Planning a trip to Cancun in winter? Then you have landed in the right place!
I live in Cancun and in this post, I will share everything you need to know about traveling to Cancun in this season, for many reasons the best season ever!
For many different reasons, winter in the best season to travel to Cancun. The weather is amazing, the sun is shining, and there are lots of great events and activities to enjoy.
If you live in the cold and need somewhere warm to escape to, Cancun is a great option. However, it also has its downsides.
If you are thinking about planning a trip to Cancun in the winter and want to learn more about how the weather is and what is going on, keep reading for a full picture of what Cancun is like in winter.
What’s Winter in Cancun Like?
To put it simply, Cancun in the winter is delightful. The weather is great comfortably hot and sunny during the day and fresher in the evenings, and there are lots of great activities and events to enjoy.
This is why Cancun is so popular during the winter months.
People from all over the world flock to Cancun to enjoy its endless summer- you can enjoy the beach and water all year round!
👉🏽 Cancun Weather in Winter
If reading the word ‘winter’ makes you think of snow and sends a shiver down your spine- don’t worry, winter in Cancun is still great for a beach vacation.
Temperatures and humidity drop in the fall months in Cancun as the weather goes from the summer’s hot and muggy days to more comfortable temperatures.
By the winter months, you can expect the daily high in Cancun to be in the low 80s, with the temperature rarely passing 86 degrees.
The temperatures cool off in the evening, with the average low temperature being between 68 and 72 degrees. If this sounds ideal to you, you are not alone!
In the winter months, you may see Cancun locals wearing long pants, sweatshirts, and even puffy coats on “cold” mornings.
For most visitors, these temperatures are ideal for spending time outside- you will warm up in the sun enough to enjoy swimming in the ocean, but not have to worry about overheating.
Cancun is a tropical location that is surrounded by the Caribbean Sea and jungle.
It is always humid, but the winter months have the lowest humidity of the year. The winter is the dry season, but there is always a chance of a passing rain shower.
However, the winter months get substantially less rain than in the summer. When it rains in the winter, it usually passes within a few minutes to an hour and the sun comes back out.
Cancun gets cold fronts that blow in from the north during the winter months. Referred to as ‘nortes’ these cold fronts bring strong wind, lower temperatures, and sometimes a bit of rain.
They can last from part of a day to a few days, and then the weather goes back to normal.
👉🏽 Cancun Temperature in Winter
Visitors and locals love the weather in Cancun in the winter. The days are hot, but not sweltering, and Cancun at nights are fresh.
In the winter you can expect the daily high to be in the low 80s, and the daily low between 68 and 70 degrees.
Average temperatures in Winter in Cancun
✔️ Is it cold in Cancun in winter?
No, Cancun is a tropical location and it is never cold. If a norte cold front blows in, the high temperature can drop to the low 70s and the night temperature can drop as low as the high 50s.
Each winter there are a few nortes that bring cooler weather, but this does not last longer than a few days.
In general, you can expect the winter weather to be warm and sunny.
✔️ Can you swim in Cancun in winter?
Yes, you can! After spending time outside in the sun, you will be happy to get into the water.
The ocean temperature in Cancun rarely drops below 78 degrees. This is a comfortable temperature for hopping into the water to swim or snorkel.
If you plan to scuba dive, you might want to consider using a wetsuit. Water conducts the heat away from our bodies much faster than air, and by the end of a dive, you might feel chilled.
Most dive shops will rent you a 3mm wetsuit, which should be enough to keep you comfortable while scuba diving.
Cancun weather by month
When you plan your vacation you want to have the best idea of what the weather will be like.
Of course, it is impossible for anyone to predict the weather, but having a general idea of what to expect each month of the winter will help you decide when to visit Cancun.
Below is a breakdown of the weather in the winter months:
👉🏻 Cancun in December
There is a lot happening in December in Cancun. The weather is shifting to comfortable winter temperatures, and tourists are arriving.
The start of the month is still considered shoulder season, referring to the time between the high season and low season.
By late December and Christmas time, the high season for tourism is in full swing.
December is known for the great weather in Cancun. The average temperature is between 78-82 degrees, and the sun is usually shining.
December is one of the windiest months of the year, and an occasional cold front can blow in from the north dropping temperatures. The rest of the time though, you can expect a great ocean breeze.
👉🏻 Is it worth going to Cancun in December?
Yes, Cancun is great in December. In addition to the great weather, there are lots of holiday festivities taking place.
If you want to enjoy December without paying top dollar for your accommodations, try to come at the beginning of the month.
Christmas and New Year are some of the busiest times of the year in Cancun as most hotels have special parties and events for the holidays.
✔️ Does it rain a lot in Cancun in December?
No, December is the start of the dry season in Cancun. Because it is a tropical location, there is always a possibility of rain in December.
Usually, when it rains in December it is a quick rainfall and it passes quickly and the sun comes out again.
It is always a good idea to pack a lightweight raincoat in Cancun in case you get caught in a passing shower.
That said, it is rare that you will have enough rain in December to mess with your vacation plans or make you spend an entire day inside.
✔️ Can I swim in Cancun in December?
Yes! December is great for swimming and enjoying water sports.
The water temperature in December is usually around 80 degrees, and hardly ever drops below 78 degrees.
Combine this water temperature with a nice sunny day and it will feel refreshing and comfortable to get in the water to swim, snorkel, or do any aquatic activity.
✔️ Are there mosquitoes in Cancun in December?
December is the dry season in Cancun, and that means there are fewer mosquitos. The mosquitos love the hot, humid, and rainy months the best.
That said, if you are someone that mosquitos love to bite, or if you plan to do excursions into the jungle, it is still a good idea to use bug repellent.
There will always be some mosquitos around, so it is a good idea to protect yourself from bites.
👉🏻 Cancun in January
January is one of the coolest months in Cancun, but this does not actually mean it is cold.
Temperatures in Cancun in January are warm and sunny, with an average daily temperature of 75 degrees and a daily high temperature is around 81 degrees.
At night the temperatures dip down to the high 60s, which is a great temperature for going out and enjoying outdoor dining and entertainment.
Cancun is always humid, but January is one of the least humid months of the year with humidity hanging right around 70-80%.
The humidity combined with mild heat makes Cancun incredibly comfortable in January- which is why it is so popular with visitors.
January is the high season, and you will find visitors from all over the world enjoying the nightlife, water activities, and resorts.
✔️ Is it worth going to Cancun in January?
Yes, Cancun in January is great.
You can take advantage of Cancun’s amazing nightlife to celebrate New Year’s with a beachfront party, or go later in the month to enjoy an escape from the cold (if you live somewhere cold) and great beach weather.
Since January in Cancun is not too hot, it is a great time of the year to explore Mayan ruins or do jungle hikes.
✔️ Is it too cold to swim in Cancun in January?
No, the water in Cancun hardly ever drops below 78 degrees.
This is a great temperature for swimming, snorkeling, and enjoying water sports.
You will feel refreshed after getting in the water.
If you are doing a boat tour that includes snorkeling or other water sports, it will be a good idea to take a towel or light jacket on the boat.
If it is a windy day you might feel slightly cool after getting out of the water, but will warm up quickly in the sun.
✔️ Can you sunbathe in Cancun in January?
Yes, you can! January only has cloud cover about 25-30% of the time, and when the sun is out the UV index is high- between 7 and 8.
You can sunbathe and soak up the rays, just be sure to protect your skin.
Since it is not uncomfortably hot in January, it is easy to spend too much time in the sun and end up with a sunburn.
✔️ Does Cancun have seaweed in January?
While there is always the possibility of small amounts of seaweed washing ashore, it is rare to have big piles of seaweed in January in Cancun.
👉🏻 Cancun in February
February is a popular month to visit Cancun and the days are ideal for spending time at the beach or exploring the area.
The daily high temperature is around 82 degrees and it rarely ever passes 86 degrees.
The nights cool off to a comfortable 68 degrees and even if there is a cold front, it almost never drops below 58 degrees.
The days are mildly humid and sunny, and it rarely rains (and if it does, it does not last long).
February is a popular month with spring breakers, but do not let that scare you away.
In recent years Cancun has worked hard to build its reputation as a family-friendly place.
✔️ Is February a good time to visit Cancun?
Yes! For many visitors, February has some of the best weather you will find in Cancun.
The days are hot and sunny, but not so hot and humid that you will want to hide in air conditioning in the hottest part of the day.
There are plenty of fun activities to do and lots of visitors ready to party- if that’s what you are looking for.
✔️ Can you swim in Cancun in February?
Yes, you can swim all year round in Cancun. The coldest the water near the shore gets is around 78 degrees.
✔️ Does it rain a lot in Cancun in February?
Weather reports show that there is always the chance of rain in Cancun- this is because it is the tropics!
Even on a bright, sunny day, clouds can quickly appear and it can start raining. The good news is, this rain usually does not last for long.
Quick rain showers disappear as fast as they appeared and the sun comes back out.
✔️ Is Cancun expensive in February?
February is the high season for tourism in Cancun. This means that prices will be higher than during the low season.
If you want the best deal on hotels and flights, try to come during the summer or fall months.
Things to do in Cancun in Winter
1. Explore the beaches
Cancun is known for its amazing beaches and no vacation there would be complete without spending some time enjoying the white sand and turquoise water.
If you are staying at a beachfront resort, you can enjoy the beach steps from your room.
If you are staying downtown, or if you simply want to get out and explore, you can check out some of the most popular public beaches.
There you will find vendors selling treats, people renting umbrellas and chairs, and plenty of people watching to keep yourself entertained for hours.
There are enough beaches in the area to explore several different ones while on vacation!
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Get off the beaten path and explore Cancun in this small group tour. Your guide will show you around Cancun in a fun and different way- on a bike.
You will explore public beaches, see murals, try street food, and learn about the local culture. This tour lasts between 4 and 8 hours and your guide will provide you with a bike and all the safety gear you need.
2. Visit the Cancun Underwater Museum
Locally referred to as MUSA, the underwater museum is something that is unique to Cancun, and you do not want to miss a chance to visit it.
The underwater museum is made up of hundreds of statues that were intentionally sunk. The sculptures are made of pH-neutral concrete to promote coral growth.
MUSA opened in 2010, and today you can see impressive coral growth on the sculptures. This coral growth attracts fish and wildlife to the area, making it a great spot to snorkel or scuba dive.
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See the beauty under the water on this snorkeling adventure. You will head out on a boat to snorkel at a coral reef where you will have the chance to see different marine life.
Next, you will go snorkeling at the underwater museum where you will see the different sculptures and all the different animals that live around them.
3. Enjoy some water activities
Cancun is known for its beautiful water, and there is no better way to enjoy turquoise water than doing some fun water activities.
There are water sports for everyone to enjoy in Cancun. You can go on a peaceful snorkel, kayak ride, or learn to stand-up paddleboard.
If you want something more thrilling you can fly high on a parasail or zoom on jet skis.
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Go on a half-day water sports adventure with this tour. You will save time and money by booking this combo tour.
Your adventure starts with snorkeling in the clear waters off of Cancun where you can spot local wildlife and take in coastal views from the boat.
Next, you will fly high above the water while parasailing. You will end your adventure with a fun ride on a shared jet ski.
This tour lasts 4.5 hours and includes all equipment and instruction necessary to have a great time.
4. Explore Cancun’s Nightlife
There is never a bad time of the year to enjoy Cancun’s nightlife, but winter is especially a good time.
With so many visitors in Cancun, you will have no problem finding a good time.
Take advantage of what made Cancun famous when the sun goes down- live music, dancing, and clubs.
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Get ready to spend a great evening partying with your friends at Mandala Beach Club. Your entrance will get you credits to buy food and drinks. There is a live DJ playing electronic music for you to dance to.
Get dressed up in your favorite tropical outfit and be ready for a good time.
5. Go shopping
Cancun has lots of great shopping for you to enjoy. Shopping is a great activity to do if you need a break from the sun or if you have a rainy afternoon.
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Combine sightseeing and shopping on this tour. Your guide will teach you Cancun culture and history as you check out famous landmarks including the colorful Cancun sign at Playa Delfines and the downtown district.
You will get the chance to shop at Mercado 28, a great place to look for colorful handicrafts and Mexican silver. The tour also visits La Isla shopping center where you can enjoy a tequila tasting!
6. Enjoy a romantic dinner
Take advantage of the natural beauty of the area and enjoy a romantic dinner. Many hotels and restaurants offer special beachfront dining to help you and your partner have an unforgettable meal.
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Enjoy amazing sunset views of the Cancun coast while you sail on a Spanish Galeon.
The crew will help make an unforgettable evening with live music and a delicious dinner. You will have an open bar and your choice of seafood, meat, or vegetarian meal.
This tour is a great way to celebrate an anniversary or special occasion!
7. Go on a day tour
Aside from its amazing beaches and fun atmosphere, a great thing about Cancun is how close it is to other amazing sites.
Planning a day trip is a great way to visit nearby cenotes, and Mayan ruins, and see the other coastal towns of the Riviera Maya.
👍🏼 Chichen Itza
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If you want to learn about the Mayan people and the history of the Yucatan Peninsula, you should make sure to visit Chichen Itza.
This world-famous archeological site is one of the modern wonders of the world and a UNESCO Heritage Site!
There you can learn about how this site was an important religious and ceremonial gathering place and visit the famous Kukulcan Pyramid.
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Let your guide show you around the legendary ruins of Chichen Itza and teach you about the enduring Mayan influence on Mexican culture.
From the ruins, you will head to Cenote Maya Park where you will get to visit the underground cenote.
There you can do the Tarzan swing into the fresh water and enjoy a refreshing swim.
Your tour includes lunch and all transportation and lasts about 12 hours.
👍🏼 Isla Mujeres
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Isla Mujeres is an island located just off the coast of Cancun. You can take a ferry there and enjoy the day strolling around downtown and visiting its world-famous beaches.
The beaches there are known for soft, white sand and calm turquoise water.
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Enjoy a comfortable ride to Isla Mujeres across the turquoise water.
On your way to Isla Mujeres, you will stop at a coral reef where you can get into the water, snorkel, and see the amazing marine life.
Back on board, you will enjoy an open bar and snacks until you arrive at Isla Mujeres.
There you will have free time to explore the downtown or check out some of the area’s best beaches before returning to Cancun.
This tour lasts 4.5 hours and includes all snorkel equipment.
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Tulum is a beachfront town located 130 kilometers south of Cancun. It is known for its impressive beachfront Mayan ruins, amazing beaches, and chill vibe.
Tulum has great restaurants, and you will find Mexican food, as well as different fashion options!
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You will leave Cancun and head south to Tulum’s archeological ruins.
There your guide will show you around the temple-filled site, where you will learn more about the area’s history.
From there you will head into the jungle to visit Cenote Casa Tortuga.
There you will learn about the fascinating underground river systems that are all over the Yucatan Peninsula and take a refreshing swim while enjoying the cenote’s natural beauty.
Your tour lasts 8 hours and includes roundtrip transportation.
8. Relax with some recreational activities
With so much to do in Cancun, it is easy to fill your schedule all day every day of your vacation.
Plan some time to slow down, relax, and treat yourself to relaxing activities.
Most hotels and resorts offer yoga classes, and many have onsite spas where you can treat yourself to a massage, facial, or trip to the sauna.
Or, if your idea of relaxing involves sports, plan a day to go golfing or rent bicycles to explore the area.
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Get your exercise and have a good time. The instructor combines modern dance with yoga and pilates moves to help you have a great time.
She will take the time to get to know you and make a personalized routine where you will have a good time and feel challenged.
Events and Festivals in Cancun in Winter
There is no shortage of fun events in Cancun in the winter.
Depending on when you visit, you may have the privilege to see traditional Mexican holidays and religious celebrations.
In addition to traditional parties, there will be plenty of music and events that all visitors can enjoy.
Here are some things you do not want to miss:
If you visit Cancun in December before Christmas, you will have the chance to see a Posada.
Posadas are recreations of Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem. Actors will recreate their journey, including the looking for lodging.
In traditional celebrations, the actors are turned away from several homes before they are finally welcomed into a home that will then throw a party for all the participants.
Hosts provide food and, of course, piñatas.
👉 Christmas in Cancun
Cancun takes Christmas seriously. Everywhere is festively decorated, there is music playing, and you can expect your hotel to throw a big holiday party. Many restaurants will serve traditional Mexican Christmas meals.
Most Mexicans celebrate Christmas with a big family dinner on the 24th that goes late into the night as they celebrate with music, drinks, and presents.
👉 New Year in Cancun
Cancun is always ready to party and it goes all out for New Year.
Most hotels and resorts throw big parties on the beach with live music, DJs, and lots of dancing.
If you want to get out on the town, most restaurants will serve special meals for New Year- just make sure to make your reservations ahead of time!
👉 Día de Los Reyes
On January 6, families celebrate the day the wise men arrived to visit Jesus.
Many families exchange presents on this day and they eat a traditional, circular bread called a Rosca de Reyes.
This colorful bread has small Jesus figurines baked inside of it, and whoever receives a baby Jesus will need to provide tamales for the celebration of the Dia de Candelaria.
👉 Día de Candelaría
Dia de Candelaria celebrates the day Jesus was presented in the temple.
Mexican families gather to celebrate and the family members who got Jesus figures in their bread on January 6th will need to provide the tamales.
Enjoy the Carnaval festivities in downtown Cancun with colorful parades, live music, and parties.
Carnaval happens every year on the days leading up to Ash Wednesday, next year it will be celebrated from February 8th to 14th.
Packing list for Cancun in winter
Don’t let packing stress you out. Here is a list of things to make sure you bring with you to Cancun.
But remember, if you forget anything, there is lots of shopping in Cancun, and you can easily get anything you need.
📌 Swimwear, cover-ups, and flip-flops. If you plan to spend a lot of time at the pool and beach, this will be what you wear the most.
📌 Hat and sunglasses.
📌 Eco-friendly Sunscreen. Make sure to look for reef-safe, mineral sunscreens.
CeraVe 100% Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 | Face Sunscreen with Zinc Oxide & Titanium Dioxide for Sensitive Skin | With Hyaluronic Acid, Niacinamide, and Ceramides | 2.5 oz
✔️ 100% Mineral-based sunscreen, also known as a physical sunscreen, reflects UVA/UVB rays to help protect the skin. Developed with dermatologists by CeraVe Skincare.
✔️ Oxybenzone free, avobenzone free, and benzene free, this sunscreen contains physical filters Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide.
✔️ Formula is oil-free, fragrance-free, non-comedogenic, and suitable for sensitive skin
📌 Flip flops.
📌 Light raincoat. A lightweight raincoat is always good to have in Cancun in case you get caught in an unexpected shower.
📌 Bug Repellent. Winter is not mosquito season, but it is always a good idea to have just in case.
📌 Tennis shoes or hiking sandals. If you plan to visit any adventure parks, hike in the jungle, or visit ruins, you will want a pair of comfortable shoes.
📌 Formal Outfit. If you plan to celebrate any holidays or special occasion, it is a good idea to have one fancy outfit packed.
📌 Waterproof bag and phone case. If you do any boat excursions, or any excursion where you might get wet, it is a good idea to have a dry bag that can protect your phone and belongings.
📌 Lightweight pants and sweater. For some people, the evenings in Cancun in the winter can be pleasantly cool. You might want some lightweight pants or a sweater to layer on in the evenings.
Cancun in Winter Tips
Cancun is a great spot for a winter getaway. Make the most of your trip by planning ahead.
Cancun is a popular spot in the winter, so it is a good idea to book your accommodations and excursions early because places fill up fast.
As your vacation approaches, it is normal to want to check the weather report.
People often see the chance of rain in the forecast and panic- sometimes even considering rescheduling their trip.
Don’t let this worry you, unless some sort of storm is blowing through the area, the daily rain does not last long, and you will have plenty of sunshine.
Frequently Asked Questions About Cancun in Winter
Is Cancun good during winter?
Yes, Cancun is great to visit during the winter. The weather is consistently good, and you can expect warm, sunny days and comfortable nights.
Winter in Cancun is warm enough to enjoy the beach and water sports, but not as hot and humid as in the summer months.
What is the coldest month in Cancun?
January is the coldest month in Cancun, the average temperature is 73 degrees. The daily high reaches 81 degrees and the average low temperature is 68 degrees.
What is the best season to go to Cancun?
Cancun is great to visit all year. When you should visit depends on what you like.
If you do not mind high heat and humidity, the summer is a great time to visit.
There are fewer visitors in the summer months and you can find great deals.
If you prefer moderately hot temperatures and want a winter getaway, come to Cozumel in the winter.
The weather is great and there are lots of fun activities to enjoy.
Is Cancun better in winter or summer?
This depends on your preferences. Some people want to spend their entire vacation in the water and enjoy the higher temperatures of the summer.
Others prefer the milder winter temperatures. Thankfully, Cancun is great all year round.
Is Cancun better in January or February?
Both months are great. If you come in early January you can catch some of the New Year’s and holiday celebrations.
February is a popular month for spring breakers and if you want to find good parties, it’s a great month for that.
No matter what you want- a relaxing vacation or party- you can find it either month.
Is Cancun fun during Christmas?
Yes! There are lots of festive activities going on to celebrate the holidays. The entire town is brightly decorated and most hotels put on great Christmas dinners for guests.
What’s the best month to go to Cancun?
It depends on what you like. If you are unsure when to visit Cancun, consider going during the shoulder season.
These are the months between the low season and the high season. You can usually find good deals on hotels and reap the benefits of both seasons.
The weather is great, and the ocean water is warm, but the huge holiday crowds of visitors have not arrived yet.
Final Thoughts: Cancun in Winter
If you live somewhere cold, or even if you don’t, and need a winter getaway, Cancun is a great spot to visit.
The weather is consistently good. It is warm enough that you can enjoy water activities, but not so hot that you will overheat if you want to go hiking at Mayan ruins.
Winter is a popular time to visit, so make sure to make your reservations early, then go have a great vacation!