The Best Time to Visit the Yucatan Mexico: 2023 Local Guide

Curious about when is the best time to visit the Yucatan region in Mexico? Look no further. 

This guide has been written by someone who actually lives in the Yucatan (me!) and who has experience being in the peninsula through all months and seasons. When deciding the best time to plan your trip, you need to think about the weather and any events and festivities that coincide with your travel dates. 

Best Time to Visit Yucatan Mexico 

Best time to visit Yucatan
Best time to visit Yucatan

In short, the best time to visit Yucatan is during the winter season which runs from November to the beginning of April. This is the “dry” season and the weather conditions are at their best at this time. 

Winter in the Yucatan

Best time to visit Yucatan
Best time to visit Yucatan

The Yucatan peninsula essentially has two seasons: summer, and super summer. Traveling to this part of Mexico during the winter definitely doesn’t mean that you are going to endure colder weather conditions or anything remotely winter-like.

At this time of year, expect daily averages of between 82 ° and 93 ° Fahrenheit. (It gets hotter as you move towards March and April). 

These temperatures are perfect for exploring Mayan ruins, charming towns, and gorgeous Yucatan beaches. The only downside of planning your Yucatan itinerary during this time is that this is the “high season”.

At this time, archeological sites, beaches, and tourist attractions are at their most crowded, and hotels are often at maximum occupancy. This is particularly true of ultra-popular destinations such as Isla Mujeres, Isla Holbox, Cancun, Tulum, and Playa del Carmen.

The Yucatan state capital of Merida is also becoming more and more popular with each passing year. Flights, car rentals, excursions, and accommodation are at their most expensive during this time. 

There are still deals to be had if you visit lesser-known areas and stay outside of the central parts of towns. To avoid the busiest months though, you should try and plan your trip at the start or end of this season. In other words, in October/November or in April/early May. 

Summer in the Yucatan

Ruta Puuc
Ruta Puuc

It gets very hot and humid in the Yucatan during the summer months. Temperatures often soar above 104° F and June marks the start of the rainy season.

Hurricane season in the Yucatan usually runs from June through to November, with August and September typically seeing the wettest days and the biggest storms. 

There haven’t been any particularly severe or damaging storms in recent years. Although strong wind and rainstorms that cause road flooding and leave areas without power for several days are not unheard of and can be an inconvenience.

May and June are the hottest months in the Yucatan, with July also being very hot. This time is best avoided where possible.

While it is hot in this part of the world all year round, you will note that even Yucatecans don’t really venture outside during the daytime in these months. It is simply too hot to enjoy walking or spending extended periods of time outside and it can really hamper your trip.

Things start to cool down from late August/early September. When you check the weather forecast for the rainy summer season in the Yucatan, you will often note that rain is forecast every single day.

Storms are typically brief, even if the forecasts seem to indicate that it is going to rain constantly all day, every day. So, even if you are planning to visit a beach or a ruin or hang out by the pool, it is typically just a matter of taking cover and waiting for things to clear.

Best Time to Visit the Yucatan Mexico: Month-by-Month Conditions

Merida, Yucatan
Merida, Yucatan

January in the Yucatan

January is arguably the most popular time to travel to Mexico. Many travelers venture here at the end of December to escape the cold in their countries and enjoy Christmas and New Year in sunnier climes.

Hotels often sell out of rooms in places like Cancun, Tulum, and Isla Mujeres so booking everything in advance is a must. If you want to visit popular places in the Yucatan such as the Coba Ruins, Chichen Itza, and Ek Balam, you should aim to get to the sites as soon as they open in order to avoid the crowds. 

Opting to rent a car in Mexico and explore independently gives you a lot more freedom and flexibility in your schedule than having to rely on public transport. It also means that you can get to places of interest before all the tour buses load in in the mid-morning. 

The average daily temperature in the Yucatan in January falls between 82° F and 87° F. Rainfall is minimal at this time and this is not the rainy season.

On average, only four days of the month see rain, and no more than 1.5 inches of rain falls. Opt to pack your summer wardrobe and lightweight cotton clothing. 

Festivities and events in January in the Yucatan

In terms of Mexican traditions that take place in 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.  

There are no large celebrations for this day and this is something that is usually celebrated at home. However, if you have any Mexican friends or relatives and are invited into their households, it can be an interesting thing to observe! 

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 in Merida, Izamal, Valladolid, etc 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 from Thursday, February 16th, 2023 to Tuesday, February 21st. Small processions take place in Merida, though the largest celebrations in the country take place outside the Yucatan state – in Mazatlan, Sinaloa, and in Veracruz.

March in the Yucatan

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

Benito Juarez, the late former Mexican President adored for his role in the Mexican revolution, was born on the 21st of March. His birthday is celebrated every year and is a public holiday in Mexico.

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. 

Things start heating up in March in the Yucatan. This month means daily temperatures as high as 90-94°F and minimal rain.

The absence of crowds means that you can secure better deals on luxury accommodation. For a unique experience, you may want to consider spending a night or two at a Yucatan hacienda.

Hacienda Sac Nicte is a gorgeous space close to Izamal. Meanwhile, if you are looking for places to stay in and around Merida, you can consider Hacienda San Jose or Hacienda Santa Cruz.

April in the Yucatan

April in the Yucatan means the start of the Holy Week for Easter (Santa Semana). Most Mexicans are Catholic and so, Easter is one of the most important annual celebrations for them.

In 2023, Santa Semana will fall between Sunday, April 2nd, and Saturday the 8th of April. Many people visit their local church for Catholic mass on Holy Thursday.

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.

Most Yucatecans head to the beach over the easter weekend. So, don’t be surprised if the little coastal towns of Progreso and Chicxulub are even more crowded than usual.

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. 

May in the Yucatan

Best time to visit Yucatan
Best time to visit 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. Be sure to include plenty of sunscreen and mosquito repellent in your Mexico packing list at this time.

Do note that many of the seas and cenotes (sinkholes) in Southern Mexico are home to unique ecosystems and coral reefs. As such, when visiting places such as the Homun cenotes or the beaches of southern Quintana Roo, you should opt for reef-safe sunscreen.  

June in the Yucatan

June in the Yucatan is very hot, 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 city 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 very hot. Expect temperatures of around  90°F-100°F during the day.

Towards the end of the month, you start to see an increased frequency of storms and rainfalls. Occasionally, the electricity can go out for a matter of hours or as much as a couple of days. 

Still, there have only been two large and serious storms in the last thirty years. So, this is 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 for certain amounts. For instance, there will be a 300 pesos menu, a 500 pesos menu, and a 700 pesos menu, made up of various courses. 

October in the Yucatan

Best time to visit 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.

Still, 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 traveling 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.

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 

Do you have any more thoughts about the best time to visit the Yucatan in Mexico? Which time of year appeals to you the most? 

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! Buen Viaje! 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 produced written content for several high-profile publications across the globe - including Forbes Travel Guide, the Huffington Post, Rough Guides, and Matador Network.