Planning a trip to Cancun? Here's what to know before you go.

By Brooke Porter Katz
January 27, 2018
Beach chairs an umbrellas in Cancun, Mexico
Credit: iStockphoto/Getty Images

Itching for a warm-weather escape? Consider heading to Cancun, where you’ll find stunning beaches, hotels that were made for relaxation, and easy access to famous Mayan ruins. Here’s a guide to help you plan your next getaway to Mexico.

The Cheapest Times to Visit Cancun

According to Travel + Leisure A-List advisor Zachary Rabinor of Journey Mexico, hotel rates and airfare are typically at their lowest during hurricane season, which technically lasts from June until the end of October. Usually, hurricane season peaks in August and September.

The Worst Times to Visit Cancun

It may be the cheapest, but it’s best to avoid traveling to Cancun during the aforementioned hurricane season. According to Rabinor, rainy days start in May, when you can expect an afternoon shower. The constant downpours don’t really kick in until July, and get worse from there.

That being said, many resorts — including our favorite all-inclusive ones — offer a number of indoor diversions like spas, tequila tastings, and plenty of places to eat.

The Best Weather in Cancun

It’s no surprise that the best weather also coincides with high season: those perfect warm days and cool nights usually begin after Thanksgiving and last until April. In the winter, Rabinor warns that it’s possible for a cold front to come through, which could bring some daytime wind and even cooler nights. If you are planning a winter trip to Cancun, make sure to pack a few layers, just in case.

The Most Popular Times to Visit Cancun

High season in Cancun lasts from November to April — but within that time period, there are two peak periods that attract the highest number of visitors: winter break (which spans Christmas and the New Year) and then again in the spring, during the weeks before and after Easter.

“Those times are especially busy because you’re combining international and domestic demand,” Rabinor told T+L. Hotels book up fast (some even over sell, he added), so plan in advance if your getaway coincides with one of these time frames.

The Best Times to Party

Though typically filled with families, Cancun during the winter holidays is incredibly festive — and some hotels play host to New Year’s Eve bashes. But, Rabinor added, spring break is when the party scene really comes alive. In downtown Cancun, you’ll find dance clubs and other nightlife spots (albeit somewhat touristy ones) like Coco Bongo, Señor Frogs, and Mandala brimming with college students.

Of course, if what you want is to avoid crowds and a raucous scene, avoid booking your Cancun vacation at the same time as college spring breakers.