Cancun, Mexico is one of the world’s top travel destinations with its clear, pristine blue waters, historical archaeological sites, and busy nightlife. In the first quarter of 2018 alone, the city welcomed 10.6 million visitors. In fact, it was a 12.6% increase from 2017 and it is expected that the numbers will continue to rise every year, with millions of people scrambling to dip their toes in the warm water or climb up the ruins. While the city is bustling all year, there are definitely certain months that would be perfect for the different things to do in Cancun. If you’re planning a trip, take a look at some of the top Airbnbs and budget hotels, too. In the meantime, scroll below to find out the best times to visit Cancun, Mexico.
1. Good weather - end December to June
The best time to visit Cancun is definitely between December to June every year. These months offer near-perfect weather and make it the ideal time to enjoy the beaches and life on a boat rental. There may be a bigger crowd going to Cancun, especially during the winter months from December to February, but you also get to enjoy cheaper air fares and hotel rooms. With good weather during these months, you’ll be able to enjoy almost everything Cancun has to offer, from the white-sand beaches, to Mayan ruins, and to lots of outdoor activities, including snorkelling, diving, hiking, and bird watching.
The summer months of June to August are the best time to go on whale shark tours and swim with the whale sharks. This is the time when the number of whale sharks that have migrated to the Yucatan Peninsula is the highest. Because it’s the whale season, it’s best to book your whale shark tour in advance. There will be a lot of people flying into Mexico because of whale sharks and, since the tour operators don’t want to overcrowd the whales while they swim, there are only a limited number of tour boats and a limited number of people who can swim with them. Join a Viator tour if this is something you’d be interested in.
Cancun Swim with Whale Sharks Small-Group Snorkeling Tour
Duration: 7 hours
3. Great hotel deals - September to October
Hotels are super discounted during the off-peak season of September to October. You’ll be able to save hundreds or even thousands of dollars in terms of hotel rates. It’s your chance to stay in the luxury hotels at a fraction of the cost during high-peak seasons. If during high-peak seasons, the average nightly rates of hotels for couples range from 175 USD to 250 USD, off-peak seasons can go as low as 50 USD per night. It’s definitely a great deal, especially if you want to stay longer.
4. Avoid the crowds - June to October
Yes, there is a possibility that it will rain between June to October but there’s a slim chance that it will rain every day, and you’ll still find many fun things to do here during this season. When it’s sunny, it’s still hot and humid and you’ll still get to visit the outdoor offerings in Cancun. The great part though is that there are fewer people so you get to enjoy the sights without bumping into someone else. You can stay longer at the Mayan ruins to take photos without people bumping into you. You can pick your spot on the sand at the beach. You’ll be able to enjoy Cancun without worrying about too many people.
5. Honeymoon or a romantic getaway - December to May
December to May is the best time to visit Cancun, Mexico for your honeymoon or a romantic getaway. While nightly hotel rates for a couple may cost more now than during the offseason, it’s still manageable at 175-250 USD per room. Plus the weather is very ideal with the bright sun and clear skies, great for going to the beach, exploring the Mayan ruins, and even enjoy the nightlife scene. And if you happen to arrive during spring break, you’ll still be able to enjoy the city since there are other places in Cancun where you can still have a great time and avoid the wild parties.
6. Music, food and wine festivals - March
Photo is only for illustrative purposes
There are three festivals in March in that are a must-attend in Cancun if you love food, wine, music, or to party. The Cancun Riviera Maya Wine and Food Festival features world-renowned chefs preparing the best of the world’s cuisine. Hosted by different hotels, including The Ritz-Carlton, Secrets The Vine Resort and Spa, and Moon Palace Golf and Spa Resort, the Festival features French dinner by the beach, a tribute to Mexican cuisine by Mexican women chefs, and the Gourmet Tasting Village, the most popular feature of the event. If you are looking to party, however, be sure to dance your feet away at the Inception Music Festival during spring break. Featuring the best DJs from around the world, the Inception Music Festival happens the entire month of March, day and night, in different clubs in Cancun. Be sure to get your party passes early because they sell out fast!
7. Swimming - July to August
Surrounded by beautiful, blue waters, a visit to Cancun needs to include swimming in the ocean. Although the waters are beautiful all year long, it’s best to come between July and August if swimming in the Yucatan Peninsula is a major part of your Cancun itinerary. During the winter and spring months, the water is colder than usual. September to November is the rainy season so the rain, showers or storm, can dampen your ocean spirits. July to August are the best time to visit Cancun, Mexico since the water has a higher temperature and there is little chance of rain so you can enjoy the waters all day. If you want to experience the best beaches Cancun has to offer, go to Playa Delfines, Puerto Morelos, and Playa Chac Mool.
8. Seminars, workshops and competitions - June
June is the best time to organize or attend seminars, workshops, and competitions. Since it’s technically the start of the rainy season, airfares and hotel rooms are cheaper by at least 30%. There’s still minimal rain so you can still enjoy the outdoor sights of Cancun. But in case it does rain, a lot of hotels and resorts offer special indoor activities for their guests, including spa packages, tequila tasting, and dinner packages. When you attend a seminar, workshop, or competition in Cancun in June, you get a great balance during your trip, you get to learn new skills and you get to take a break, too.
9. Sightseeing - December to April
This is the best time to visit Cancun, Mexico to check out what the city has to offer. And the majority of the best places to visit in Cancun are located outdoors, including the Chicken Itza (the largest Mayan archaeological site in the Yucatan peninsula), the Isla Mujeres (the Island of Women and where you can get the first glimpse of the rising sun in Mexico at Punta Sur), and the El Rey Ruins (conveniently located at the heart of Cancun’s Hotel Zone). You’ll need at least half a day to enjoy these places so great sunny, rain-free weather is a must, which is why December to April are the best times to come to visit these sights.
If you’re planning to enjoy the wild nightlife in Cancun but want to avoid the spring break crowd, then June to mid-July is the best time to visit Cancun, Mexico. And it doesn’t matter which night you’d like to party, Cancun nightlife is alive every night. Be prepared to wait in line, especially for the popular clubs, but it’s worth it. But if you can’t wait, you can pay to skip the lines. You can also join bar hopping tours to visit several bars in one night. And don’t schedule any activity early the next morning. Cancun nightlife only ends when the sun goes up.
Coco Bongo Gold Member VIP Night Out
Duration: 4 to 6 hours
Plan that Cancun trip now
Now that you know the best time to visit Cancun, Mexico, it’s time to plan that trip. Remember to always shop around for hotel deals and airfares. Three to four months is ideal to start shopping around for airfares. Booking at least six months ahead or last-minute will just give you really high rates. With so many activities both on land and water, not to mention great places to eat - including kid-friendly restaurants - you’re sure to enjoy your Cancun trip!
Get Trip101 in your inbox
You can buy and claim online, even after you've left home. Travel insurance from WorldNomads.com is available to people from 140 countries. It’s designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.
*5% off when you book with our promo code: TRIP101
*For our Canadian and US travellers, unfortunately due to financial services laws, we cannot provide a discount. This promotional code cannot be used with any other discount offer, including World Nomads Members’ discount for travel insurance policy holders.