Mexico in November is a great time to travel. The hurricane season has subsided, the temperatures are warm without being overbearingly hot, and yet, there are still not a huge amount of tourists around until the “peak” season starts in December.
Better still, some of the most important festivities and cultural events take place around this time too. There is no such thing as a bad place to visit at this time of year. But this article, as written by a local, will help you to determine which destinations are best suited to you and your travel preferences.
Mexico in November Weather
It is important to remember that Mexico is a very large country (the 13th largest in the world, to be exact). So, it is impossible to give a general overview of the type of weather conditions that you can expect for the entire country.
The temperatures and conditions vary significantly from state to state, particularly when you factor in places that are located at higher altitudes. (For instance, Mexico City, San Miguel de Allende, Guadalajara, etc).
You may find winter in Mexico preferable to traveling during the summer. The months of May through October are the rainy season in much of Mexico, and hurricane alerts and windy conditions along with torrential rain are often the norms.
Similarly, summers in Mexico often see temperatures of 107°F and above! Sometimes it is simply too hot to walk around outside!
Weather conditions in coastal Mexico
Coastal destinations such as Cancun, Oaxaca, Puerto Vallarta, and Cabo San Lucas tend to see average daily temperatures of around 84°F to 88°F in November.
Conditions across the Yucatan peninsula and the lower parts of Chiapas are similar. Rainfall is at a minimum at this time of year but the occasional shower cannot be ruled out so it’s a good idea to still pack a light rain mac.
Depending on where you are from, you probably associate November with cold, wintry weather but that isn’t the case in most of Mexico. Novembers in Mexico rival summers in a lot of countries!
It is hot all year round in most places here. So, you can pack your summer wardrobe for the aforementioned destinations and spend your days in sun dresses, t-shirts, and shorts.
Weather conditions in Mexico City, Guadalajara and San Cristobal
Mexico City (CDMX), Guadalajara, and San Cristobal de Las Casas (among others) see slightly cooler conditions in Mexico in November. However, they are by no means cold.
In Mexico City and Guadalajara, expect to see daily temperatures of around 77°F to 79°F. The mountain city of San Cristobal in Chiapas is arguably one of the coldest places to visit at this time of year.
The daytime temperatures here are usually between 64°F to 66°F and it does get very cold at night so it’s important to layer up! If you are visiting as part of a wider Chiapas itinerary, you will need to pack clothing for different conditions as Tuxtla Gutierrez, Comitan, the Sumidero Canyon, and other major sites in Chiapas are situated at a much lower altitude.
Best Places to Travel in Mexico in November
You have established that you definitely want a winter getaway somewhere in Mexico in November but you are not sure where to go. In short, if you are looking for beaches, consider checking out some of the lesser-known beach towns and beaches in the Yucatan, visiting Bacalar or Mahahual in Quintana Roo, or visiting Cabo or Puerto Vallarta.
If it’s the culture that you seek, Chiapas and Oaxaca are always a good call. For a city break somewhere a little warmer, Mexico City deserves an entire 4-5 day itinerary in itself. Let’s look at the options in detail.
Lesser-known Yucatan beach towns
When you think about beach breaks in Mexico, most people automatically think of the popular resort towns of Cancun, Tulum, Los Cabos, or Puerto Vallarta. While those places can be great and can provide just the R&R you are looking for, Mexico is so much more than that.
There are tons of lesser-known seaside towns all over the country that Mexicans keep secret for themselves. Many beaches in the Yucatan are underrated, and gorgeous, and would give the coastal regions of the Mexican Caribbean a run for their money.
They boast the same soft white sand shores and translucent blue waters and yet, they attract a fraction of the tourists. The paradisical village of El Cuyo in the northeastern Yucatan is one such example.
This little settlement is little more than a beautiful stretch of coastline with a few hotels and restaurants scattered here and there along the Malecon. Until recently, there was virtually nothing here!
The gorgeous beach became popular among a group of windsurfers who fell in love with the natural beauty of the area and found the conditions here perfect for their sport. Along with a group of locals, they started developing El Cuyo as an off-the-beaten-path beach tourism destination.
There are some gorgeous luxe hotels here that are located right on the beach. A trip here is more about coming to relax and unwind in peace and seclusion, rather than rushing around trying to see all the sights.
Catching every sunrise and sunset is a must. You can often find that you have the beach here almost entirely to yourself.
Merida and the Yucatan State
The city of Merida is the cultural capital of the Yucatan state and somewhere that has only started to fall on people’s Mexico travel radars in recent years. This is the safest city in Mexico and in 2022, Lonely Planet and Travel and Leisure both recognized it as one of the best global cities to visit.
The city is worthy of a few days’ explorations in itself, but it also makes a great base to take day trips out from and explore the wider Yucatan peninsula. You can get from Merida to the world-famous Chichen Itza in just an hour and a half, and there are a number of lesser-known (but equally fascinating) Mayan ruins right on the city’s doorstep.
For instance, have you ever heard of the city of Mayapan? This expansive, and incredibly well-preserved ancient city dates back to around 1000AD and it was here where the Ancient Mayans moved after the downfall of Chichen Itza.
You also have the ancient sites of Dzibilchaltun and Uxmal right on your doorstep here too. In the summer of 2022, archeologists uncovered the ancient city of Xiol which is set to open to the public later in the year.
The Mexican state of Campeche is the least visited state in the tri-state Yucatan peninsula. (I.e. the region that is made up of the states of the Yucatan, Quintana Roo, and Campeche).
This is a shame as Campeche has so much to offer. This part of Southern Mexico also feels a lot wilder, more authentic, and more rugged too.
Campeche City is the capital of Campeche state and it’s a beautiful capital at that. Its old town is UNESCO protected and it is one of the best-preserved colonial-era settlements in southern Mexico.
The port city thrived during the 17th century at which time it dealt predominantly with the exports of dyewood and salt. As a result, Campeche became a major target for pirates and many of its defensive fortresses, walls, and bastions still exist today.
The capital city is worthy of a long weekend break. Stroll along the Malecon and see an unparalleled sunset over the Gulf of Mexico, sample the local cuisine, admire all the old churches and cathedrals, and hang out on the lively Calle 59.
There are some incredible Mayan ruins in the southern part of the state which are seldom ever visited. Most notably, Edzna, and the extremely remote Calakmul, which is situated in the heart of the jungle.
If you are looking for a trip that is rich in culture, and history and provides you with an opportunity to learn about the various indigenous people of Mexico, Chiapas could be the perfect destination.
Tuxtla Gutierrez is the state’s capital, although it is the various Pueblo Magicos (Mexican “magic towns”) that make this part of the country so special. Spend some time in San Cristobal de las Casas.
The charming mountain town makes a great base for exploring the wider region and taking day trips out to the villages of Zinacantan and Chamula. Chiapas coffee is globally recognized for its exquisite flavor and excellent quality and from here, you will be able to visit some plantations.
Most coffee plantations are located around Ocosingo and the Sierra Madre mountains in the south. If your schedule doesn’t allow you the time to venture this far afield, you can also organize a tasting at the Yaxchilan coffee facility on the outskirts of San Cristobal.
Ascend the steps to the churches of Guadalupe and San Cristobalito, try elevated Chiapescan cuisine at Chef Claudia Santiz’s restaurant, and shop for regional deli products such as Chiapas cheese and pox liquor. Keep in mind that San Cristobal is quite cool at this time of year.
Meanwhile, places such as Comitan de Dominguez and Chiapa de Corzo are at lower elevations and are much warmer. Consider basing yourself in San Cristobal, spending some days in Comitan in the southern part of the state, and then round off your trip with a visit to Palenque.
There are some places in Mexico that are always going to be popular and Cancun is one of them. The capital of Quintana Roo is well connected to the United States and the rest of the world via direct flights to Cancun international.
Cancun makes a great base for exploring other places in the Yucatan peninsula, or as a place to spend a couple of weeks relaxing in the sun. There are a plethora of luxury hotels and resorts here if you want to pamper yourself.
Cancun is at the beating heart of the Mexican Caribbean, and its warm waters run adjacent to the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef. The beaches here provide exactly what you would expect in a gorgeous tropical beach location.
Think soft, powdery white sands and inexplicably bright turquoise waters. You can enjoy some of the best diving and snorkeling in Mexico here, and if you have an interest in art and culture, you can take a glass-bottom boat out to MOMA Cancun. This new underwater museum is home to spectacular carved states and sculptures that have been placed at the bottom of the water.
Playa Delfine, Costa Mujeres, Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, Playa Norte, and Playa Chac Mool are among the best beaches in the area. A lot of the coastal areas here are serviced and you can rent a sunbed and umbrella for the day for just a couple of pesos. You will also find a selection of beach clubs in Cancun if you are seeking a more VIP experience.
If you are set on going to Cancun, traveling to Mexico in November is a good choice. Prices start to increase dramatically in December, and the best accommodations often sell out months in advance.
Mahahual and Bacalar, Quintana Roo
Mahahual and Bacalar make a great travel pairing. These two little settlements are located in the southern part of the state of Quintana Roo.
The closest airport from here is Chetumal international. However, there really aren’t a whole lot of international flight options to Chetumal and so, it might make more sense to fly into Cancun.
Cancun is 355.7km (4.5 hours) away. However, it is easy to make the journey by bus (or by renting a car in Mexico). Both Bacalar and Mahahual are well worth the effort to get to, particularly if you enjoy sleepy, secluded beaches without the crowds.
Until recently, Mahahual was little more than a fishing village and it has only been in the past couple of years that it has started emerging as a tourist destination. A visit here is mostly about the opportunity to switch off, relax and unwind, rather than trying to check off items from a to-do list.
If you enjoy snorkeling, you should make time to visit the UNESCO-protected Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve and the stunning Cenote Azul. 2-3 days in Mahahual is plenty.
From there, you can travel onwards to Bacalar and visit the seven-color lagoon. This is a 42km lake that, as the name suggests, gives the appearance of its water being seven different shades of blue. Bacalar is nicknamed “the Maldives of Mexico” on account of its spectacular natural beauty.
November is one of the best times to visit Mexico City. Mexico’s capital is a great year-round travel destination and at this time of year, the temperatures are mild and not too cold or rainy.
But better still, most of the best things to do in Mexico City don’t require certain weather conditions. One of the underrated highlights of exploring CDMX is the various districts of the city.
Each is like a little village in itself. Fall in love with the leafy, creative vibes of Coyoacan – Freda Kahlo’s former neighborhood, hang out in quirky coffee shops and craft breweries in Roma Norte and eat at world-class restaurants in upscale Polanco.
Chapultapec is a sprawling urban park that runs through the center of the city and is almost twice the size of New York’s Central Park. It almost deserves an itinerary of its own!
Be sure to visit Chapultapec castle – one of only two castles in North America and the only one to house European royalty. Construction on the castle started in 1785 and was not completed until the 19th century.
Emperor Maximilian of Habsburg and his wife lived here before the castle became the home of Mexican presidents. Its ornate, grand interiors are filled with glittering chandeliers, opulent furnishings, and spectacular stained glass windows.
Nearby, and also within the complex of the park, you will find the Museo Nacional de Antropología. This is the most visited museum in Mexico and is home to the world’s largest collection of Mexican art, as well as a comprehensive collection of artifacts recovered from across the country.
Even if you are not a museum person, this is a must-visit. If you are really interested in Mexican history, you can opt to do a tour with an archeologist.
Isla Holbox is a favorite travel destination for many who visit Mexico. A large chunk of people who have explored the country extensively will then tell you that Holbox was one place that they found really special.
Holbox, meaning “black hole” in Mayan is a place that makes you feel like you are a million miles away from modern civilization. There are no vehicles, paved roads or streets here, and the 40km island is a real tropical paradise.
This is also one of the best places in Latin America to see the bioluminescence. This unique phenomenon is caused by plankton that lives beneath the shores of the waters here.
The little creatures light up at night, giving the impression that the water is illuminated by hundreds of twinkling fairy lights. November is a great time to catch this.
During the rainy season (late May to October), the rain can make the waters appear darker and murkier, and November is when things just start to clear. You can see this better on days when there isn’t any moonlight.
If you spend a few days on Holbox, you have ample time to revisit the beaches to see the bioluminescence at its best. You could spend as much as a week on Holbox but 3-5 days is plenty and you can see the island as part of a wider Mexico itinerary.
There are plenty of things to do in Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, to warrant dedicating an entire 10-14 day itinerary to this part of western Mexico. Puerto Vallarta itself is home to an unparalleled nightlife scene, gorgeous beaches, and a selection of incredible PV restaurants serving everything from traditional Jaliscan fare to international classics.
The city also makes a great base to explore some of the smaller towns and villages in southwestern Jalisco. From here, take day trips out to San Sebastian del Oeste, Mascota, Talpa de Allende, and Real del Alto. You can also consider drawing up an itinerary that involves spending a week in Puerto Vallarta and its surroundings, and a week in the surf town of Sayulita, in the neighboring state of Nayarit.
Festivities and Events in Mexico in November
From a cultural perspective, November is one of the best times to visit Mexico. Because at this time, you can experience one of the most important events in the Mexican calendar: Dia de Los Muertos.
Dia de Los Muertos
Dia de Los Muertos (the Day of the Dead) is one of the most important annual events in Mexico. It is observed on the 2nd of November every year and exists to remember and celebrate the lives of loved ones lost.
Usually, though, Dia de Los Muertos celebrations last as long as a week, starting around the end of October. November 1st in Mexico is the Day of the Children and All Saints Day.
On this day, Mexicans remember children that have passed away. November 2nd sees locals remember the lives of adults that have passed.
These are not sad occasions. They are an excuse for a celebration.
Huge parades and festivities are hosted all over the country. Families will often go to the cemeteries and decorate their loved ones’ graves and crypts with flowers. They will create small altars with offerings of food and all of the deceased person’s favorite treats and snacks.
Some of the best Dia de Los Muertos celebrations take place in Mexico City and Oaxaca, but there will be something going on all over the country. You can have your face painted with Catrina makeup (skeleton makeup) and sample Pan de Muerto (bread of the dead). This is a Mexican sweet bread (pan dulce) that is sold at coffee shops and bakeries in the weeks leading up to Dia de Los Muertos.
Revolution Day, (el Día de la Revolución) takes place on the 20th November every year. On this date, street parades and processions are held across the country. The holiday celebrates the end of a 10-year revolution against Dictator José de la Cruz Porfirio Diaz Mori.
The start of the festive period
The Christmas season in Mexico doesn’t really start until mid-December. However, from the end of November, you will see a few decorations and Christmas lights start popping up across the country.
Christmas is a big commercial affair here, just like it is in most other Christian and Catholic countries. Stores start selling Christmas decorations and giftsets in November, and this can be a great opportunity to get an early start on your Christmas shopping or to buy some quintessentially Mexican souvenirs as gifts.
November Travel FAQs
Do you still have any burning questions or concerns about visiting Mexico in November? Hopefully, you will find the answers you are looking for below.
Is it a good time to go to Mexico in November?
November is a very good time to travel to Mexico. The weather is still hot and sunny but not overbearingly so. There is little to no seaweed on the beaches and the water temperatures are perfect for swimming.
Is Mexico still warm in November?
Yes. Mexico is very warm in November. Coastal destinations like Cancun, Tulum, Los Cabos, and Puerto Vallarta see average daily temperatures between 84°F and 88°F. Meanwhile, Mexico City sees average temperatures of 77°F to 79°F.
Is November ok for Cancun?
November is a very good time to travel to Cancun. This month is far less crowded than the peak months of December through February.
The weather at this time is perfect for swimming, enjoying the beaches, and taking trips around Quintana Roo and further afield. Expect daily averages between 84°F and 88°F at this time.
Does it rain a lot in Mexico in November?
Mexico gets very little (if any) rain in November. You may get the odd rainy day here and there but showers are usually brief. The rainy season runs from May until late October.
Have you traveled to Mexico in November before? Did you enjoy it?
From your perspective, what is the best time of year to travel to Mexico? Have a wonderful time traveling here! Buen Viaje! Xo