Planning a trip to colorful, vibrant Mexico soon? Your south-of-the-border stay is sure to be incredible – as long as you go at the right time of year.
Mexico is known for mild weather and its pleasant, tropical climate, but the hurricane and rainy seasons can be a “wet blanket” on your fun vacation plans if you visit at the wrong time of year. What you’re looking for is Mexico at its finest.
It’s sunny and warm, alive with past and present culture, and surrounded by lush vegetation that envelopes you and makes your stay feel exotic.
We’ve got the info you need to plan the ideal getaway in this guide. You’ll see the best time to visit Mexico on both coasts, the most affordable time to go, the least crowded season, and the worst time to visit!
Why You Should Visit Mexico
Mexico stands as one of the most popular vacation destinations because it offers so much variety and diversity. The temperatures rarely dip below 50F and summer highs typically don’t go past 90F.
Talk about an ideal climate!
Depending on the part of Mexico you choose to visit, you’ll have different (but equally enjoyable) experiences at your fingertips. If you venture to the eastern coast (Gulf of Mexico/Yucatan/Caribbean side), you’re in for some incredible sights – both natural and manmade.
You’ll also be wowed by the immense shopping, food, and entertainment options at your disposal. There’s not much you can’t do on the eastern coast in favorite destinations like Cancun and its many parts of town.
After all, the Caribbean region was designed to encourage and support tourism. If you visit the western coast (Pacific Ocean/Baja side), your Mexican experience will be a little more refined and less “beachy.”
World-class gourmet restaurants, luxury shopping and boutiques, award-winning spas and art galleries, and endless ways to pamper yourself are on the menu for the western coast.
But this air of class and sophistication on the western coast isn’t devoid of adventure and outdoor fun. It’s famous for incredible snorkeling, the vast expanses of pristine beaches, wild mountains and jungles, impressive waterfalls, and beachfront shops and huts.
Together, they lend this side of Mexico a unique charm with the “best of both worlds” vibe. There’s every reason in the world to visit Mexico. But the time of year you go can make or break your trip.
Keep reading to see the best time to visit Mexico (and the worst) on both its storied coasts. We’ll look at the most affordable, least crowded, and worst times to visit as well.
Overall Best Time to Visit Mexico
If you want to plan the ideal vacation south of the border, you need to know the best time to visit Mexico. There’s some debate about the overall best time.
Some prioritize affordability, others prefer less-crowded times of year, and some just want the optimal Mexican experience with affordability, crowds, and weather hanging in the perfect balance.
Let’s look at the best time to visit Mexico on each coast.
Best Time to Visit on the Pacific Coast
The best time to visit the Pacific coast of Mexico is October through mid-December, especially November. At this time of year, the rainy season has ended and drier weather makes for better opportunities to get out and enjoy yourself.
After mid-December, the crowds rush in for the holiday break and snowbirds flock to the coast. The Baja region especially is susceptible to severe weather and storms, so it’s wise to plan your stay outside of the hurricane season.
Hurricanes and tropical storms are most prevalent from July through early October on this side of Mexico. If you plan your stay from October through mid-December, you’ll avoid most severe weather concerns and get the sunny, warm experience you’re hoping for.
Best Time to Visit on the Gulf Coast
The best time to visit Mexico on the Gulf coast side (which includes Gulf of Mexico, Yucatan channel, and the Caribbean sea) is December and January. This is at the start of the dry season, when skies are clearer, rainfall is low, and activities are in full swing.
Planning your Gulf coast Mexico trip in December (except for the final 2 weeks, during holiday breaks) or January means you’ll avoid Spring Break beach crowds and all that entails. This makes early to mid-December and the entire month of January ideal for your Mexican Gulf coast visit.
Cheapest Time to Visit Mexico
If keeping to a strict budget is key for your trip to Mexico, you should visit during the cheapest times of year. This is during the “low season” where few tourists are arriving and there’s more availability for flights, rooms, and rentals.
With less demand overall, you’ll pay a lot less to visit Mexico if you go during the low season. Here’s more info on the cheapest time to visit for each coast.
Cheapest Time to Visit on the Pacific Coast
The cheapest time to visit Mexico’s Pacific coast is during August and September. At this time of year, Mexico’s rainy season is at its peak – and so are the temperatures.
Hot, humid weather in the 90s and frequent rainfall make this part of the low season one of the cheapest times to go because fewer tourists are willing to brave the extremes. Outdoor activities and exploration may not be as available during this time.
But the rainfall isn’t constant and you’ll be able to plan fun activities in between storms. Unfortunately, the hurricane season is in full swing during this time (July through early October), so you should keep this risk in mind when planning your affordable getaway.
Cheapest Time to Visit on the Gulf Coast
The cheapest time to visit Mexico’s Gulf coast is during July through October. Like the Pacific coast, the Gulf coast is in the height of its rainy and hurricane season during this time. This limits the number of tourists who come to stay, driving down demand – and prices.
You can score hotels, flights, and rentals for as much as 40% less from July to October for this reason. However, it’s important to weigh the risks of potentially getting caught in a tropical storm or hurricane conditions.
Even finding yourself stuck in your hotel room due to constant downpours and hot temperatures is enough to make many reconsider visiting during the low season (the cheapest time of year to go).
Least Busy Time to Visit Mexico
If you want a serene, peaceful vacation where it feels like you’ve got the place to yourself, you’ll want to visit during one of the least busy times. The Mexican “low season” is ideal for those who want a less crowded, more relaxing getaway.
Least Busy Time to Visit on the Pacific Coast
The least busy time to visit Mexico’s Pacific coast is from May to June and September to November.
These are Mexico’s low seasons and fewer tourists flock to the beaches during this time of year. It’s partially due to the increased rainfall and hurricane/tropical storm risk, so take that into consideration.
But if you’re serious about avoiding wild Spring Break crowds or packed beaches, you may find that you’re willing to venture there during the low season. The cheaper prices, wide-open beaches, and warm temperatures may be worth chancing a little extra on/off rain during your stay!
Least Busy Time to Visit on the Gulf Coast
The least busy time to visit Mexico’s Gulf coast is from May to June and September to November. Like the Pacific coast, the Gulf coast side of Mexico gets more rainfall and has a higher chance of tropical storms and hurricanes during these months.
You should take this risk into account when planning your trip. The nice thing about visiting the Gulf coast of Mexico during these low seasons is that you’ll run into fewer crowds and cheaper prices on everything from airfare to rooms and car rentals.
Worst Time to Visit Mexico
What’s the worst time to visit Mexico? It depends on what your goals for your trip are. When it comes to your upcoming trip to Mexico, knowing the worst time to visit will save you from unexpectedly high prices, major crowds, and long wait times for restaurants, activities, and more.
- If you’re trying to plan a cheap trip, the worst time to visit Mexico is late December through January and March through mid-April. Holiday breaks (Christmas, the New Year, Spring Break, and Easter) mean crowded beaches and increased demand for flights, rooms, and car rentals. This drives prices up during these months.
- If you’re trying to avoid crowds, the worst time to visit Mexico is late December through mid-April. This is the high season in Mexico and coincides with major holidays that send tourists flocking to both coasts. The plus side is that the weather is ideal during these months – warm, not too hot, with little rainfall and low chances of severe storms.
- If you’re hoping for ideal weather, the worst time to visit Mexico is June through September. The rainy season and hurricane season are in full swing during these months, so outdoor activities and exploration opportunities will be more limited. The normally mild temperatures peak during July and August, reaching up into the 90s (Fahrenheit). You’ll still have chances to get out and enjoy yourself in between storms, but the overall risk of tropical storms and hurricanes during this time are enough to convince many not to come.
More Things to Consider
You know the best time to visit Mexico according to weather, affordability, and crowds now. Trust us – you’ll enjoy your trip to Mexico even more when you keep these tips and considerations in mind as you plan.
- Which coast piques your interest most? Making the choice between the Pacific and Gulf coasts is typically pretty easy if you know what you want out of your Mexican vacation. If high-class restaurants, shops, vibrant nightlife, and galleries are your idea of the perfect getaway (along with snorkeling, relaxing on the beach, and opportunities to explore nearby jungles and waterfalls), choose the Pacific coast. If Mayan ruins, authentic vibes, delicious traditional foods, crystal clear turquoise water, and unrivaled exploration opportunities are more your cup of tea, choose the more affordable Gulf coast.
- Brush up on your Spanish. While the Mexican coasts are extremely tourist-friendly and won’t require you to be fluent in Spanish to communicate well, it’s always a good idea to brush up on common Spanish phrases when you plan to visit Mexico. Download a language learning app or take free Spanish courses beforehand, grab an English-Spanish dictionary, or make use of a translation app while you’re visiting to make communication easy in the event of an issue or concern.
- Pack accordingly during the rainy season. Now that you know the best time to visit Mexico, you can begin to plan and pack accordingly. If you’re opting for a cheaper or less-crowded trip during the rainy/hurricane season (May/June through October), pack plenty of lightweight rain gear. Remember that it’s hot during this time, so light layers and breathable fabrics are best for rain protection. Don’t forget a waterproof bag for your phone!
- Think about the activities you want to do. Arriving in Mexico with so many opportunities to get out and enjoy the scenery and natural beauty can be overwhelming. Get ahead of the confusion by planning out the activities you want to fit in and be realistic about your time constraints. If you’re going for a short trip, prioritize the must-do, must-see things and don’t worry about squeezing too much into your list.
So, What’s the Best Time to Visit Mexico?
The best time to visit Mexico really depends on your goals for the trip. Overall, we found that the best time to visit Mexico is between October and January. November seems to be the ideal time to visit.
With the exception of late December/early January (holiday breaks and increased crowds), you’ll run into fewer crowds, better and drier weather, decreased risk of storms, and reasonable prices. Mexico’s coasts are alive but not yet in full swing at this time, so it’s really ideal for most people.
For affordability and fewer crowds, the best time to visit Mexico (both coasts) is during the rainy season. May/June through September and early October have the highest rainfall and chance of severe weather, tropical storms, and hurricanes.
This reduces the number of tourists coming to visit during this time, making your stay less crowded and more affordable. But the poor weather and hotter temperatures during this time can be a problem.
No matter which side of Mexico you choose to venture to, you’re going to fall in love with the vibrancy and incredible natural beauty of this country. And when you properly plan your trip at the right time of year, you’ll come home with lifelong memories and a feeling that Mexico is like your second home.
Not quite sure Mexico is the right tropical destination for you? Check out this guide to sunny Hawaii next: Best Time to Visit Hawaii | When to Go & Travel Tips.