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The Best & Worst Times to Visit Playa del Carmen in 2024

The Best & Worst Times to Visit Playa del Carmen in 2024

What's the Best Time to Visit Playa del Carmen?

The best time to visit Playa del Carmen is during the dry season from November to April, featuring ideal beach weather and minimal rainfall. This period is perfect for water activities and exploring local attractions like Chichen Itza due to favorable conditions. Be aware, it’s also peak tourist season, meaning higher costs and bigger crowds, with lively events enhancing the experience.

Playa del Carmen, on Mexico’s Maya Riviera, is one of the country’s best beach destinations and a popular tropical getaway. In Playa del Carmen, obviously the best thing to do is to lounge on one of the “playas,” or beaches, that gave the town its name.

The town itself is a bustling, fun place to stay, with shops lining La Quinta Avenida and entertainers filling Parque Los Fundadores at night.

Like most beach destinations, Playa del Carmen is very different depending on which season you visit. Keep reading to learn more about the best time to come to this jewel of the Yucatan Peninsula.

Overall Best Time to Visit Playa del Carmen

Amazing alcove with rocks on either side pictured during the best time to go to Playa del Carmen

Patryk Kosmider/Shutterstock

The best time to visit Playa del Carmen is during the Yucatan Peninsula’s dry season, which lasts from November to April. When visiting a beach destination, obviously the most important thing you care about is the weather.

You want it to be warm enough for swimming and sunny enough to work on your tan! Playa del Carmen enjoys year-round warm temperatures thanks to its tropical climate.

Even in January, daily temperatures almost never dip below 75 degrees Fahrenheit. More importantly, from November to April is the Mayan Riviera’s dry season.

There’s only a 13-16% chance of rain any given day during this season. Most days are sunny and bright, which is the perfect weather for lounging on the beach and makes it the prime time to take day trips and excursions.

According to PADI, the Professional Association of Diving Instructors, the dry season is the best time to go scuba diving or snorkeling in the tropical waters around Playa del Carmen.

The lack of rain means visibility in the water is at its best, and marine species such as sharks and rays are most visible during this time.

The dry season is also the best time to visit nearby Chichen Itza, home to some of the world’s most spectacular Mayan ruins. The site is pleasant to explore during the dry season when the sun isn’t beating down and the trails aren’t muddy.

The best time to visit is around the spring equinox, when you can see the shadow of the serpent god moving down the temple stairs, showing the unique skill of the Mayan builders.

The dry season is also the high season in Playa del Carmen. This means higher prices and more crowds, but it also means better nightlife and more fellow travelers out and about.

Around Christmas and New Year’s, things get pretty lively, but the real party time is in February and March.

Some of the most popular events are:

  • Carnaval (February/March)
  • ZoukMX (February)
  • Arena Festival (February)
  • Spring break (March/early April)

Cheapest Time to Visit Playa del Carmen

People in traditional dress pictured during a festival during the best time to visit Riviera Maya

PLAYA DEL CARMEN, MEXICO – DEC. 26, 2019: Men dressed in traditional indigenous Mayan warrior costumes perform on famous 5th Avenue in the entertainment district of Playa del Carmen in Riviera/Ronnie Chua/Shutterstock

The absolute cheapest time to visit Playa del Carmen is during the fall months of September and October, when the beach town receives the fewest visitors. You can also find good deals during the spring shoulder season.

September and October are the peak of the rainy season, with the most rain falling and the highest chance of hurricanes and storms. Most tourists stay away since they don’t want to risk the dicey weather.

The result is that hotel prices are at their lowest. In September, you can find top resorts for as much as 40% off compared to peak season prices. Fall is also when you’ll save the most money on getting to Playa del Carmen.

Flying into Cancun, the nearest airport, is least expensive in September. However, you’ll have to invest in trip insurance due to the risk of hurricanes.

If you want to get discounts without worrying about rain ruining your trip, late spring (from mid-April to early June) is the best time to visit. Hotels tend to offer discounts of about 20% at this time since the demand goes down after Easter. Flights also cost less from May onwards.

Least Busy Time to Visit Playa del Carmen

Maroma Beach pictured from the air with teal water lapping the coast

Aspects and Angles/Shutterstock

The least busy times to visit Playa del Carmen are in September and October. You can also beat the crowds by visiting in late spring or in November, when you can also have good weather.

Late spring is a season when you can generally get good weather in Playa del Carmen with surprisingly few people around. There are lots of Mexican travelers around Easter and Holy Week, but once the Easter holidays are over, the beaches are pleasantly empty.

Even though May marks the beginning of the rainy season, the weather is still usually nice. April has hot temperatures and few showers. May sees a lot of rain, but mostly in the form of refreshing afternoon showers, not severe storms.

In early June, there is a dip in the rainfall and the summer crowds still haven’t arrived. Spring isn’t as party-heavy as the winter, but it’s an interesting time to visit to explore local cultural festivals.

The highlight is definitely the Sacred Mayan Journey in May, a reenactment of a traditional Mayan canoe pilgrimage held in Xcaret, a local theme park.

Another surprising time when you can enjoy good weather and fewer crowds is November. November marks the beginning of the dry season, so temperatures are manageable, and the weather is nice and sunny.

However, visitors only start arriving in December, so you can have the beaches to yourself, especially at the beginning of the month before Americans arrive around Thanksgiving.

Worst Time to Visit Playa del Carmen

Seaweed in Playa del Carmen pictured during the overall worst time to visit

Arkadij Schell/Shutterstock

The worst time to visit Playa del Carmen is during the peak of the rainy season, from June to October, when the weather is far from ideal for beach activities.

The rainy season is not the most pleasant time to visit and conditions from June to October (when the rainy season is at its peak) are hot and humid.

September and October in particular see lots of downpours and storms, which means you’ll spend lots of time trapped in your hotel room. June to November also marks hurricane season along the Riviera Maya.

While this region of the Caribbean doesn’t get hit with the worst hurricanes since it’s south of the hurricane belt, storms are still possible. Hurricanes such as Hurricane Grace in 2021 cause floods, power outages, and other damage.

A Riviera Maya-specific problem during the rainy season is sargassum. For the past decade, the Yucatan Peninsula has been plagued with a smelly, slimy seaweed called sargassum that washes up on shore in the tons.

Sargassum season lasts from April to August, but usually peaks in July and August. Recent years have seen improvements in cleaning, but the seaweed can still ruin your trip.

Just because the weather is bad, don’t expect to save money on your trip. June, July, and August are still popular times to visit due to summer vacation in schools, so there are still crowds and higher hotel rates.

Playa del Carmen by Month: Climate & Activities

Boats on the white sand beaches of Playa Del Carmen during the best time to visit with blue skies in the background


Still unsure about the best time to visit Playa del Carmen? Take a look at our summary of the weather and climate by month below:


Winter temperatures in Playa del Carmen range from 20 to 28°C (68-82°F). January is ideal for beach vacations, exploring the Tulum archaeological site, and participating in water activities like snorkeling and diving.


Similar to January, February maintains warm temperatures between 20 to 28°C (68-82°F). Visitors can enjoy the vibrant nightlife in Playa del Carmen, explore the eco-parks like Xcaret, and take boat tours to discover the underwater world.


As spring begins, temperatures range from 21 to 29°C (70-84°F). March is perfect for outdoor adventures, including zip-lining in the jungle, exploring the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, and attending local events and festivals.


Spring temperatures in Riviera Maya range from 22 to 30°C (72-86°F). It’s an ideal time for visiting the cenotes (natural sinkholes), enjoying the Playa Mamitas beach clubs, and witnessing sea turtle nesting season.


May sees temperatures ranging from 23 to 31°C (73-88°F). It’s a great month for cultural experiences, such as attending the annual Riviera Maya Film Festival, exploring the ancient city of Coba, and enjoying water activities.


Summer arrives with temperatures between 24 to 32°C (75-90°F). June offers opportunities for relaxing on the beaches of Playa del Carmen, exploring the Xel-Ha natural aquarium, and experiencing local festivals and events.


July maintains hot temperatures from 25 to 33°C (77-91°F). It’s a popular month for water activities like kiteboarding and windsurfing, exploring the Tres Rios ecological park, and enjoying music and dance festivals.


Temperatures in August range from 25 to 33°C (77-91°F). It’s an excellent time for exploring the Mayan ruins of Ek Balam, relaxing on the Playa Maroma beach, and participating in local events and celebrations.


As fall begins, temperatures range from 24 to 32°C (75-90°F). September offers a pleasant transition, with opportunities for exploring the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, attending the Riviera Maya Jazz Festival, and enjoying the beaches.


October sees temperatures ranging from 23 to 31°C (73-88°F). It’s a great month for visiting the Tulum ruins, exploring the Aktun Chen natural park, and participating in cultural events and celebrations.


Fall temperatures range from 22 to 30°C (72-86°F). November is perfect for exploring the Cenote Dos Ojos, enjoying the beaches of Akumal, and attending the Riviera Maya Food and Wine Festival.


In December, winter returns to Playa del Carmen with temperatures ranging from 20 to 28°C (68-82°F). December brings opportunities for holiday celebrations, exploring the Xcaret eco-archaeological park, and enjoying the festive atmosphere.

Frequently Asked Questions

Women and men walking along the boardwalk in Playa del Carmen in the summer

PLAYA DEL CARMEN, MEXICO – JANUARY 10, 2017: Crowd of tourists along city streets. Approximately 2 million tourists per year visit Playa del Carmen and its surroundings/Fotos593/Shutterstock

Here are a few additional questions that may help you when visiting Playa del Carmen:

What month is the best to visit Playa del Carmen?

The best month to visit Playa del Carmen is February, which has gorgeous weather, great parties, and relatively manageable crowds considering it’s the dry season.

When is the rainy season in Playa del Carmen?

The rainy season in Playa del Carmen lasts from May to October. Levels of rain fluctuate depending on the month, with the end of the rainy season seeing the most storms.

What is the least expensive month to go to Playa del Carmen?

September is the least expensive month to go to Playa del Carmen. It’s one of the rainiest months, so demand is lower. That means hotel prices and flight prices are lower as well.

When is the off-season for Playa del Carmen?

May to October is the off-season in Playa del Carmen. However, the town sees a slight influx of visitors in the summer when many families are on vacation.

How many days are enough in Playa del Carmen?

Three days are enough in Playa del Carmen if you just want to see the major sites and move on to other parts of Mexico. If you want to spend more time lounging on the beach, spend at least seven days in town.

So, What’s the Best Time to Visit Playa del Carmen?

For the best beach weather and the best parties, visit Playa del Carmen during the peak season, from December to April. To beat the crowds, visit in November or in May and early June, when you can also find good hotel deals.

So, with so much to see and to and plenty of amazing times to visit, what are you waiting for — book your trip today and experience for yourself all that Playa del Carmen has to offer. Happy travels!