Best Time to Visit the Yucatan Mexico: Your 2024 Guide by a Local

If you have decided that you want to head to southeastern Mexico to experience gorgeous white sand beaches, swim in magical cenotes, and explore the sunbleached ruins of Mayan archaeological sites, you are probably trying to figure out the best time to visit the Yucatan. 

This article has been written by a British Travel Writer who has been living in the Mexican Yucatan for the last two years. (Me!) In this post, we will run through everything that you need to consider when determining the best time for your trip.

Best Time to Visit Yucatan Mexico 

Best time to visit Yucatan
Best time to visit Yucatan

While arguably there is some element of subjectivity involved when deciding the best time to visit the Yucatan (relating to your Yucatan itinerary, your personal preferences and budget, etc), I would say that for most people, the best time to travel is either late October/November or March/April.  

The “high season” in this part of Mexico runs between November and April. December through February are essentially the peak months when tens of thousands of “snowbirds” from the United States and Canada head to Mexico for the winter to escape the harsh cold in their countries. 

This means that flight and accommodation prices go up, and finding Airbnb rentals in popular destinations like Merida, Cancun or Playa Del Carmen is a nightmare if you do not prebook. 

The rainy season runs between May and November, with the most adverse weather from the hurricane season being around August/September. October/November is a great time because not only do you avoid the high humidity and rain of the wet season, but you narrowly escape the crowds that head here en masse from mid-December. 

March and early April are also good times to travel. At this time, most of the snowbirds leave, and you can enjoy quieter cities and attractions before it starts to get too hot. 

Ruta Puuc
Ruta Puuc

Summer and the hurricane season in the Yucatan

It is actually the months of April and May, not the middle of summer, that are the hottest months of the year in the Yucatan. You can expect an average high of around 37°C (98°F) at this time, but in May 2023, I saw 47°C on my car dashboard a couple of times. (116°F). (Thanks, global warming!) 

In this heat, it is hard to walk more than a couple of blocks without feeling exhausted and struggling with the heat so I would avoid travelling at this time if you can. 

The hurricane season runs from May to October and while the rains bring humidity, they also cool things down a bit. A lot of people are terrified by the sheer mention of “hurricanes” but honestly, hurricanes in the Yucatan are pretty rare. 

The rain isnt usually constant either. There might be a couple of heavy downpours and then things clear up so that you can enjoy the rest of your day. 

The worst of the rain tends to come in August and September and sometimes when storms are super heavy, they knock out the power and internet in certain neighbourhoods for a few days which can be annoying. 

The drainage systems in Merida, Campeche and some other Yucatan towns and cities are not great, and many of the streets in the historic centre easily get flooded when the rains are super heavy. Wading through the dirty water isnt particularly pleasant.

Since this is the low season, you can often enjoy far more economical prices of tours, hotels and car rentals at this time as businesses slash their rates to encourage demand. 

Best time to visit Yucatan Progreso beach at sunset
Progreso Beach at sunset

Winter in the Yucatan

Using the words “winter” and “Yucatan” together is almost laughable because, well, frankly it never gets cold here. Winter in Southeastern Mexico is substantially cooler and less humid than a Mexican summer, but it is still hotter than summer anywhere else. 

Between December and February, you can expect average daily temperatures between around 28°C and 33°C with the average being about 30°C. (82.4°F). This is a pleasant time to travel if you want to spend extended amounts of time walking around Mayan ruins, Yucatan pueblo magicos and other historic/cultural sites outside. 

It is very rare that it is ever chilly or windy, even at night. You don’t need to worry about packing a cardigan or light layers if you are travelling at this time. Bring your summer wardrobe and lightweight cotton clothing. 

Merida, Yucatan
Merida, Yucatan

Best Time to Visit the Yucatan Mexico:
A Month by Month Rundown 

If you are still unsure about the best time to visit the Yucatan, let’s look at a monthly breakdown of what travelling here is like throughout the year. It’s also worth noting that there are always tons of festivals and events going on across the state, which may influence your travel dates and are absolutely worth participating in if your schedule allows.

January in the Yucatan

Temperature-wise, January is one of the best times to travel to the Yucatan. The average daily temperature falls between 82° F and 87° F and rainfall is minimal.

Since this is such a popular time of year, it is advisable to book everything in advance. When you are visiting Chichen Itza and other popular places in the Yucatan, try to get there for as soon as they open if you want to avoid the crowds.

If you can get to some of these places first thing in the morning, you may have them virtually all to yourself for the first half an hour or so before the tour buses roll in.

On average, only four days of the month see rain, and no more than 1.5 inches of rain falls.

Festivities and events in January in the Yucatan

There are also some great local events that take place in the Yucatan in January. Merida Fest is an annual celebration of the city of Meridas heritage and sees all manner of performers take to the stage in various venues across the city. In 2024, this will take place between the 5th and the 21st of January.

January 6th marks Three King’s Day (El Dia de Los Reyes). This symbolizes the day that the Three Kings visited Jesus in Bethlehem and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.  

People will exchange gifts and feast on traditional foods with their families. They will bake or purchase a traditional cake known as Rosca de Reyes. You will be able to find this in patisseries throughout the peninsula if you want to try it! 

February in the Yucatan

February in the Yucatan is very similar to January in terms of crowds and weather conditions. This month sees maximum daytime temperatures of around 87° and 88° F. 

Carnaval (aka Mexico’s answer to Mardi Gras) runs for a week in the middle of the month. Small processions take place in Merida and Progreso

March in the Yucatan

The number of tourists visiting the Yucatan starts to drop from March onwards. This means that you can often find cheaper accommodation options, local excursions, and flights. 

Things start heating up in March, but they are still not so unbearably hot that doing things outside becomes a challenge yet. Daily temperatures often reach highs of 90-94°F but rainfall is minimal.

Festivities and events in the Yucatan in March

The 21st of March marks the birthday of the celebrated late Mexican President Benito Juarez. Juarez is revered throughout Mexico for his role in the Mexican Revolution and today, his birthday is a public holiday.

At this time, many locals flock to beach towns like El Cuyo, Mahahual, San Bruno, and Sisal, and coastal areas become crowded. So, this is worth keeping in mind if your trip coincides with the dates on and around Benito Juarez day. 

Easter (Semana Santa) will also fall in March in 2024. (Sunday 24th March to Saturday 30th March). This is one of the most important holidays in the Mexican calender since most people in Mexico are Catholic.

Many people visit their local church for Catholic mass on Holy Thursday and on Friday, processions are held throughout Yucatecan towns and villages (and across wider Mexico) reenacting Jesus’ final journey to the cross. Participants wear hoods of anonymity, walk barefoot, and carry crosses, chains, or other religious symbols.

On Easter Sunday, some people attend mass at church. It is possible to participate in any of these celebrations, even if you cannot speak Spanish, as long as you are respectful.

April in the Yucatan

Things really start heating up in the Yucatan in April, particularly after you pass the middle of the month. Daily highs in the Yucatan in April are typically around 95/97 °F. However, temperatures above 104°F are not unheard of either.

Towards the end of the month, it starts to feel a lot muggier and more humid. 

Best time to visit Yucatan
Best time to visit Yucatan

May in the Yucatan

May is the hottest month in the Yucatan. It becomes very humid during this month, which can make the heat feel even more intense.

Expect daily temperatures of around 95°F. Sometimes, it can even reach as high as 107°F.

This often feels too hot to do anything and with the increasing temperatures, humidity, and rainfall come more mosquitoes. It is better to plan your outdoor activities for the early morning or late afternoon if you can and avoid being out in the midday sun around 12-1 pm when it is at its most intense.

Opting to book a hotel or hotel or rental accommodation with a pool is a nice way to be able to cool down after a long day of sightseeing.

June in the Yucatan

June in the Yucatan is sweltering, just like May. At this point, the rainy season is well underway.

The first of June also marks the start of the hurricane season which runs from now until the end of November. The average total rainfall for the Yucatan peninsula during this month is 65.5cm and there are usually 9 days worth of rain.

Still, usually, the rain quickly passes so you can still enjoy a beach break in Cancun, etc in June. Towns along the coast of Campeche state, the Yucatan, and Quintana Roo have a sea breeze that can make the ultra-high temperatures feel more bearable.

It will feel cooler in coastal Celestun, for instance, than in Valladolid, Kikil, or Merida which are all inland. 

July in the Yucatan

July sees similar weather conditions to June in the Yucatan. Temperatures are between 90 and 95°F during the day and 80 and 85 °F during the night.

Hurricane season is underway, but the biggest hurricane risk isn’t until around September. If anything, you may just encounter a few strong rain and wind storms. These are usually over quickly. 

Unique celebrations in July in the Yucatan

One quirky and unique festival that takes place this month is the Huevos Motuleños festival in the central Yucatan pueblo magico of Motul.

Huevos motuleños is a Mexican breakfast dish that is only really found in this part of southern Mexico and was first created in Motul. It is made by serving fried eggs on top of tortillas, refried beans, and cheese, and then pouring homemade tomato sauce, peas, and ham over the top.

People usually add a dash of hot sauce to the top of the eggs, and plantains are served on the side. Every Merida restaurant you stop by will likely prepare this Yucatan dish a little differently.

For the best of the best, head to Doña Evelia Huevos Motuleños in the Municipal 20 de Noviembre market in Motul. The Huevos Motuleños festival takes place between the 14th and the 16th of July each year.

Head to the San Juan Bautista church in the central plaza to tuck into this famous regional egg dish and watch folk dances by people in traditional Mexican clothing. You can also catch performances by the Yucatan Philharmonic Orchestra. 

August in the Yucatan

August in the Yucatan is scorching. Expect temperatures of around  90°F-100°F during the day.

Unfortunately, the high humidity that the region experiences during this time can make things feel hotter than ever. However, there is usually a brief period of respite and relief after it rains.

Towards the end of the month, you start to see an increased frequency of storms and rainfalls. It can be scary sometimes to hear thunder that shakes the ground and see pitchfork lighening but still, there have only been two large and serious storms in the last thirty years.

This us still a safe time to travel. It just depends on how much you can tolerate walking around in the intense summer heat! 

September in the Yucatan

Temperatures start to drop in the Yucatan in September, although it is still hot by anyone’s standards. Daily high temperatures are around 91°F to 93°F and it rarely drops below 86°F.

This is the rainiest month of the year, with an average rainfall of 185mm (7.3in) and more than 14 days of rain. This is also the month with the biggest hurricane risk in the Atlantic.

Most of the rain and storms seem to take place at the beginning of the month, with conditions drying up, humidity decreasing, and temperatures dropping towards the end of the month. Merida Restaurant Week takes place every year from the 26th of September to the 2nd of October. 

At this time, various restaurants around the city offer a special menu where you can enjoy multiple courses of traditional Yucatecan food for discounted prices. For instance, there will be a 300 pesos menu, a 500 pesos menu, and a 700 pesos menu, all made up of various courses. 

Best time to visit Yucatan

October in the Yucatan

October is arguably the best time to visit the Yucatan. The temperatures are becoming more manageable and the rainy season is finally drawing to a close. 

Things are still a little rainy for the first two weeks of the month but showers are brief. Expect maximum daytime temperatures of around 91°F.

Most tourists do not arrive until late November/December so this is essentially the calm before the storm in terms of how crowded places become. You can secure some great flight and accommodation deals during this month before prices start to increase from November onwards. 

Merida and other Mexican cities do see a greater number of tourists at the end of the month in the lead-up to Dia de Los Muertos. Do book your accommodation in advance if travelling at this time. 

Unique events in October in the Yucatan

Dia de Los Muertos is one of the most beautiful and quintessentially Mexican celebrations that take place each year. Although the official holiday falls in November, many of the festivities that surround it take place in October.

Throughout the month, you will find patisseries around the country selling pan de Muertos (bread of the dead). This Mexican sweet bread is prepared with sugar and oranges and goes great with a cup of Chiapas coffee. 

In the Yucatan, this holiday is known as “Hanal Pixan”. It has some slight differences from the traditional Dia de Los Muertos and is essentially the Mayan version of the holiday.

In Merida, a road made from flowers (Camino de Flores) is held at the city’s Parque de la Paz from October the 25th to November the 2nd. Giant illustrations are made on the ground using more than 60,000 fragrant flowers.

The Paseo de las Animas is Merida’s grand parade for the occasion. It starts at the city’s main cemetery (Cementerio General de Mérida) and thousands of people lead a candlelit procession through the streets carrying candles and dressed as catrinas. 

October 31st (All Saints Eve) sees locals create an ofrenda (altar) on the tombs of their loved ones. This often includes fresh flowers, and the deceased person’s favorite snacks and treats. 

November in the Yucatan

November in the Yucatan marks the end of the hurricane and rainy season. Daytime temperatures tend to be around 82 and 86 °F and the humidity drops significantly.

This is the best time to visit the Yucatan if you want to be able to spend a lot of time outdoors, exploring cities, ruins, and pueblo magicos on foot, without being too hot. Of course, November also sees Mexico celebrate one of the country´s most special traditions: Dia de Los Muertos.

Most Dia de Los Muertos/Hanal Pixan parades and processions usually take place in late October, although the actual day falls in November. November 1st is known as “the day of the innocents” and celebrates the lives of children that passed away too soon.

November 2nd is the official Day of the Dead. Families across the country celebrate the lives of the loved ones they have lost.

This is not a morbid or sad occasion. Although people in the west may be averse to talking about death, in Mexico, this is about celebrating the things that these people did and achieved during their lives. 

December in the Yucatan

December is one of the biggest months for tourism in Mexico, the Yucatan included. Some parts of the peninsula become very crowded, particularly around Christmas and New Year’s eve, and prices in the state of Quintana Roo soar.

Christmas is a major holiday in Mexico. The nine days that lead up to Christmas Eve are known as “Las Posadas” and run from the 16th to the 24th of December.

You will see festive lights and nativity scenes set up around the state, and most locals spend Christmas Day exchanging gifts and feasting with their families. December 28th is Holy Innocent´s Day, sort of like the Mexican answer to April Fool´s Day.

People will often pull pranks and play jokes on their loved ones. New Year’s Eve sees fireworks displays in virtually every Yucatan resort town.

Many bars, clubs, and hotels host New Year’s parties, and most require an advance reservation. There are a lot of Mexican superstitions centered around the New Year – including the belief that if you eat 12 grapes in quick succession at midnight, you will have good fortune in the year ahead. 

Expect daily temperatures between 80-85 °F in the day in the Yucatan in December. Sometimes, it may soar up to 90-92 °F.

Best Time to Visit the Yucatan Mexico FAQs

Do you still have any burning questions or concerns about deciding when is the best time to visit the Yucatan? Hopefully, you will find the answers you are searching for below. 

What is the hottest month in the Yucatan? 

May is the hottest month in Yucatan. Daily temperatures are around 95°F but they can reach as high as 107°F. The humidity and the rain make it feel even hotter, especially in areas inland where there isn’t a sea breeze.

What is the best month to visit Merida Mexico?

The winter months of November through April are the best time to visit Merida Mexico. At this time, the weather is warm and sunny without being overbearingly hot.

Opt to travel at the start or end of the season to avoid crowds and enjoy lower prices. (E.g. in November or in April rather than in January/February).

What is the wettest month on the Yucatan peninsula? 

The rainy season in the Yucatan peninsula runs from June to October. September tends to be the month with the most rainfall.

Is Merida too hot in May?

May is the hottest month in Merida, with average daily temperatures between 95°F and 100°F but often even higher. At this time, the humidity can be as high as 76%.

Walking around for extended periods of time can be a struggle. If you can, try to avoid traveling to the Yucatan region in the hottest months of May, June, and July.

What month has the most hurricanes in Cancun?

The hurricane season affecting Cancun and Quintana Roo runs between June and November every year. However, September and October are the months with the greatest hurricane risks.

Is Tulum affected by the hurricane season?

Yes. Tulum and the wider region of Quintana Roo and the Yucatan peninsula are affected by the Atlantic hurricane season. This runs from June to November every year.

Final Thoughts on the best time to visit the Yucatan

Do you have any more questions about the best time to visit the Yucatan in Mexico? Arguably, there is no such thing as a bad time to travel here.

Even though it does get super hot, virtually everywhere has powerful air conditioning as do most buses and rental cars. The winter months are still perhaps the best time of year to travel, but if your schedule dictates that your only vacation time is in July or August, rest assured travelling during the rainy season isnt going to detract from or ruin your experience in any way.

If you are setting off to Mexico for the first time, you might enjoy reading these Mexico travel tips. Alternatively, you might enjoy this article on keeping safe in the Yucatan.

Have a wonderful trip and enjoy Mexico! Buen Viaje! Melissa Xo

Melissa Douglas

Melissa Douglas is a British Travel Writer based in Merida, Mexico and the Editor-in-Chief of Mexico Travel Secrets. She has over seven years worth of experience in working in travel media and has travelled to 57 countries, mostly solo. Throughout her career, Melissa has produced written content for several high-profile publications across the globe - including Forbes Travel Guide, the Huffington Post, Rough Guides, and Matador Network.

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