When Is the Best Time to Visit Mexico?

Beach and ruins in Tulum, Mexico
••• Tulum, Mexico. Christian Córdova/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

There really is no bad time to visit Mexico, but certain times of the year may appeal to different people more than others, and some destinations and activities may be better at certain times of the year. There are a few factors that you'll want to take into consideration when planning the timing of your trip to Mexico: you'll want to have an idea of the weather, any festivals and events taking place at the time of your visit, and whether it is the high or low season.

The Weather

Although many people associate Mexico with hot weather, it's a big country with a wide range of climatic zones and conditions. The weather at sea-level tends to be warm to hot throughout the year, making for year-round beach weather (how convenient!) whereas at higher elevations in cities like Mexico City, Toluca, or San Cristobal de las Casas, the weather can get chilly to downright cold in the winter months, especially from November through January. Rainy season in central and southern Mexico falls during the summer months, but in some areas, particularly in the north along the border with the United States, and along the Baja California Peninsula, it can go years without rain.

Mexico's beach resorts tend to be most pleasant between October and May (June to September can be very hot and humid) - and you should keep in mind that hurricane season lasts from June to November.

Read more about the weather in Mexico and see the annual high and low temperatures for different regions.

Festivals and Events

If you'd like to experience one of the many fiestas that take place in Mexico, you should definitely time your trip to coincide with one. Some people dream of participating one of Mexico's unique cultural celebrations like Day of the Dead at the end of October and beginning of November in which cemeteries are filled with people honoring and remembering their deceased loved ones, or the Radish festival in Oaxaca on December 23rd when artisans carve and assemble radishes to form elaborate figures and scenes.

Or your bucket list may include witnessing natural events like the annual Monarch butterfly migration when you can be surrounded by thousands of fluttering butterflies (November through March), or holding a tiny baby sea turtle to release it into the ocean as part of one of the sea turtle conservancy programs (usually May to November). If you’d like your Mexican vacation to include one of these experiences, you'll want to plan the timing of your trip accordingly.

On the other hand, if your ideal Mexican vacation involves peace, quiet, and relaxation, you may want to plan your trip to avoid any of these and other events. Of course, there are some places where you can find peace and quiet year-round - check out Mexico's Secret Beaches (perhaps not so secret anymore, but they'll definitely be less crowded than the more popular resort areas!).

The Season of Year

Your experience in Mexico can vary a great deal depending on the season of year. Here's what to expect in the different seasons:

Winter: This is the time of year when Mexico receives the most foreign tourists. Most people come at this time of year because they're looking to enjoy the sunshine and warmth Mexico offers, but visitors should take note that it's not always hot throughout Mexico and it's important to check the weather forecast of the particular destination you're planning to visit.

This is a good time to see whales and to go birdwatching because there are lots of migratory species as well as endemics. You can also take part in the many winter holidays that take place from the feast day of the Virgin of Guadalupe through to King's Day. Read more about traveling to Mexico in the Winter.  

Spring: If you're visiting Mexico in the spring, you should be aware of the spring break holiday schedule so that you can either partake in those festivities or avoid spring break crowds altogether. Some of this season's cultural events include holidays like Carnival and Holy Week. And you wouldn't go wrong planning your vacation around Puerto Vallarta's Restaurant Week (the last half of May). Here's more about traveling to Mexico in the Spring.

Summer: Many people mistakenly assume that summertime is the hottest season in Mexico and avoid it for that reason.

In Central and Southern Mexico, the hottest time tends to be in the spring, whereas summer weather can be rainy, however, it can also be quite pleasant and refreshing. This is the time of year when there are most hurricanes, so it's a good idea to keep that in mind when planning your trip. This is a time when you can experience the largest festival celebrating traditional culture in Latin America, the Guelaguetza festival in Oaxaca city, held the last two weeks of July. Learn more about travel to Mexico in the.Summer.

Autumn: The months of September, October and November can be particularly lovely in Mexico, with mild weather and some interesting and important holidays such as Mexican Independence Day, the Day of the Dead and the commemoration of the Mexican Revolution. This is also the season in which the Festival Cervantino, a huge cultural festival, takes place in Guanajuato. Find out more about traveling to Mexico in the Fall.

High Season and Low Season

During school holidays at Christmas, Easter and during the summer months, Mexican families like to travel and you may find buses and hotels are crowded, so keep that in mind when planning your trip to Mexico. Consult the list of Mexico's national holidays so you can keep track of what celebrations are going on and when. Beach destinations may be very crowded during spring break. For fewer crowds and good deals, you should travel at other times or to other destinations. See our tips for avoiding Mexico's spring break crowds.

For more about what to expect in terms of the weather and events for each month of the year, check out our Month-by-Month Guide to Mexico.