Riviera Maya is in Mexico, just south of Cancun, where many resorts are similar to Cancun. This Mexican region is a great place to go if you are looking for a warm getaway where you can relax in the pool, on the beach, or with a drink in your hand.
While there are many places to visit in Mexico, Riviera Maya is one of my personal favorites, with Playa Mujeres coming in close second.
That said, like any travel destination, there are better times of the year to visit Riviera Maya than others. But don’t worry — we’ll cover each on so you can plan the perfect vacation to Mexico. Read on to learn all you need to know!
Why You Should Visit Riviera Maya
Riviera Maya is a beautiful destination, quite similar to Cancun, full of resorts where you can relax in the sun, float in the pool, and hang out on the beach. Riviera Maya is the perfect destination for you if you are looking for somewhere warm and relaxing.
Most of the resorts in Riviera Maya are all-inclusive, meaning your stay includes almost everything you need while there, including your room, your meals, and your drinks.
Usually, the only things not included are special dinners, like a romantic dinner on the beach, some excursions and activities, like golf or scuba diving, and any spa packages.
There are also a lot of things to do in Riviera Maya, including a lot of water activities like boating, snorkeling, and kayaking. Your resort can set up these activities for you, or you can go off the property and explore other parts of Riviera Maya, like Playa del Carmen.
Overall Best Time to Visit Riviera Maya
The best time to visit Riviera Maya is in April and May, before hurricane season and after the busy winter and spring break season.
As the crowds from the winter and holidays leave, you will find that the hotels in Riviera Maya are much more tolerable, and the weather is nice as summer is approaching. But you want to make sure you go to Riviera Maya before hurricane season starts in June.
The weather also starts to get really hot and sometimes humid if there is rain, and it might make for too warm of a getaway. You will find that prices for flights, hotels, and excursions in April and May are reasonable.
After all, they are much lower than in the winter, and demand isn’t as high, so availability is good. Although prices are not as low as during hurricane season, you are also not risking your vacation getting ruined by a hurricane.
The spring is also less crowded since kids are still in school, and adults are not taking time off of work until the summer when the weather is better, and their kids are home if they have them.
Cheapest Time to Visit Riviera Maya
The cheapest time to visit Riviera Maya is during hurricane season, which runs from June to November. You will find the lowest prices at the peak of hurricane season between August and October.
And, even when there is not a hurricane, you might see a little rain, but it usually comes in short bursts of 10 to 15 minutes, then it’s sunny again.
Since it is hurricane season, you are risking your time in Riviera Maya being canceled if a hurricane does hit when you are there or when you are expecting to travel there. Or, you might miss a day or two on the beach if you have to evacuate the area.
However, there is also a chance that you book a trip to Riviera Maya for hurricane season, and there is not a hurricane, which means you get to enjoy a nice vacation with much lower prices than you would pay during other parts of the year.
But, if you are flexible with your dates and don’t mind the possibility of them changing at the last minute, you will save a lot of money by booking during hurricane season.
Just be sure to book hotels and flights that can be changed or canceled up until the trip in case there is bad weather at the last minute that requires you to reschedule.
Least Busy Time to Visit Riviera Maya
The least busy time in Riviera Maya is summer and hurricane season. People are trying to avoid hurricanes, and they are also enjoying the warm weather in other parts of the Northern Hemisphere, so they are not going to Riviera Maya.
A majority of people will not travel somewhere where hurricanes could hit. They not only don’t want to risk their safety but also their vacation being ruined by a hurricane or even just a bad storm.
And, if you do happen to be in Riviera Maya and a hurricane is coming, you can rest easy knowing that your hotel will take care of all the precautions to keep you safe.
The staff in Riviera Maya are trained to know what to do in case of a hurricane, so you just have to follow their directions, and everything will be fine. Secondly, in the summer, when it is really warm in Mexico, the United States, and even Europe, not many people are looking for a tropical destination to escape to.
A majority of people travel around the United States or to Europe since the weather is nice. And therefore, fewer people are going to Mexico, and more specifically, Riviera Maya, so the crowds will not be as bad as in the winter.
Worst Time to Visit Riviera Maya
The worst time to visit Riviera Maya is during the holidays or during spring break, since this is when most people travel here.
Late November, December, and spring break, which usually falls in March, are the most popular times to visit Riviera Maya. One of the main reasons these months are the busiest is that people are off work and school and have time to travel.
The weather is also cold in the north, so people are choosing a destination like Riviera Maya to escape from the cold weather where they live.
Unfortunately, prices for hotels, flights, and excursions are also highest during this time since demand is high. You will also want to book in advance, so the things you want to do or places you want to stay don’t sell out.
Things to Consider
Here are some things to consider during your trip to Riviera Maya:
- Where do you want to stay? First, think about where you want to stay in the region. You can stay at an all-inclusive resort where everything you need, including food, drinks, and staff to assist you. Or, you can stay at a hotel where you pay for what you eat and drink, which might be better if you are on a budget or do not eat or drink as much as the average person. You can also consider a home rental if you want to be in charge of all your drinks and food and grocery shop.
- Do you want to do activities? Next, think about what you want to do during your trip to Riviera Maya. If you want to relax on the beach or at the pool, most resorts will suit your needs. And same goes if you want to spend some time relaxing and some time doing activities or exploring, as your resort can set those up for you. But, if you plan on doing activities around the region for the majority of your stay, a house or non-all-inclusive hotel might be easier since you will be away from the resort and not take advantage of the food and drink there as much.
- Do you prefer Cancun or Riviera Maya? Many people think Cancun and Riviera Maya are the same things, but Cancun is the city, and Riviera Maya is the region south of Cancun. Cancun has a specific hotel zone where you will also find bars that you can go out to. But, in Riviera Maya, the resorts are more isolated, and it tends to be quieter in the area compared to a lot of the party resorts in Cancun.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some frequently asked questions about visiting Riviera Maya that you might have too, and the answers to them:
What is the rainy season in Riviera Maya?
The rainy season in Riviera Maya is the same as hurricane season, and it runs from June to November. However, the rainy season in Riviera Maya is different from the rainy season in other parts of the world since, unless there is a hurricane, the rain comes in very short bursts, and you will still have plenty of sunshine to enjoy the beach.
What is the best time of year to visit Riviera Maya?
The best time to visit Riviera is in the spring when you will find fewer crowds and little or no rain. Many people visit in the winter to get away from the cold weather up north, but everything is also more expensive at this time of year since the demand is high.
What is the best month to go to Riviera Maya, Mexico?
The best month to visit Mexico is in April or May, when the weather is nice, and you are not risking a hurricane or other bad weather messing up your trip. You will also miss the crowds that come to Mexico in the winter months.
What is the cheapest month to go to Mexico?
The cheapest month to go to Mexico is September or October, when hurricane season is at its peak. There is a risk of your vacation getting derailed if a hurricane hits, so not many people are visiting during these times, and therefore prices are low.
Can you swim in the ocean in Riviera Maya?
There are beaches in Riviera Maya all along the coast, but you will technically be swimming in the Gulf of Mexico, not the ocean. However, the Gulf of Mexico is so big, and you cannot see any land when you look out to the water, so it may feel like you are in the ocean.
What airport do you fly into for Riviera Maya?
To get to Riviera Maya, you will want to fly into the Cancun International Airport. Riviera Maya is just south of Cancun, so you will not have too long of a drive to get from the airport to wherever you are staying in Riviera Maya.
How long is the ride from Cancun to Riviera Maya?
To get from the Cancun airport or the hotel zone to Riviera Maya will take 15 to 30 minutes by car, depending on how far south you’re going in Riviera Maya.
What’s the Best Time to Visit Riviera Maya?
The best time to visit Riviera Maya is in the spring, specifically in April and May, between hurricane season and busy season.
If you visit between June and November, you risk your vacation being ruined by a hurricane, and December through March is when most people are visiting, so you will face crowds and high prices. Happy travels!