Traveling to Mexico in December: A Local’s Guide for 2024

Traveling to Mexico in December is a great time of year to plan your trip. This is the start of the “high season” for popular destinations along Mexico’s Caribbean and Pacific coasts, and the temperature in these areas is hot, sunny, and perfect for swimming and enjoying the beaches, without being unbearably humid. 

In more central regions of Mexico, things are getting a little cooler, particularly in higher-altitude places like Mexico City, Guadalajara, San Cristobal de las Casas in Chiapas, and Guanajuato. As everyone in Mexico starts preparing for the Christmas season and decorations and twinkling lights start to grace every city street and plaza, there is something magical about traveling at this time of year too. 

I have been living in Merida, in the Yucatan for the last two years and I am preparing to spend my third December in Mexico. You are in good hands here 😉 

In this post, we will look at the best places to travel to in Mexico in December, the weather, and what activities are going on. If you then need anything else, you are welcome to drop me a comment or connect with me on social media.

A Christmas tree surrounded by reindeer and nutcracker statues in the Yucatan beach town of Progreso in Mexico in December
A Christmas tree in the Yucatan beach town of Progreso in December

Traveling to Mexico in December 

December in Mexico is a great time of year to travel, whether you are looking for a tropical beach getaway or a cultured weekend city break. However, is important to acknowledge that Mexico is a vast country and that the exact temperatures and climate conditions can vary substantially from one area to another. 

So, it is impossible to give a sweeping generalization about what you should pack and how hot/cold it is going to be. In places like Queretaro and Guanajuato, it will be so cold that you can see your own breath and you will need to wear a thick coat in the evenings. 

In the Yucatan peninsula and the southern part of Jalisco (Puerto Vallarta and its surroundings), it is still going to be around 86°F/30°C. 

The weather in Mexico in December is generally dry and warm across the country. Conditions are somewhat cooler than in November and the rainy season has finally subsided.

However, it is very important to note that Mexico is vast. This is the 13th largest country in the world after all!

Exact temperatures and climate conditions vary drastically from one part of the country to another. The coastal destinations and most of Southern Mexico see very hot, balmy conditions.

Conversely, places like San Cristobal in Chiapas, San Miguel de Allende, and Mexico City are all set at higher altitudes and thus see cooler temperatures. It is important to check the specific temperatures for the part of Mexico that you are traveling to in advance of your trip so that you can pack accordingly.

Mexico in December is the high season for Chichen Itza and the Yucatan
Mexico in December is the high season for Chichen Itza and the Yucatan

Pros and cons of visiting Mexico in December 

There are pros and cons of traveling to Mexico at any time of year, including in December. The high season in many coastal parts of the country typically runs from November to March each year, during which time thousands of “snowbirds” from the US, Canada, and elsewhere flock south of the border to enjoy their winters in warmer climes in Mexico. 

This means that popular places like Merida, Playa Del Carmen, Cancun, Los Cabos, and Puerto Vallarta are at their most crowded, accommodation needs to be booked in advance, and prices soar across the board. If you need to adhere to a tight budget, it is better to travel to these places in the shoulder or off seasons when you can get more bang for your buck. 

Conversely, more “off the beaten path” destinations like Guanajuato, Hidalgo, and Queretaro are at their quietest. 

The hurricane season affects coastal Mexico between June and November every year, and fortunately, by December, the rain has subsided and things are clearing up. This also makes everywhere a lot less humid which makes it more bearable to explore ruins, hike, or do other outdoor activities. 

11 Best Places to Visit in Mexico in December

Honestly, Mexico is a great year-round travel destination so you will not be disappointed wherever you choose to travel. 

Some of the very best places to travel during this time of year are:

  • Merida, Yucatan – Gorgeous colonial city and a great base for exploring Yucatan Mayan ruins

  • Campeche City – Underrated capital of Campeche state, brimming with Mayan culture and gorgeous colonial architecture

  • Mexico City – Fabulous cosmopolitan city boasting magical Christmas parades, and over 300 charming neighborhoods, each with their own distinct personality

  • Chiapas state – Underrated Southeastern Mexican state known for its indigenous cultures, unique villages, and nature

  • Puerto Vallarta – Popular beach town on Mexico’s Pacific Coast known for its excellent international restaurants, pristine beaches, and nightlife

  • Cancun – Resort town known for its white sand beaches and turquoise waters that makes a great jump-off point for exploring the wider Yucatan

  • Cabo San Lucas – Tourist favorite in Baja California known for its laidback beaches and whale watching

  • Oaxaca – Foodie capital of western Mexico and the home of mezcal

  • Guadalajara – Mexico’s second city and the cultured capital of Jalisco state

     
  • Cozumel – Gorgeous tropical island paradise in Q.R and a perfect spot for snorkeling, swimming, and relaxing

  • The El Chepe train route – One of the “best” railways in the world that leads you through the quaint villages of the snow-capped copper canyon
Visiting El Fuerte, Sinaloa in December 2022
Visiting El Fuerte, Sinaloa in December 2022

Riding the El Chepe train in December 

Widely regarded as being one of the “most beautiful railways in the world”, the El Chepe train route is a wonderful Mexican adventure to embark on in December. The train runs through Northern Mexico’s Copper Canyon from Los Mochis, Sinaloa to Chihuahua, stopping at charming villages such as El Fuerte and Creel. 

The scenery is breathtaking at any time of year, but in the winter, it is extra special as the hills and mountains in the area are sprinkled with a light dusting of snow. 

You can buy different class tickets on this old-fashioned train and there is a viewing and a bar cart on board with floor to ceiling windows where you can really admire the view and take some great photos. While Chihuahua and Sinaloa are not necessarily known for their safety, the villages and hiking trails in the immediate vicinity of the stations are perfectly fine. 

Los Mochis is no great beauty but it is well deserved of a few days exploration at the start of your trip. It is home to an excellent street food and foodie culture and from here you can take a day trip out to the seaside town of El Maviri and neighboring Topolobampo where you can learn about the famous resident dolphin known as “El Pechocho”. 

Pastel coloured houses line a street in the historic center of Merida, Yucatan
Pastel coloured houses line a street in the historic center of Merida, Yucatan

Merida, Mexico in December

The colorful colonial city of Merida is the cultural capital of the Yucatan state. Merida is the safest city in Mexico and it makes a nice introduction to the country if you are apprehensive about visiting Mexico for the first time.

Many incredible Mayan ruins can be visited on day trips from Merida – including the underrated city of Mayapan, the archeological sites of Uxmal, Xcambo, the Ruta Puuc and of course, Chichen Itza, one of the “new” seven wonders of the world.

The city center itself is a photographer’s dream. Once upon a time, during the henequen boom, Merida was one of the richest cities in the world.

This is evidenced in its grand, colonial mansions that still line the cobbled streets and promenades. Calle 59 and the Avenida Del Deportista are particularly scenic. Many of these old buildings have been converted into eclectic coffee shops, sophisticated Merida restaurants, and guesthouses.

Merida is located inland, not on the coast. However, a short 20-minute journey by bus or car takes you to the little beach town of Progreso.

3-4 days is a perfect amount of time for an initial Merida itinerary. You can also visit the city as part of a wider Yucatan road trip. Just like Merida, the Yucatan state is also very safe.

Weather in Merida in December

Nestled in the heart of the Yucatan, encompassed by jungle and ancient Mayan ruins, Merida is also one of the hottest places in the country. The heat and humidity can be almost overbearing here during the summer months but in December, the daily temperature tends to bounce around 82°F to 85°F.

It is hot enough to give you your dose of summer sun and help you escape the winter blues you are feeling in your own country, but it is not too hot that spending long periods outdoors feels unbearable.

Visiting Mexico in December: the Zocalo in Campeche City, Campeche state
Visiting Mexico in December: the Zocalo in Campeche City, Campeche state

Campeche in December

The state of Campeche is the least-visited state in the Yucatan tri-state area. In some ways, this is a shame as the state is bursting at the seams with cultural and historical sites and attractions.

Coastal Campeche city is the state capital and it’s a beautiful one at that. Despite the fact that few people have heard of Campeche internationally, its colonial old town is a UNESCO-protected heritage site.

Its narrow streets, piazzas, and passageways have been so well preserved that venturing here feels like traveling back in time. The city thrived during the 17th century, at which point its strategic location right on the Gulf of Mexico made it an important trading port.

Campeche mostly dealt with the trade of dyewood and salt. However, with great economic success came the threat of pirates and attacks.

Several fortresses, fortifications, and bastions still exist in Campeche today. The two defensive fortresses have been converted into museums containing interesting exhibits and boasting incredible panoramas over the Southern Mexican state.

Some of the least visited Mayan ruins can be found in Campeche, including the city of Edzna, remote Calakmul, and Becan. If you like Mexican gastronomy and Yucatecan cuisine, you can also stop by the town of Hecelchakán which is where the beloved dish “cochinita pibil” originates from. (There are also many excellent restaurants in Campeche city that specialise in regional cuisine).

Weather in Campeche in December

You can expect daily averages of around 83°F if you head to Campeche in December. While it doesn’t frequently rain, it can be cloudy or overcast around 30% of the time.

The Torre Latinoamericana in downtown Mexico City
The Torre Latinoamericana in downtown Mexico City

Mexico City in December

Mexico City is the capital of Mexico and the largest city in North America. It is bursting at the seams with museums, charming barrios, archeological sites and a mouthwatering gastronomy scene that is considered one of the best in the world.

Even dedicating 3-4 days to your first visit is only really enough time to scratch beneath the surface. December is a particularly interesting time to visit because of all of the festive celebrations.

On the 12th December, pilgrims from across Mexico travel to the Basilica de Guadalupe in Mexico City to celebrate the Dia de Guadalupe. Parades and processions take place across the city and fireworks illuminate the night sky.

At midnight, locals take to the streets of CDMX to sing Las Mañanitas, the Mexican birthday song, to the virgen. The annual “Christmas Festival” takes place between the 16th and the 30th December, and sees nightly performances and live music hosted at the Plaza de la Constitución.

Christmas in CDMX is a magical time, but of course, there are also many things to do here which can be enjoyed all year round too. Dedicate time to exploring Mexico Citys various neighborhoods, each of which are like little villages in themselves, and each have their own personality.

Dine at world-class restaurants in upscale Polanco, visit Frida Kahlo’s house in leafy Coyoacan, and fall in love with the street art and hipster vibes of Roma Norte.

When choosing where to stay in Mexico City, opt for a relatively central location where you will have everything you need on your doorstep. Polanco, Roma, Anzures, and the historic center are good choices.

Weather in Mexico City in December

Mexico City can actually get quite chilly during the winter months and you can expect daytime averages between 65°F and 71°F in December. While that may be milder than what you are used to, it definitely isnt shorts and tshirt weather so if you are visiting various parts of Mexico in the winter, you need to pack for different climates.

Cancun in December

As one of the most popular travel destinations in the country, Cancun needs no introduction. The Quintana Roo capital is home to a glittering hotel zone filled with ultra-luxurious resorts, world-famous nightclubs and award-winning restaurants.

While Cancun boasts excellent beaches of its own, it also makes a great base for a wider exploration of the Yucatan, gorgeous Riviera Maya beaches and Mayan ruins such as Chacchoben and Coba.

If you are planning on visiting Cancun in December, it is absolutely imperative that you book everything as far in advance as possible. Since this is the peak season, many hotels and hostels are at maximum occupancy at this time.

To escape some of the crowds, consider taking day trips out to calmer, lesser-known destinations in the Mexican Carribean such as the picturesque fishing village of Mahahual, Lake Bacalar and El Cuyo.

December in Cancun weather

December marks the beginning of the dry season in Cancun. The rain and humidity of the hurricane season have subsided, the days are hot and sunny and the nights are warm and pleasant.

Daily temperatures range between 82°F and 85°F and the water visibility at Cancun’s gorgeous beaches is perfect for swimming and snorkeling.

A local man strolls down the street in Comitan de Domingez, Chiapas
A local man strolls down the street in Comitan de Domingez, Chiapas

Chiapas in December

December is a great time to visit the Southern Mexican state of Chiapas. This part of the country is massively underrated and overlooked. Yet, it is one of the best places to travel to if you enjoy hiking, nature and learning about indigenous cultures.

Much of Chiapas state is autonomous, and many of the people that reside in the various towns and villages here belong to the Tzotzil and Zoque indigenous groups.

The gorgeous mountain city of San Cristobal de las Casas is the entire raison dêtre for most people’s visit to Chiapas and is known for its spectacular colonial architecture, artisanal markets and handicrafts.

From here, you can take a trip out to the indigenous villages of Zinacantan and Chamula where you can visit the interesting “San Juan Chamula” church where people visit curanderos (witch doctors) to seek healing from their ailments and illnesses.

Weather in Chiapas in December

The weather conditions in Chiapas vary depending on where you are in the state. San Cristobal de las Casas is nestled within the Sierra Madre mountains where it sits at a high altitude.

In the day time, you can expect averages of between 55°F – 65°F and at night, it is often so chilly that you need to utilise thick blankets and a heater.

By contrast, the capital of Tuxtla Gutierrez, along with the Pueblos Magicos of Chiapa de Corzo and Comitan de Dominguez, are located at ground level and see warmer climates that are more comparable to the Yucatan.

(Think average daily temperatures between 74°F and 82°F).

Snorkeling in Cozumel island in December 

Cozumel is a stunning tropical island paradise that awaits just off the coast of Cancun. Boasting lucious tropical beaches and crystal-clear aquamarine waters, Cozumel is perhaps best known for its diving and snorkelling opportunities. 

The island is part of the Mesoamerican barrier reef, the second-largest coral reef system in the world after Australia’s Great Barrier reef and a great place to see colourful fish like angel fish, parrotfish and grouper, as well as larger creatures like turtles, rays and dolphins. 

There are tons of great beaches on this island that, while still somewhat busy in December, see a fraction of the amount of tourists seen in Cancun. Head to Isla de la Passion if you are seeking seclusion, peace and tranquility, Punta Sur Eco beach park for a stunning coastal area surrounded by hiking trails and nature, and Playa Palancar if you want a beach with a ton of restaurants and amenities a stone’s throw away. 

Cabo San Lucas in December

Visiting Cabo San Lucas in December is a great choice, particularly if you are interested in whale-watching and laidback beach vibes.

Every year between December and April, thousands of whales (mostly humpbacks and grey whales) flock to the warm waters of Baja California to mate. Countless tour companies throughout Los Cabos offer whale-watching tours and most of the time, you are guaranteed to see at least a couple of whales swimming alongside your boat.

Dolphin sightings are also very common and add to the experience. Although the likelihood of seeing whales is likely slightly greater in January and February, many tour companies offer refunds (or a repeat trip, as you prefer) if you are not fortunate enough to see whales on one particular boat ride.

December weather in Los Cabos

Los Cabos in December sees mild temperatures and daily averages of around 68°F. Water temperatures tend to be around 72°F-75°F so conditions are warm enough for swimming, even if this is not the hottest part of Mexico.

Mexico in December: Conchas Chinas beach in Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco
Conchas Chinas beach in Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco

Puerto Vallarta in December

Set on Mexico’s Pacific Coast in the west-central state of Jalisco, the beachtown of Puerto Vallarta is one of the popular travel destinations in the country. December is the high season here, so reserving everything advance if you plan to travel at this time of the year is highly recommended. 

While Jalisco’s beaches may not have the same translucent aquamarine waters as the Mexican Carribean, they are naturally beautiful, encompassed by unique rock formations or tucked away in hidden coves. Most locals and tourists tend to stick to city beaches like Playa Camarones and Playa de los Muertos which are busy but fun.

Here you have great views of the Bahia de Banderas, and street vendors wander up and down the sandy coast selling everything from chiccharon (fried pork skins) to shrimp, tequila cocktails and Mexican candies known as “meringue”. 

For something more secluded, head to the pebbled beach of Conchas Chinas, the “Beverly Hills” of Puerto Vallarta, or the upscale coastal areas of Mismaloya and Playa las Gemelas. Though they require a little more effort to reach, you can also pay a few pesos to take a small fishing boat out to the beaches of Yelapa and Colomitos which are seldom crowded and feels as though you have a tropical island paradise all to yourself. 

If you fancy a change of pace, you can rent a car in Vallarta and take a day trip to the pueblo magicos of San Sebastian del Oeste or Mascota. San Sebastian del Oeste is particularly charming. 

This little village in the Sierra Madre mountains was once one of the most important mining towns in Mexico and is characterised by its white stone houses with red tiled gable roofs and terracotta fixtures.

Cobbled streets and white and red houses of San Sebastian del Oeste, Jalisco
San Sebastian del Oeste sees a much cooler climate than Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta in December weather

December daytime temperatures in Puerto Valla range between 77°F and 85°F, offering the perfect conditions for enjoying the beaches and exploring the islands off Mexico’s west coast.

Sculpture of a winged man outside the Contemporary Art Museum, Guadalajara
Sculpture of a winged man outside the Contemporary Art Museum, Guadalajara

Guadalajara in December

The Jalisco capital of Guadalajara is Mexicos second city and arguably one of the most underrated destinations in the country. This part of Jalisco state is credited as being the birthplace of numerous Mexican traditions including mariachi, tequila and the charreria (Mexican rodeo).

Some of the most impressive architecture and attractions can be found close to the Guadalajara cathedral and the Zocalo central square. The citys San Juan de Dios market is the largest covered market in Latin America, while Mercado Corona is a great place to indulge in regional delicacies like torta ahogadas (“drowned” sandwiches), and sheep birria. 

In nearby Tlaquepaque, you can experience live mariachi at El Parian square, where some of the very first mariachi performed over 100 years ago. From Guadalajara, you can also take day trips out to Tequila, the birthplace of its namesake beverage, and Lake Chapala, the largest freshwater lake in Mexico. 

Weather in Guadalajara in December

Like Mexico City, Guadalajara is at a higher altitude than coastal regions of Mexico and sees cooler temperatures in December. (Albeit likely still milder than what you may be accustomed to at home).

Expect average daytime temperatures of 61℉, highs of 75℉, and lows of 50℉.

Oaxaca in December

Oaxaca has become an increasingly popular Mexico travel destination in recent years and is widely regarded as being the “foodie capital” of Mexico. In both 2022 AND 2023, Travel and Leisure magazine recognized Oaxaca City as being the best city in the world. That is quite an achievement!

December is a particularly wonderful time to travel to Oaxaca because of all of the Mexican Christmas festivities that are taking place at this time. The Noche de Rábanos (night of the radishes) celebration that takes place at the Plaza de la Constitución on December 23rd is not to be missed.

This obscure tradition dates back to 1897 and sees people carve various items out of radishes and enter competitions to see who has the best design. On Christmas Eve, nativity processions known as calendas take place in Oaxaca City and see floats and parades of people dressed as angels or various figures make their way through the city and to the churches.

Of course, there are many Oaxaca attractions that are wonderful to enjoy all year round. Be sure to organize a tour of one of the mezcal plantations in the region and sample regional foodie specialites like tlayuda, memela, and caldo de piedra (stone soup).

Weather in Oaxaca in December

December is a warm, sunny and dry month in Oaxaca and you can expect average daily temperatures between 78°F and 82°F.

This is warm enough to enjoy the beaches of Puerto Escondido and coastal Oaxaca, but not so overbearingly hot that walking around the city is by any means unpleasant.

Standing in front of the Santa Ana church in Merida, Yucatan
Standing in front of the Santa Ana church in Merida, Yucatan

Festivals and Events in Mexico in December 

Across the world, December marks the start of the festive Christmas period and Mexico is no different. From the beginning of the month, you will start to see many towns, cities, and Pueblo Magicos decorate their zocalos (central squares) with Christmas lights and decorations. 

Huge nativity scenes are set up everywhere from Cancun to Monterrey, and local stores and restaurants start decorating their interiors with garlands and bold signs that read “Feliz Navidad!”. Some of the key dates to know in December in Mexico are detailed below.

The Coca Cola Christmas fair in Merida, Yucatan
The Coca Cola Christmas fair in Merida, Yucatan

Key dates and events in Mexico in December 

  • 12th December – Dia de la Virgin de Guadalupe

  • 16th December – Start of the posadas

  • 24th December – Noche Buena (Christmas Eve)

  • 25th December – Christmas Day

  • 28th December – Dia de los Inocentes

  • 31st December – New Year’s Eve 

Dia de Guadalupe (12th December)

While Christmas decorations may start creeping up earlier, the festive season in Mexico officially starts on the 12th of December. This is the Día de Guadalupe, one of Mexico’s most important religious holidays. 

The day commemorates the anniversary of the 12th December 1531 when the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared in front of an indigenous peasant named Juan Diego. Across the country, many devout Catholics participate in a candlelit procession to their local churches.

Posadas Navideñas and processions

In the days that follow the Dia de Guadalupe, more and more decorations pop up around towns and cities, and colorful, sparkling piñatas are hung from store fronts and doorways.

Many processions are held throughout the town including Posadas Navideña – processions that reenact Mary and Joseph’s search for an inn. There is also the more commercialized desfile Coca-Cola which is a parade sponsored by the softs drinks brand that is hosted on different dates around the country and sees illuminated floats and people dressed like Coca Cola bottles take to the streets.

A fun decoration of Santa Claus climbing onto a balcony window in the Yucatan
A fun decoration of Santa Claus climbing onto a balcony window in the Yucatan

Christmas Eve in Mexico

In Mexico, Christmas Eve (Noche Buena) is arguably more important than Christmas Day and people tend to enjoy their Christmas dinner and exchange gifts on this day.

Many churches across Mexico host mass (Misa de Gallo) which foreigners can attend as long as they are respectful. Traditional Christmas foods in Mexico differ to what you may be accustomed to in the west.

A popular delicacy is the Christmas Eve salad (Ensalada de Noche Buena) which is a sweet, unique, fruity salad that is prepared with beetroots, hibiscus flowers, guava fruit, apples, oranges, limes, and other fruits and flavorings.

Every Mexican family likely has a different Ensalada de Noche Buena recipe that has been passed down through the generations. Bacalao (salted codfish) and wrapped cornmeal dumplings (tamales) are also popular things to eat.

Bunuelos (fried pastries sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon) are popular desserts that you will find sold in most bakeries and panaderias.

Christmas Day in Mexico

Christmas Day in Mexico is a national public holiday and most businesses will be closed. You will find restaurants in many major cities offer Mexican or western Christmas dinner menus but advanced reservations are a must.

There are no major events or parades on this day as in Mexico, it is a day to be spent with family.

Tulum in December : The Instagram famous Daniel Popper statue

New Year’s Eve in Mexico

New Year’s Eve (Nochevieja or Año Nuevo) is a big celebration in Mexico. Many celebrations, processions, traditional markets, and fireworks displays are hosted in central squares (zocalos) across the country.

A large portion of the evening is often spent having dinner with family. There are also many parties hosted at bars and clubs across the country where people head to see in the New Year.

People are usually drinking and sipping champagne as the clock strikes twelve, after which they greet each other with a “Feliz Año Nuevo!” There is also a whole range of Mexican superstitions that revolve around the holiday too.

For instance, it is supposed to be good luck to eat twelve grapes as the clock strikes twelve. Similarly, if you run through your neighborhood with an empty suitcase on New Year’s Day, it is said to mean that you will enjoy many travels in the near future.

Mexico in December
Mexico in December

Mexico in December FAQs

Do you have any more burning questions about traveling to Mexico in December? You will find the answers to some frequently asked questions on the topic here.

Hopefully you will find the answers that you are looking for in this section but if not, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.

Is December a good time to go to Mexico?

December is a very good time to visit Mexico, particularly if you are planning to visit coastal destinations such as Cancun, Tulum, Yucatan beaches, and Puerto Vallarta. The weather is hot and sunny, but not overbearingly so.

This is the dry season and there is virtually no rain. However, since this is the high season, crowds and costs are at their highest. If you prefer to visit Mexico at a more peaceful time, you may prefer to travel in March or April.

Which part of Mexico is best in December?

December is a great time to visit many parts of Mexico but it really depends on what you are looking for. If you are seeking winter sun and paradisical beaches, you will love Puerto Vallarta, Los Cabos, or popular destinations in the Yucatan like Cancun, Tulum, Merida, Isla Holbox, Cozumel, and Isla Mujeres.

If you prefer to immerse yourself in local culture, places like Chiapas state, Guanajuato state, and Santiago de Queretaro are great year-round destinations which, while being a little chillier at this time, are very quiet and free from tourists at this time of year.

Can you swim in Mexico in December?

Mexico is a vast country with many different climates and water temperatures but since most coastal areas have a hot, tropical climate, it is pleasant to swim in most parts of Mexico in December.

Specifically, the Pacific and Carribean coasts and the beaches along the Gulf of Mexico in the Northern Yucatan. Baja California Sur is a little cooler, but still plenty warm enough to go for a swim.

In most places in the Yucatan, you can expect water temperatures of around 80°F to 82°F on average.

How hot is Cancun in December?

Daily temperatures in Cancun in December tend to range between 76°F and 86°F. On average, you can expect it to be around 82°F during the day.

Is Mexico still hot in December?

Many coastal areas of Mexico are still hot in December but cities at higher altitudes (like Guanajuato City, CDMX, Guadalajara and Santiago de Queretaro) are relatively cold.

Are there mosquitoes in Mexico in December?

Mosquitoes are an unfortunate reality of traveling to most tropical parts of Mexico all year round. While everywhere is generally less humid and balmy during the winter months and you are likely to encounter fewer insects, you are never free from the risk of mosquito bites.

If you are traveling to humid, coastal areas, you should always wear insect repellent, especially at night. Mosquitoes love to hang out near bodies of water such as lakes, pools, and beaches.

Carry some insect-relief cream with you, just in case too, and some anti-histamines if like me, you often have bad reactions to bites. Some mosquitoes in Mexico do carry dengue fever or the zika virus so it is important to be aware.

Mexico in December: Visiting the archeological site of Edzna, Campechen state
Mexico in December: Visiting the archeological site of Edzna, Campechen state

Final thoughts on traveling to Mexico in December

December in Mexico is a magical time of year and I am about to decorate my house for my second Christmas in Merida as we speak. While traditions and climates may be different in Mexico compared to your usual festive season back at home, Christmas is a really big deal in Mexico and locals go all out with their celebrations. 

You won’t regret your decision to spend any time in Mexico during this festive month, wherever you choose to travel. Do you have any further questions about traveling to Mexico during the winter months? 

Feel free to drop me a comment below if you need something and I will do my best to get back to you as soon as I can. If this is your first time traveling here, you might also enjoy browsing through these Mexico travel tips before you go. 

Until next time, safe travels!

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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