The Best Time to Visit Cancun for Perfect Weather and Fewer Crowds

Read on for the best time to go to Cancun for pleasant weather, small crowds, less seaweed, and more.

When it's cold in Canada and the United States, head south. Cancun's pristine white-sand beaches, sparkling ocean waters, and excellent restaurant and bar scenes beckon. Winter is one of the best times to visit some of Mexico's most accessible beaches and safe tourist strip, but it's also the most crowded and expensive season. Lots of travelers have the exact same idea to swap snow for sand and hot cocoa for margaritas.

If you want to avoid crowds and find better hotel deals, consider traveling to Cancun during the summer and fall. While you'll get humidity and occasional rain, prices are lower. Hurricanes, spring break revelers, and sargassum seaweed are other Cancun pitfalls to plan around when visiting the Yucatan shores.

Here's everything you need to know about the best times to visit Cancun.

Illustrated circular calendar showing best times to go to Cancun for weather and crowd size as stated in text of article

Michela Buttignol/Travel+Leisure

Most Popular Time to Visit Cancun

The most popular time to visit Cancun is from December through April. The weather is generally clear and warm, but not too hot. Expect temps between 75 and 90 degrees, as well as little rain. Occasionally, cold fronts can blow in chillier weather for a few days. The one downside to a beach vacation in Cancun during the winter? The crowds surge, and correspondingly, hotel room rates are at their highest. However, prices aren't unobtainable, especially if you book at least three months in advance.

In March and early April, expect spring breakers from the United States. This includes families with kids on school vacation, as well as high school and college students ready to party. Hotels (especially affordable options) sell out quickly, and the pools and beaches are packed with DJs, dance floors, and drinking contests. It's fun for some, but not for all.

Cancun, Mexico's beach view early in the morning
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Best Time to Visit Cancun for Good Weather

A major appeal of a Cancun vacation is the beach time. If good weather in Cancun is your main priority, temperatures in the winter usually fall between 75 and 90 degrees from December through April. Just in time for Cinco de Mayo, the weather gets hotter and more humid, with most days hitting the mid 90s until September.

Mexico's hurricane season falls between June and November. Keep in mind that hurricanes don't always land, but there can be multiple days of rainy and overcast weather. September through November tend to be the stormiest months, and finding an affordable hotel shouldn't be a problem.

Tourists stand in long lines to enter the popular Conco Bongo nightclub in Cancun at the start of Spring Break
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Worst Time to Visit Cancun

March and April bring pleasant weather in Cancun, but know that you may run into spring breakers. The partiers can be a good or bad thing, depending on your point of view, but note that crowds, prices, and events like DJ sets, foam parties, and bikini contests spike during this time.

The seaweed that has been washing up on beaches in the Caribbean and Mexico has become a bigger issue in recent years. Sargassum seaweed can show up throughout the year, but it's expected on most beaches in Quintana Roo during the spring and summer. Usually, hotel staff and city workers can quickly shovel up clumps of seaweed on the otherwise pristine white sand. However, large, smelly patches can impact swimming and boat access for a few days or more.

In May 2021, 10,000 tons of seaweed were removed from seven municipalities, including Cancun. The Mexican government uses aircraft to monitor massive seaweed patches and installs barriers to prevent landfall. Sargassum seaweed has occurred for centuries, but climate change and environmental factors like pollution and deforestation have caused more blooms in recent years.

Hurricanes are another consideration when planning a trip to Cancun. Mexico's hurricane season falls between June and November (ramping up from September through November). Chances of a hurricane striking during your vacation are fairly slim, but even if there isn't a direct hit, there can be several days of overcast, rainy weather.

If you do travel during hurricane season in Cancun, consider purchasing travel insurance that will reimburse your expenses should you have to cancel.

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