Best Time to Go to Cancun: The Months To Visit And Avoid!

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Best Time to Go to Cancun: The Months To Visit And Avoid!
Want to visit Cancun but don't know when to go? Everyone has different travel needs and expectations, so the best times to visit are different for everyone. Use this guide to plan your next trip to Cancun, Mexico.
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When you think of Cancun, Mexico, you think of the sun, the beach, and a good time. I've been there countless times, at different times of the year and in all kinds of weather. So I like to think I know a thing or two about this vacation hotspot and the best time to visit Cancun.

If you're a seasoned traveler, you know that timing can make or break your trip. So when is the best time to go to Cancun?

There's no direct answer since everyone travels with different goals in mind and varied limitations. Some people are all about saving cash and getting a great tan. Others just want to escape during the only short break they have. Whatever your situation, I've got tips for you about traveling to Cancun!

Don't worry about the scary headlines—Cancun's a safe spot and a great base to also check out Tulum, Mexico. And  I don't think there's a wrong time to go to Mexico, but there are certainly better times than others.

Stay tuned because I've put together this in-depth guide to help you figure out the best time for you to hit Cancun.

When is The Best Time to Go to Cancun?

Lucky for you and everyone who loves Cancun, there is no "bad" time to visit Cancun.

In my opinion, the best time to go to Cancun is what people call the "shoulder season." This season is considered April, May, November, and December in Cancun.

These aren't the months with the best weather, but they have the best balance! Not only is the weather still good, but there are also fewer crowds and more affordable pricing.

I mentioned there isn't a "bad" time to go to Cancun. That said, there are a few months when the weather is not the best, such as hurricane season. But even visiting during these months has its positives—for instance, it's much more affordable for the budget traveler.

So, the ideal time for your Cancun getaway boils down to what you've got going on in your life.

Got limited time off? You'll probably want to maximize your chances of perfect weather to make every moment count.

On the flip side, if your schedule's flexible and you're looking to save some bucks, you could roll the dice on a less predictable season and potentially score a killer deal.

Cheapest Time to Go to Cancun

If you're focused on budget, the off-season—mainly from June to November—is your best bet. These months coincide with hurricane season and hotter weather, but you'll find unbeatable deals on flights and hotels.

Most Value-Worthy Time to Visit Cancun

The shoulder season, which falls in late April to early June and late November to early December, strikes a balance between cost and comfort. You'll find more moderate prices than in high season, and the weather is often still very good.

Best Time to Visit Cancun for Smallest Crowds

The quietest time to experience Cancun is late summer and early fall. You'll avoid the Spring Break rush and the winter holiday crowds, giving you more beach space and tranquility.

Best Months to Visit Cancun for Excellent Weather

Plan your trip between December and April if you're looking for the most ideal weather conditions. These are considered the driest months of the year.

Because of the wonderful weather, this is Cancun's high season. It's characterized by warm, sunny days and low chances of rain. While you'll be sharing the beauty of Cancun with more tourists, the weather conditions are hard to beat during these months.

cancun mexico weather
Image Courtesy of David Vives on Unsplash

When's the Most Popular Time to Visit Cancun?

Cancun is a popular place to visit over the holidays and summer. Many people, especially families, and college students, often visit Mexico when they have time off school and work. This makes November, December, and March Cancun's peak travel months.

These time frames coincide with the holiday season and spring break, which is when most people take time off for traveling. These times are especially popular for people from the north as they want to escape the cold and spend some time on the beach.

Summer is another popular time to visit Cancun since kids and students are off school. But the months between June and August are also the hottest months in Cancun. A deterrent for some people, but it still draws in a steady crowd every year.

If your idea of a Mexican getaway is not suntanning on the beach every day, there are many other fun things to do in Cancun that you likely don't know about. There are always new things to explore in Canun at any time of the year.

Summary of Cancun's Weather

I mentioned a little bit about Cancun weather already, but let's get into the details!

Cancun generally has excellent weather all year, but temperatures fluctuate at different times of the year.

Extra sunscreen is necessary during the summer, while a light sweater or jacket is advised for the winter season. Unheated pools are not ideal during the colder months, and nights tend to get a bit chilly.

The best weather in Cancun happens between December and April. You are unlikely to have bad weather, and the weather is hot, hot, HOT. Did someone say it's time to tan?

Due to the good weather, December to March is the peak season in Cancun. These months see heavy tourist crowds. Because of this, I tend to like to avoid these months!

In Cancun, it's not just hurricane season you need to watch out for—that's from June to November. You'll also want to keep an eye on the seaweed situation.

Starting around May and going until October, you might encounter brown, smelly sargassum seaweed cluttering the beaches. Unfortunately, this problem is only getting worse due to climate change and pollution.

You'll find that hurricane season is the most affordable time to go to Cancun, but it's also the riskiest. Book with caution and try to leave some flexibility in your plans in case of bad weather.

Be sure to check the average weather in Cancun during your travel dates ahead of your trip.

cancun mexico temperature
Image Courtesy of Current Results

Plan Your Cancun Vacation by Month

Cancun in January

  • Average Weather: Highs of 83°F, lows of 68°F
  • Best For: Relaxation, warm weather
  • Key Events: New Year's celebrations
  • Type of Traveler: Winter escapers

January in Cancun offers a warm respite from the winter chill. Since the temps are still balmy and the water is cool and refreshing, it's the perfect month for sipping cocktails on the beach and snorkeling in the clear waters.

Accommodations can be on the pricier side due to the high demand—after all, you'll likely run into the straggling holiday vacationers! That means it's less ideal for budget travelers but perfect for those looking to splurge a little to start the new year right.

If you're traveling during the start of January, you'll get to experience the Day of the Kings or Dia de los Reyes in Spanish. This is a traditional Mexican holiday that celebrates the 3 kings who visited Jesus through gift-giving!

And if you're into fishing, hop over to the island of Isla Mujeres to join Cancun's annual barracuda fishing celebration that raises money for charities.

Cancun in February

  • Average Weather: Highs of 85°F, lows of 69°F
  • Best For: Couples, romance
  • Key Events: Valentine's Day, Carnival
  • Type of Traveler: Lovebirds and party-goers

If you're coming with your significant other, the pleasantly warm weather couldn't be more perfect for those long beach walks and romantic dinners overlooking the ocean. Plus, you can coincide it with Valentine's Day!

You'll find that Cancun's dining and hospitality sectors go the extra mile. Think rose petals on your bed, special couple's spa packages, and romantic candle-lit dinners on the beach.

But February isn't just for couples. The city comes alive during the Carnival, a lead-up to the Christian season of Lent. The streets fill with colorful parades, elaborate costumes, and rhythmic music.

I recommend making a stop into Playa del Carmen so that you can see everything Carnival has to offer: dancing, food stalls selling local delights, and an atmosphere of non-stop celebration. Whether you're part of the parade or a spectator, the energy is contagious.

Keep in mind that this month is part of the high season in Cancun, so prices will likely be steep. It's best to book your accommodations and activities in advance to secure the best deals.

So if you're a planner and don't mind splurging a little for quality experiences, February could be your perfect match.

Cancun in March

  • Average Weather: Highs of 87°F, lows of 70°F
  • Best For: Spring breakers, beach parties
  • Key Events: Spring Break
  • Type of Traveler: College students and young adults

March is the unofficial party month in Cancun! This month is a magnet for college students and young adults eager to let loose, making it the ultimate playground for anyone with a youthful spirit.

You'll find the beaches and bars teeming with energy, making every day feel like a weekend. Spring Break isn't just about partying though! It's also about community and making new friends. The vibe in Cancun in March is extra open and social, making it easy to meet people from all over the world.

Daytime in March is perfect for water-based adventures. Whether it's jet skiing, parasailing, or simply floating on the turquoise waters, the warm weather ensures you won't want to leave the ocean.

And because it's not sweltering hot yet, you can genuinely enjoy outdoor activities without feeling overwhelmed by the heat.

One thing you should note is that many clubs and resorts offer special Spring Break packages, including all-you-can-drink deals and access to exclusive parties, so it's worth exploring your options in advance.

While this month can be one of the most expensive ones to visit Cancun, you may be able to find an unforgettable Spring Break deal if you search hard enough!

Also, don't be surprised if you see a St. Patrick's Day celebration or two! While it's not a traditional Mexican holiday, the festive spirit of Cancun in March means any reason to celebrate is a good one.

Cancun in April

  • Average Weather: Highs of 90°F, lows of 73°F
  • Best For: Family vacations, Easter holidays
  • Key Events: Semana Santa (Holy Week)
  • Type of Traveler: Families and spiritual seekers

April in Cancun offers a reprieve from the non-stop party atmosphere that typically comes with March's Spring Break. If you've been waiting for the college crowd to clear out, now's your chance.

As the Spring Breakers head home, you'll notice a significant drop in both the number of tourists and prices, making April an attractive time for those looking for a more relaxed experience.

But don't mistake "relaxed" for "boring." Cancun in April is anything but dull. The month coincides with Semana Santa, the Holy Week leading up to Easter, which is a significant cultural and spiritual event in Mexico.

During this week, the area sees a second wave of vacationers—mostly families from around Mexico—coming to bask in the natural beauty and rich cultural experiences Cancun offers. Yes, even the bars have a different, more family-friendly vibe during this time.

Families find April to be particularly welcoming. With smaller crowds and delightful weather, it's a fantastic time for exploring.

What are some of the things you should add to your itinerary? Take a journey back in time by visiting the ancient Mayan ruins, venture into the lush jungles on an inland tour, or discover hidden caves that make you feel like you're on a real-life treasure hunt.

You'll also find the beaches are less crowded, and the ocean waters are invitingly warm. This makes it perfect for swimming and snorkeling adventures with the kids.

Do be cautious of the Semana Santa week if you're looking to avoid crowds, as many families choose this time for their annual vacation. Despite the influx, the atmosphere remains pleasant and far from the rowdiness of Spring Break.

women enjoying cancun on spring break
Image Courtesy of George Dagerotip on Unspash

Cancun in May

  • Average Weather: Highs of 92°F, lows of 75°F
  • Best For: More affordable pricing, fewer crowds
  • Key Events: Cinco de Mayo
  • Type of Traveler: Budget travelers and culture enthusiasts

May in Cancun is what I consider part of the shoulder season, making it a treasure trove for budget travelers and those who prefer a bit more elbow room.

The crowds thin out, and the prices of flights and accommodations take a noticeable dip. So if you're keen to experience Cancun without breaking the bank, May is your month.

While Cinco de Mayo is a more significant celebration in other parts of Mexico, Cancun still gets into the spirit. You'll find local bars and eateries offering special deals and themed parties, giving you a chance to join in the festivities even if they're not as grandiose as in other cities.

But the real highlight of May in Cancun is its natural spectacle—and if you're into wildlife, this one's for you! May marks the arrival of magnificent whale sharks and the beginning of sea turtle nesting season.

If you've ever dreamed of swimming alongside the world's largest fish, now's the time to check that off your bucket list. Numerous travel bloggers and experts point to May as the prime month for whale shark encounters, making it an experience you don't want to miss.

Beyond the ocean, the jungles of Cancun beckon for exploration. Spring is in full swing, and it's the perfect time to take an eco-tour into the heart of Cancun's lush landscapes.

Whether it's zip-lining over the canopy, bird-watching, or simply hiking through the forest trails, an eco-adventure in May allows you to connect with nature on a deeper level.

Cancun in June

  • Average Weather: Highs of 93°F, lows of 76°F
  • Best For: Adventure activities, water sports
  • Key Events: Summer Solstice
  • Type of Traveler: Adventure seekers

June in Cancun comes with mixed blessings. While it marks the onset of the rainy season, bringing increased chances of tropical storms, it also opens up opportunities for unique experiences.

Tourism takes a dip, so you'll find fewer crowds and more affordable prices, making it an attractive option if you're looking for a budget-friendly yet adventurous vacation.

Water visibility is still good in June, and whale shark sightings continue to be common. If swimming with these gentle ocean giants is on your wish list, this is a golden opportunity. Just make sure to check the daily water conditions!

But it's not just nature that takes center stage in June. The month also celebrates Dia de la Marina, or Mexico's Navy Day, on June 1st. This event is marked by fireworks, parades, and a festive atmosphere, adding a layer of excitement and local culture to your visit.

Though the rainy season is upon Cancun, the weather remains decent for the most part, especially in the first half of the month. Climbing temperatures signal the approaching summer, so it's still a good time for beach lounging, snorkeling, or exploring the Mayan ruins—just be prepared for the occasional rainfall.

Cancun in July

  • Average Weather: Highs of 94°F, lows of 77°F
  • Best For: Beach relaxation, turtle enthusiasts, and summer vibes
  • Key Events: Nothing major, but various local festivities and beach events
  • Type of Traveler: Sun-worshippers, marine life enthusiasts, and family vacationers
  • Special Note: Middle of the rainy and hurricane season

July is hot, hot, hot, so if you're into summer heat, then Cancun in July is for you! It's the epitome of tropical summer.

While the month falls within the rainy season and the early part of the hurricane season, the occasional showers are often short-lived, quickly replaced by clear skies. These brief bursts of rain showers can even be a welcome reprieve from the summer heat, and often, they enhance the sunset, painting the sky in a medley of vibrant colors.

The beautiful white sand beaches in July are a sun lover's paradise. Warm, clear waters invite endless hours of swimming, snorkeling, and diving. If you’re a marine enthusiast, July is when you. can see baby sea turtles venture back into the water.

Did you know various conservation programs in Cancun allow tourists to witness this magical process and in some cases, even assist in releasing hatchlings back into the sea? Sounds like an unforgettable experience, one I would love to do next time I'm in Cancun!

The summer holidays bring families to Cancun, making it a buzzing hub of activity. Resorts often organize special events and activities catered to families and children, ensuring there's never a dull moment.

One notable aspect of July is the rich foliage, thanks to the sporadic rains. The surrounding jungles are lush, and eco-tours provide a refreshing break from the beach, offering insights into the vibrant flora and fauna of the region.

Turtles in Cancun
Image Courtesy of Ricardo Braham on Unsplash

Cancun in August

  • Average Weather: Highs of 95°F, lows of 76°F
  • Best For: Last-minute summer trips, snorkeling
  • Key Events: None
  • Type of Traveler: Procrastinators and water babies

If you've ever wondered what it's like to catch the last waves of summer without the peak-season frenzy, August in Cancun is your answer.

Sure, it's part of the hurricane and rainy season, but let’s focus on the silver lining: fewer families and fewer crowds, meaning you get more of Cancun to yourself.

While July is all about the bustling family holiday vibe, August shifts gears. The atmosphere is a bit more laid-back, making it ideal for couples or solo travelers looking for a quieter, more intimate experience.

If you're the type who likes to make spontaneous travel plans, August's less-crowded resorts and attractions offer the flexibility you crave.

August is similar to July in terms of the weather and the ability to do water sports. That said, you'll find humidity reaching its peak during this month.

Nightlife in August is still vibrant but more relaxed than in July. Think romantic dinners at beachfront restaurants, fewer lines at the popular clubs, and easier access to prime spots at local bars.

Cancun in September

  • Average Weather: Highs of 93°F, lows of 76°F
  • Best For: Budget travel, less crowded beaches
  • Key Events: Mexican Independence Day
  • Type of Traveler: Budget travelers and culture lovers

September is one of the cheapest months to visit Cancun. It's the height of the hurricane season, which means you'll find fewer tourists and lower prices on hotels and flights.

Yes, there's a higher chance of encountering rain, especially in the afternoons. But you'll also have stretches of sun and warm temperatures. This makes it a reasonable option for budget-conscious travelers who don't mind taking a bit of a weather risk.

Even this late in the season, you'll find sea turtles still nesting on the beaches, and you can partake in Mexico's Independence Day celebrations on September 16th.

Overall, if you're willing to gamble a bit on the weather, September offers a less crowded and more affordable experience.

Cancun in October

  • Average Weather: Highs of 89°F, lows of 74°F
  • Best For: Affordable traveling, culture buffs
  • Key Events: Mexico's Independence Day (September 16)
  • Type of Traveler: Budget-conscious, couples, culture enthusiasts
  • Special Note: Peak of the hurricane season

September is a hidden gem for those looking to dodge the crowds and score some deals. It's right in the middle of hurricane season, meaning fewer tourists but lower prices—a win for budget travelers.

What it lacks in perfect weather, September makes up for in cultural richness. Mexico's Independence Day on September 16 brings parades, fireworks, and authentic Mexican fiestas. It's a great time to immerse yourself in local traditions.

Though the beaches might be a bit moody, water activities are still a go. Fewer crowds make exploring popular tourist spots like Mayan ruins a breeze.

So, if you can handle some weather unpredictability, September offers a unique, budget-friendly, and authentically local experience in Cancun.

Cancun in November

  • Average Weather: Highs of 86°F, lows of 72°F
  • Best For: Water activities, Thanksgiving getaways
  • Key Events: Day of the Dead
  • Type of Traveler: Families and culture enthusiasts

Another month during the low season, November offers mild weather and the chance to experience the Day of the Dead celebrations.

The Day of the Dead, or Día de los Muertos, is one of the biggest draws to come to Cancun in November. This iconic Mexican tradition is an extraordinary blend of remembrance and festivity, where families honor their deceased loved ones with colorful altars, traditional food, and vibrant parades.

Being part of these celebrations offers a deep dive into Mexican culture that's not to be missed!

Thanksgiving week becomes the highlight towards the end of the month, particularly for American travelers. If you're a family looking to swap the traditional turkey dinner for a beachside feast, November in Cancun is a brilliant choice.

Hotels often offer special Thanksgiving menus and events, making it easy to enjoy the holiday while soaking up the sun.

Cancun in December

  • Average Weather: Highs of 84°F, lows of 69°F
  • Best For: Holiday escapes, New Yearcelebrations
  • Key Events: Christmas and New Year's Eve
  • Type of Traveler: Holiday revelers and winter escapees

December in Cancun kicks off the high season with festive energy. It's the perfect escape from winter blues, offering a sun-soaked holiday season.

Christmas and New Year's Eve are big deals here. Imagine celebrating with sand between your toes and fireworks lighting up the beach sky. Hotels and public spaces go all out with decorations, so you'll feel the holiday spirit but with a tropical twist.

Weather-wise, it's cooler than other months but still perfect for outdoor activities. Early December is quieter, but expect crowds as the holidays approach.

cancun mexico beach
Image Courtesy of Kiyoshi on Unsplash

Ready to Book Your Flights to Cancun?

If you're still looking for the cheapest flights to Cancun, make sure you look on Skyscanner for the best deals!

SkyScanner helps you find the cheapest flights available so that you don't have to pay more for flight tickets. That means you can spend your money on more important things like seeing top attractions or eating delicious local food.

If you'd like other options as well, check out of review of Skiplagged or Scott's Cheap Flights, two flight deal services that travelers are in love with!

The Worst Months to Go to Cancun

I've talked about when I think the best time to visit Cancun is and even given you a complete guide of visiting Cancun by month. But what about the worst times to go to Cancun?

As I mentioned before, there isn't a bad time to visit Cancun. But I will argue there are a few less favorable times from my experiences.

Hurricane Season in Cancun

Visiting during hurricane season sounds scary. In Cancun, this happens from June to November. But I promise it's not as bad as some people think, especially if you want to save some money.

The most likely time for a hurricane to hit is in September and October—so if you're still a bit worried, I would avoid these months.

Based on my experiences, even after visiting Cancun a few times in October, I still had a delightful trip. I once went just one week after a hurricane hit, and you couldn't even tell. The sun was shining, and everything was still standing.

If you visit during these times, book something you can easily cancel or change. If you're flexible with your dates, it's worth visiting during these riskier months to save some money. Plus, when there isn't a hurricane, the weather is perfect.

But if you happen to be in Cancun when a hurricane hits, the staff at your accommodation will have a plan in place to ensure you stay safe. After all, this probably isn't their first rodeo.

Spring Break in Cancun

Spring Break in Cancun is a rite of passage for many college students and party enthusiasts. The city transforms into a hub of non-stop action, filled with crowded beaches, loud music, and events that last well into the night.

While this might sound like paradise to some, it's not everyone's cup of tea. And I can understand why!

If you prefer a more relaxed vacation experience—think quiet beach days, peaceful dinners, and a laid-back atmosphere—then you should avoid visiting Cancun during Spring Break.

Another downer is that the prices for flights and accommodations skyrocket during this period, making it a less budget-friendly option.

So if you're looking for tranquility, cost-effectiveness, or a more family-oriented experience, it might be wise to consider another time of year for your Cancun getaway.

Staying in Cancun

Resorts aren't the only option for places to stay in a destination like Cancun.

There are hostels all over Mexico that are much more affordable and arguably offer a better experience.

Consider staying at Mayan Monkey Cancun or Nomads Hotel Hostel & Rooftop Pool, both highly rated and affordable accommodation options!

cancun mexico best beach
Image Courtesy of David Emrich on Unsplash

So, When Is the Best Time to Go to Cancun, Mexico?

After everything, I would say that it's important to consider your personal situation and preferences if you're trying to decide when the best time to go to Cancun is.

There is no bad time of year to visit Cancun.

The best time to visit depends on your budget, weather expectations, and your schedule. If you are in school or have a strict work schedule, you can visit in the summer or during the holidays, but you might have to pay a little more.

If you want to save the most money, go during hurricane season in September and October, but book something flexible. Don't be hard set on travel dates in case of a hurricane, and you need to move your trip by a week or so.

You can also save some money by visiting in the winter, outside the holiday season. But the pool might be cold if you are not at a heated one, and nights by the water will be chilly.

Photo by David Emrich on Unsplash

Vamos a Cancún, México!

No matter when you visit Cancun, I promise that with proper planning you'll have the best time! Start organizing your trip right now with Pilot.

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