Climate and Weather: Planning Your Trip to Mexico

When's the best time to visit Mexico? There is no one answer – it depends on what part of this vast country you're headed to. Lauren Cocking offers her insights.

Photo © Getty Images / Sergio Mendoza EyeEm

I deeply distrust blanket statements about the best time to visit Mexico. There isn’t one – at least not one that applies uniformly to the entirety of this vast, geographically diverse country.

In the northern desert states, like Durango, Chihuahua, Sonora, and Nuevo León, winters are brutally cold, and summers are baking hot. Meanwhile, the central and southern regions typically (and conversely) experience dry winters and warm, wet summers. Over in the coastal regions, summer can be oppressively humid (we’re talking sweating-when-sitting-still-level humid), which perhaps explains why the comfortably warm winters are peak season for places like the Riviera Maya and Puerto Vallarta.

One aspect of the Mexican climate that’s often overlooked is the prolonged, and very, very real rainy season. Sometimes accompanied by hurricanes, the rainy period tends to hit central and southern Mexico between June and September, and when it rains in the Mexican capital, trust me, it pours; however, storms most often arrive like clockwork in the late-afternoon, so don’t be deterred – simply pencil in a museum trip. And maybe pack a raincoat.

While it’s tricky to pinpoint the perfect time to visit, it is possible to plan your trip strategically.

Jacarandas in Mexico City. Photo credit: Getty Images / @fitopardo.com

Winter

Winter is peak season for most Mexican resorts, and, naturally, the most comfortable time to visit those humid coastal regions. Take advantage and go whale watching, too – the best place to do so is in Baja California Sur.

Spring

When spring rolls around, schedule a trip to Mexico City. The jacaranda trees come into bloom, while the rains have yet to really arrive and the morning chill has all but disappeared. Plus, the city is quieter than usual over Easter as the residents go on holiday.

Summer

Summer should be used to take advantage of stable temperatures in high-altitude spots, like Guanajuato and San Cristóbal de las Casas. Alternatively, it can be a great time to get up close and personal with nature, because summer is whale shark season off the Caribbean coast, while turtle releases are frequent in Puerto Vallarta, Oaxaca, and Los Cabos.

Fall

Autumn sees most places easing out of their rainy seasons, bringing cool and comfortable weather. You really have your pick of places to visit, but for my money, Oaxaca and Monterrey are great autumnal options.

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