Planning a vacation in Mexico can be time-consuming and stressful. You have to select a destination, make a budget, make an itinerary, among other things. But before doing any of that, you have to select a time. So, what is the best time to travel to Mexico? You may be wondering about that right now.
The truth is, there is no such thing. There is not a standard answer that suits everyone. You have to consider several factors before making a decision. What matters most to you? Is it money? Do you want to beat the crowds? Are you worried about the weather? Do you want to attend any special events? By answering these questions, you will have a better idea. So, don’t panic ahead of time. Keep on reading.
If You’re Conscious About Savings
Who doesn’t want to save some money? Personally, I’m all in for savings within reasonable limits. We’re not going to discuss any crazy ideas here. Some people go backpacking or take other extreme measures. That’s not for everyone, of course. However, even the average traveler wants to save money when possible. Nothing wrong with that.
For starters, you have to understand that the time of year you visit will heavily impact the price you pay. If possible, avoid traveling during the peak season. This period goes hand in hand with kids’ vacations. It makes sense since it’s easier for parents to plan out their vacation accordingly.
Generally speaking, the peak season in Mexico is:
- Mid-December through early January
- Semana Santa (the week before Easter)
- Mid-July through mid-August
- Long weekends and national holidays
Since more people visit during those times, demand increases and prices go up as a consequence. Remember those Economics lessons in college?
Best Time to Beat the Crowds
This is closely related to the peak season. Tourism in Mexico increases exponentially during kids’ vacation. If you visit during peak season, you will not only encounter national tourists but international tourists as well. Many international tourists, especially those with kids, tend to travel in the summer or during the Christmas season, both of which coincide with the peak season in Mexico.
I understand it may be impossible to avoid those dates, or simply you are not willing to change your dates. Maybe you don’t have too much flexibility at work. Whatever the case may be, you still have a few options left. Avoid the beaches in this case. They always get crowded, some more than others, but beaches are always the most crowded spots. Keep that in mind if you’re visiting during the peak season.
Best Time to Hit the Beach
Beaches are some of the most visited places in Mexico and rightly so. We have many beautiful beaches on both coasts of our territory. The most visited ones are the ones in the Cancun/Riviera Maya area and the ones in Los Cabos. Many foreigners visit them to escape from the cold in their home countries.
As a rule of thumb, the best time to hit the beach based on the weather alone is between November and April, right after the end of the hurricane season. Temperatures are warmer, and there are fewer chances of rain. It’s the perfect time to do activities outdoors. The problem, though, is you will usually find more people during those times.
The truth is, you can visit the beach at any time of the year. However, keep in mind the months of May, June, July, and August are extremely hot and can see frequent rains. The hurricane season in Mexico runs from June through October. However, you can score some good deals if you decide to travel in the summer.
Best Time to See Good Weather
First of all, we have to take into consideration that Mexico has a vast territory and several microclimates throughout. Also, some places have high elevations, which also adds to the equation.
If you’re concerned about the weather because you’re planning to do outdoor activities, then your best bet is to visit during the dry season, which runs from November through April. The weather is drier, but some places can have low temperatures.
Many people think it’s hot all year round in Mexico, but in reality, it’s not. Although we don’t usually experience extreme temperatures during the winter like Canada and Northern Europe, it can get really cold in some parts of the country like Durango and Chihuahua. Some parts experience cool temperatures even during the summer. Such is the case of San Cristobal de las Casas in the south of Mexico.
We will address the weather in Mexico in further detail in a later post.
Best Time to Attend Some Special Events
There are special events in Mexico all year round. From festivals to parties to nature events, you can plan your vacation around those times.
Did you know there are carnivals in Mexico similar to those in Rio de Janeiro and New Orleans? Well, maybe not as rowdy, but we do have our share. The most famous carnivals in Mexico are held in the cities of Veracruz and Mazatlan. There are parades with a queen, concerts, food and special parties. You can attend those events in late February.
However, you can find carnivals in other parts of Mexico as well. There are carnivals in Ensenada, La Paz, Merida, Cozumel, and Campeche City, just to name a few. If you have the opportunity to visit, please do so by all means.
New Year’s season also sees a lot of tourists from various parts of the world. If you’re into the party scene, you could visit Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Puerto Vallarta or Los Cabos and have the time of your life. It’s one of the busiest and most expensive times to go, but it’s totally worth it.
Did you also know that thousands of whales visit Mexico between December and March? They escape from the cold in Alaska and Canada to have their babies in warmer waters. They’re smart creatures for sure!
Not only whales but also butterflies make Mexico their temporary home. Each year, millions of monarch butterflies migrate to Mexico between November and March. You can see them in Michoacan and Estado de Mexico.
Last but not least, Dia de Muertos or Day of the Dead. It’s one of Mexico’s most famous traditions worldwide. You can experience Mexican culture at its best this way. The dates to visit are November 1-2. The most famous locations are Patzcuaro, Michoacan; Mitla, Oaxaca and Mixquic, Mexico City.
It Depends on the Location… Really
The location you visit is one of the most important factors to consider. Remember Mexico is a vast country with large cities, small towns, beaches, deserts, mountains, and forests. Because of that, there is not a single answer to the eternal question. The weather varies greatly between destinations.
Some people consider the weather, the cost or the season first and then look for a destination. On the other hand, there those who pick a destination and then look for the best time to go. That’s why the answer regarding the best time to go varies.
Bottom Line: It’s Always a Good Time!
There are several factors to consider when planning a trip to Mexico. You have to consider what is more important to you. Is it the weather, the cost, the crowds or the time of the year? Reflect on this carefully, and you will be able to reach a decision. The truth is, there is never a wrong time to visit Mexico! So, what are you waiting for?
As always, feel free to leave your questions and comments below. I’m currently looking for ideas for my next destination, but I will make sure to get back to you as soon as possible. See you soon!
Book your trip now!
Book your flight
The first thing you have to do is find cheap flights. But where do you find those? There are many search engines, but the one I highly recommend is Skyscanner. Here you can compare fares from all over the world and pick the one that suits you best.
Book your accommodation
The next thing you have to do is secure your lodging. Whether you prefer a hostel, a guesthouse, a B&B, or a hotel, you can find them all on Booking. You can find lodging of all kinds ranging from cheap to expensive and somewhere in between. Many people have scored good deals using it.
Another popular option is Hostelworld. This website focuses on hostels as opposed to hotels.
Book a tour
In some places, you might want to hire a tour. Not all places are equally accessible to visit by oneself. It helps enormously when you visit with a local guide who can show you around and answer any questions you might have…all in your native language. My to-go place is Viator as they offer tours of all kinds and have a presence all over the world.
Rent a car
Public transportation is usually cheaper than renting a car, but it’s sometimes more complicated and time-consuming. That’s a reality. In some cases, it’s more convenient to rent a car. My recommendation is Rentalcars.com. Here you can compare rates and choose the one that fits you best.
Get travel insurance
Never travel without a travel insurance policy, especially during these days! Travel insurance can literally save your life. My personal recommendations are World Nomads and Insured Nomads. Both companies cover COVID-19 related incidents, which is crucial these days.
Just click on the “Plan your trip” tab at the top of this page, and you will find more resources like getting Mexican insurance for your foreign car, buying travel accessories, and learning Spanish. And, of course, don’t forget to check back often to read about more tips on Mexico travel.