical storms. Additionally, some attractions and activities may be affected or closed during heavy rain.

When is the cheapest time to visit Cancun?

The cheapest time to visit Cancun is generally during the low season, which falls between May and November (excluding holidays and major events). During this period, you can find lower hotel rates and travel deals. However, keep in mind that you may encounter higher temperatures, more rainfall, and potential closures of certain attractions due to the rainy season.

Is Cancun safe for tourists?

Cancun offers a wide range of attractions for visitors. Some of the must-visit places include the stunning beaches, such as Playa Delfines and Playa Norte. The ancient Mayan ruins of Tulum and Chichen Itza are also popular tourist spots. For nature enthusiasts, exploring the natural wonders of Xcaret Park or taking a day trip to Isla Mujeres are highly recommended.

Asjad Sheikh
Asjad Sheikh is a travel enthusiast who shares invaluable travel tips and insights to help you create unforgettable journeys of your own. Asjad is also an ethical hacker by profession, he explores the intersection of technology and travel, sharing captivating tales of exploration while offering valuable insights on cybersecurity during his journeys.

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