Weather in Cancun in May + Events & Things To Do
Curious about the weather in Cancun in May? If you are planning a trip to Cancun at this time of the year, you have landed in the right place.
Read below to learn everything you need to know, including details about the weather, travel tips, and recommended tours and experiences to have the best time!
If you’re looking for the perfect destination for a spring getaway, look no further than Cancun, Mexico.
In fact, visiting Cancun in May is the prime season to visit to enjoy fewer crowds before the summertime tourist surge.
The average temperatures are warm, and it’s one of the driest months of the year meaning the chance for rain is low.
Cancun is becoming increasingly popular to visit in May due to lower humidity, unique wildlife spotting, and cheaper hotel prices.
Weather in Cancun In May – At a Glance
It’s no surprise that Cancun is one of the most visited destinations in the world. The month of May is an especially enjoyable time to go.
The weather is almost always clear and hot, and popular tourist attractions have far fewer visitors.
There are less than five total rainy days on average, and less than five total inches of rainfall– perfect for beach days!
Beaches won’t be overcrowded and usually have a nice breeze blowing.
Visiting Cancun in May means you will beat the height of the Atlantic hurricane season in June. This ensures a better travel experience and less “hope for the best, but plan for the worst” mentality.
Could you ask for anything more in a destination?
What’s the average temperature in Cancun in May?
The average temperature in Cancun in May begins to increase slightly, with average high temperatures of 87 degrees.
Temperatures rarely fall below 83 degrees or rise above 91 degrees in May. This means it’s hot, but not enough to make being outdoors completely unbearable.
For many visitors, it is the perfect temperature – an ideal escape from cooler climates. At night, average low temperatures range from 79 and 84 degrees with a lower percentage of humidity.
In May, there is rarely a threat of a cold front, unlike the winter months of January, February, and March.
If this unlikely cold front does occur, don’t worry! It usually only happens briefly at night and warms up in the morning.
Does it rain in Cancun in May?
Due to Cancun’s location on the Caribbean Sea, rain is always a possibility. Some months see more rain than others, but this is why May is one of the best months to visit.
May is Cancun’s sixth driest month of the year, meaning there are only a handful of days it is forecasted to storm or rain.
However, weather can be unpredictable regardless of predictions. It’s best to bring appropriate attire (umbrellas, boots, waterproof luggage, and backpacks), especially for outdoor exploration.
Does it rain all day in Cancun in May?
While the beginning of Cancun’s wet season typically starts in late May, there is very little rainfall this month.
What rainfall the region does see during this time is very short and passes very quickly, giving way to many sunny days.
However, since Cancun is located between the jungle and the Caribbean sea, weather conditions are humid and have the ability to change quickly.
It is not uncommon for a sunny day to be interrupted by a rain shower.
Local weather forecasts may show a chance for rain, but don’t let that stop you from exploring! Simply carry a lightweight raincoat and small umbrella to prepare for sudden showers.
Best things to do in Cancun when it Rains
Even though Cancun is known for its beautiful beaches and easy access to nearby attractions, there is plenty to do indoors.
From Mayan cooking classes to aquariums and museums, there is something for everyone to enjoy on a rainy day.
One of the most popular indoor activities is the Mayan Museum of Cancun. Housing a collection of Mayan artifacts from the Yucatan Region, the museum is an architectural wonder.
The museum can be found in the Cancun Hotel Zone and is open Tuesday to Sunday from 9:00 am to 7:30 pm.
Tickets cost 57 pesos ($ 3 USD) and are free for those under 13 or above 60 every Sunday.
Don’t fancy museum exploration? Don’t worry! There are many other ways to enjoy a day indoors including shopping at Las Plazas Outlet Cancun and La Isla Paradise or enjoying a spa day at Bamboo Hair & Spa.
Is it hot in Cancun in May?
The average high temperature in Cancun in May is 85.6 degrees. The heat index, known as the “felt air temperature” can reach 96.8 degrees during the day.
This means that on the warmest day, there will be some humidity making it feel warmer than it is.
In spite of this, May is still a very comfortable month to travel to Cancun given the lack of rain. It will be hot, but it won’t be stifling.
May is a wonderful time to take a hike through the jungle, visit Mayan ruins, or walk around the hotel zone without feeling suffocated.
Is it very humid in Cancun in May?
Humidity during May can be quite high, but there is usually a breeze on the coastline! For many visitors, the warmer temperatures make May an ideal time of year to visit.
The cooler spring months are gone, and summer begins to show itself.
The temperature is hot enough to take a dip in the ocean during a day at the beach. On the hottest of days, it could reach a heat index of 96.8 with slightly lower humidity than in the summer months given the dry climate.
Are there Hurricanes in Cancun in May?
Experiencing a hurricane in May is very unlikely. The official Atlantic hurricane season begins in June and ends in October.
The months with the highest likelihood of storms from August to October.
Thankfully, hurricanes in Cancun are rare. The region has only seen two hurricanes in the past 40 years, so it’s a safe bet they aren’t something many tourists should worry about.
In an unlikely event of a hurricane, there will usually only be several days of overcast, rainy weather followed by sunny days.
Is Cancun Safe during Hurricane Season?
While hurricanes are always possible during hurricane season, the risk of experiencing one in Cancun is extremely low.
Hurricane season can bring strong winds, heavy rainfall, and storm surges which can be the most dangerous due to landslides and flooding.
If traveling to Cancun during the hurricane season, be aware of the five hurricane alert levels and precautions for each. Most hotel properties in Cancun have reinforced structures to withstand heavy winds and rain.
Of the 126 hotels in Cancun, more than 90 of them currently have shelters in place for tourists in the event of a hurricane. Cancun is certainly a safe place to travel during hurricane season, but it’s always best to monitor storms and use your best judgment when booking travel.
Sea Water Temperature in Cancun in May
The surface water temperature near the beach in Cancun in May is consistently between 82 and 84 degrees.
This makes spending time in the water extremely pleasant and a great way to cool down.
May means the water temperature is ideal for swimming and snorkeling. If you plan to free dive or scuba dive into deeper waters, you may find that there are “thermoclines” or patches of warmer and colder spots in the water.
These mild temperature changes of a few degrees are very normal.
May is also a great time to see different marine life while snorkeling or scuba diving. Species of sea turtles return to the waters off the coast of Cancun from May to September and come ashore and make their nests.
How Warm is the Water in Cancun in May?
The swimming season in Cancun lasts all year round, though the summer months are slightly warmer.
In May, the highest water temperature is about 85 degrees, while the lowest water temperature is about 80 degrees.
These temperatures are comparable to that of a cool swimming pool, though they might be higher than what most open-water swimmers or snorkelers prefer.
If swimming on the surface or in more shallow waters, avoid wearing a wetsuit to not overheat.
Sea Visibility in Cancun in May
Sea visibility is extremely important for free divers and scuba divers.
In May, visibility ranges from 80 to 100 feet, which sets the stage for prime marine life viewing and easier navigating.
This is especially important if a dive location is at one of Cancun’s popular offshore shipwrecks such as Barrera or Anaya.
Both of these lay just a short boat ride from the city!
For safety reasons, visibility is also important to spot potentially dangerous wildlife, or for following underwater tour guides.
Sargassum Seaweed In Cancun in May
You might be wondering what in the world Sargassum seaweed even is. Well, it’s nothing dangerous, but it’s certainly annoying.
It’s a type of brown algae that’s been appearing in tropical environments from South America to the Gulf of Mexico.
Even though it’s a part of the marine ecosystem, it’s remained an unpleasant sight and a potential health risk for certain wildlife and humans since 2011.
The brown algae seaweed that washes up on the beaches traps marine life and uses up essential oxygen fish need to survive.
For humans, the bacteria living in the seaweed can cause skin irritation and illness.
Poisonous gases from decomposing Sargassum can also cause irritation of the eyes, respiratory issues, and nausea.
Avoid swimming or walking amongst the seaweed as much as possible.
Pros of Visiting Cancun in May
✅ Visiting Cancun in May means that you will enjoy the very best of the late spring season in the Yucatan Peninsula.
✅ There will be fewer crowds which mean lower prices on hotel rooms and resorts. Cancun is known for its world-famous all-inclusive resorts and vacation packages. These packages include lodging, meals, unlimited beverages, and sometimes flights. Add in an affordability factor and convenience and it makes for the best time.
✅ Popular sites and attractions will be more enjoyable with fewer crowds and smaller group tours. Popular sites like the Coba Ruins and the Cenotes (natural fresh water swimming pools) will be quieter.
✅ Springtime is also prime for viewing young wildlife and wildlife migrations. Many animals begin to return to the waters off Cancun including sea turtles. The sea turtle nesting season runs from May to September and is a natural process that happens annually.
Cons of Visiting Cancun in May
👎 Although humidity levels in May are more tolerable than during the summer months, it’s still quite high.
👎 If you are sensitive to heat, it’s best to visit popular outdoor attractions such as Chichen-Itza early in the morning. To beat the highest temperatures during the day, return indoors before mid-afternoon.
👎 May is also one of the driest months of the year for Cancun, but this doesn’t mean that rain isn’t possible. Cancun is located between the rainforest and the sea, so Cancun weather can be unpredictable.
Things to Do in Cancun in May
▶ Spend time on the beach
Cancun has some of the best beaches in Mexico, and many of them are world-famous for their soft sand and stunning coastlines.
There are more than 11 public beaches in Cancun’s Hotel Zone between the North Side and the Caribbean Side. All of them are brimming with white sand and warm, turquoise-colored water.
On the North Side, you will find more privacy with fewer people and calmer water. Some popular beaches that many visitors enjoy on the North Side are Las Palmas, Playa Langosta, and Playa Las Perlas.
On the Caribbean Side, you will find larger crowds, but more turquoise water and more options for water activities. Some popular beaches on this side include Chac Mool Beach and Playa Delfines.
You can easily spend an entire day at one of these beaches simply relaxing, swimming, or partaking in water activities!
▶ Visit Chichen Itza
Visiting the old ancient Mayan city of Chichen Itza is a must when in Cancun. Only 120 miles from the city, it’s one of Mexico’s most important and iconic cultural sites.
It’s not required to book a private tour to visit Chichen Itza. In fact, many travelers choose to rent a car and explore the ruins and surrounding sights at their leisure.
If you prefer a more structured experience, there are plenty of tour companies that provide small group or private tours.
The grounds of Chichen Itza span nearly five square miles, so plan to spend 3-4 hours at the site to soak it all in.
▶ Go on a day trip to Tulum
A popular day trip destination from Cancun is the tropical oasis of Tulum.
You can get to Tulum by booking a private day or half-day tour. You can also rent a car and drive the Mexican Federal Highway 307 for 112 miles (1.5 to 2 hours total).
In Tulum, must-see sights include the Mayan Tulum Ruins and Archeological Site, the El Gran Cenote, and the Tulum Beach Strip.
There are many top-rated restaurants and rooftop bars in Tulum that are great for lunch, dinner, or evening cocktails. A few favorites are Wild, Matcha Mama, Safari, and Asadero, to name a few.
▶ Try some of the great restaurants
Cancun offers many restaurants, bars, and unique places to eat. Many restaurants are downtown or inside the hotels and resorts along the six-mile stretch of the Cancun Hotel Zone.
From oceanfront dining to steakhouses, Cancun is a gastronomical delight for foodies from around the world.
A few favorite spots to eat among visitors and locals alike include Porfirio’s (for the best Mexican cuisine), Puerto Madero (Argentinian Steakhouse), and La Habichuela (Mayan and Mexican Cuisine).
La Habitchuela has been a Cancun staple since 1977 and was once the home of resident Armando Pezzotti.
▶ Go Snorkeling
Snorkeling is a must-do if visiting Cancun in May. Cancun is home to some of the best snorkeling in the world at the Great Mayan Reef.
In crystal clear waters, you can view everything from coral, fish, turtles, shipwrecks, and even whale sharks are starting to populate the Cancun sea waters.
There are a number of ways to enjoy snorkeling in May both in and around Cancun. Some of the more popular snorkel locations include Isla Mujeres and Punta Nizuc on the southern tip of the island, closest to the Cancun Hotel Zone.
The Underwater Museum: MUSA is also a unique experience. The eco-project is made up of two sections and features more than 470 life-sized sculptures.
It is possible to snorkel off most beaches in Cancun, but it’s best to book an organized tour with experts that will take you to the reefs.
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This top-rated tour on VIATOR will take you snorkeling in some of the best spots in the Caribbean waters right off the coast of Cancun, including a shipwreck and the underwater museum MUSA
Best Tours in Cancun in May
There is no shortage of great tour companies and excursions in Cancun. In fact, there are so many that it can be difficult to narrow down the best ones.
According to Viator, these are just a few of the most highly-rated tours:
1. Chichen Itza tour
5⭐ 10085 Reviews
This full-day tour from your hotel in Cancun or the Riviera Maya will first take you to Chichen Itza (admission not included) at the pyramid of Kukulcan.
After, you will explore the stunning architecture in Valladolid before immersing yourself in the refreshing waters of the Saamal cenote.
Lastly, you’ll enjoy a delicious buffet meal.
An Enjoyable Day of Learning⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ MsM, Jan 2023
We loved our day exploring Chichen Itza, swimming in a cenote, and stopping by Valladolid. Our driver Miguel and guides Norma and Pasteur were professional yet personable, and we learned a lot about Mayan culture and YUCATAN geography. Highly recommended.
2. Tulum Combo Tour
5⭐ 2641 Reviews
This full-day tour to a popular coral reef in the Caribbean Sea includes access to the Tulum archeological site, then swimming in a popular cenote.
You will end it exploring a limestone cave and taking a jungle walk. This tour includes entrance fees, a buffet lunch, and door-to-door transport from hotels in Cancun or Playa del Carmen.
A must do!⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Rachel_S, Jan 2023
This tour was fabulous! Arturo was our guide and he kept us entertained all day and was super knowledgeable about everything we were visiting. He also provided snacks and water bottles which kept us hydrated and happy.
3. Isla Mujeres Sailing Tour
4.5⭐ 1916 Reviews
This half-day catamaran sailing adventure to Isla Mujeres includes snorkeling, a gourmet lunch on board, and plenty of complimentary beverages on the way back to port in Cancun.
Great Value for money!⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Floria_D, Dec 2022
Loved our boat journey to the island of Mujures. The staff were so attentive with drinks and our tour host Martin was absolutely brilliant and helpful. Pictures were taken aboard with an option to purchase on the journey back. Perfect for honeymooners and couples. Highly recommend the tour. Also you get a pick up and return to your hotel inclusive of the price!
4. ATV Tour
4.5⭐ 1459 Reviews
On this four-hour small group adventure from Cancun, you’ll head to Extreme Adventure Eco Park.
You’ll fly through the jungle on a zipline course, off-road on an ATV, and swim in a refreshing cenote. All activities are family-friendly.
Super Fun!⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Tran_N, Dec 2022
Mary was awesome! Loved her energy and the way she handled the excursion. She made this experience super fun for us. I loved the tour itself and was pleasantly surprised by how fun it was. Worth every penny!
Tips For Visiting Cancun in May
✔ Never travel without insurance. You never know what can happen to you when you travel, even if you are super careful. Things happen for whatever reason that you cannot control.
Having travel insurance, which you hope you will never have to need, will give you peace of mind. If you don’t have your favorite company already, I can recommend SafetyWing as it’s the one I use.
Or you can check out other options on this site aggregator, Travel Insurance master which compares different sites and helps you find the best solution for your needs.
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✔ May is a shoulder season month for Cancun tourism. This means you can find the best hotel deals! Use popular booking tools such as Booking.com or Expedia to compare prices.
Make your hotel reservation as early as possible to lock in deals. Here below I am going to leave you a beautiful map of where to find different hotels in Cancun.
Or you can take a look at my guides on the best hotels with private pools or party hotels if you love to party! I would recommend staying in the Hotel Zone for the ultimate Cancun experience.
✔ Make restaurant and excursion reservations early. You can do this through an independent tour company or directly through many all-inclusive resorts.
✔ Don’t pass up popular sights such as Chichen Itza, Xcaret Eco Park, or the many cenotes in the area. You won’t have it all to yourself, but there won’t be long waits or huge crowds.
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✔ Bring sunscreen! Warmer weather starts to kick in in May, and each day sees over 11 hours of sun. Reapply often, especially if participating in water activities.
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✔ Keep an eye out for sea turtles and numerous species of sharks while snorkeling and diving. Beware of and avoid Box Jellyfish, however. Their stings are very dangerous and can cause serious injury or death. Read my post on the animals that you can find in Cancun for more detailed info.
Cancun in May FAQs
Is May a good time to visit Cancun?
Absolutely! Cancun is popular with tourists in May for many reasons — the weather is great and there are fewer crowds at popular tourist spots!
You will enjoy sunny days, little rain, and warmer ocean temperatures.
If you time your visit right, you can coincide your time in Cancun with Cinco de Mayo. The holiday is a minor celebration in Mexico, but some restaurants and resorts still offer drink specials or shows for tourists.
Combine all of this with more affordable hotel rooms and resort prices and you’ll experience the best time of the year to visit.
How hot is Cancun in May?
The average daily high in Cancun in May is 85.6 degrees. The heat index, known as the “felt air temperature” can reach 96.8 degrees during the day.
This means that on most days, there will be humidity making it feel warmer than it actually is. In spite of this, the weather should be enjoyable as long as you do not have extreme sensitivity to heat.
If this is something you struggle with, it might be best to plan some indoor activities in between time outdoors.
What is the best time of year to go to Cancun?
There’s really no “bad” time of year to visit Cancun. However, Cancun’s high season for tourism runs from December until March.
The busiest weeks of the year are between Christmas, New Year’s, and Semana Santa, which is the week before Easter.
Great weather year-round makes it a popular destination for a reason, but deciding on when to visit is truly up to you, the traveler.
If you enjoy parties and hotter weather, visiting in the summer is likely the best option. If you prefer a quieter experience, it is best to visit in the winter or mid to late spring.
If you’re a college student, Cancun’s affordability and party scene make it a great spring break destination.
Regardless of why you may be traveling to Cancun, it’s a great place for families, retirees, or people just looking for a winter getaway.
How are the beaches in Cancun in May?
The beaches in May are ideal for swimming. Since the water is warm year-round, swimming, snorkeling, and diving are popular activities.
You can book a guided tour to enjoy a water activity, or simply lounge in the sand under an umbrella or on a towel.
It’s important to be aware of Sargassum seaweed, which can be prevalent in the water and on the shoreline.
Wear plenty of sunscreens and stay hydrated to beat the heat!
Is Cancun worth visiting?
Is the sky blue? Absolutely! Cancun has been a popular beach destination since the 1970s and remains one of Mexico’s most visited resort areas.
In 2022, Cancun was the second most visited place in the world for international travelers, behind Dubai.
That says something!
From cuisine to outdoor adventure, water sports and activities, museums, and culinary experiences, there is truly something for everyone in Cancun.
Additionally, there are direct and affordable flights from many major U.S. cities. This makes it a great spring break destination or the perfect place for a weekend getaway.
What are you waiting for? Book that flight!
Is Cancun safe for tourists?
Yes, Cancun is considered a safe place to visit. As with any destination, avoid putting yourself in a dangerous situation. Don’t flaunt your wealth, get overly drunk, go to dangerous neighborhoods, or use drugs.
Make sure you read my article on safety in Cancun and follow the tips.
To stay healthy on your vacation do not drink tap water to avoid any stomach issues. Use sunscreen to avoid extreme sunburns, and bring any necessary medicines or medical supplies with you.
Educate yourself on local wildlife that could cause complications both on the sea and on land, and have a plan in place in the unlikely event you need to seek medical attention.
If you are a solo traveler and concerned about traveling to Cancun, worry not. Cancun is a safe destination for solo travelers and you can enjoy multiple tours or rent a car to explore the surroundings safely.
What is the rainiest month in Cancun?
The wettest month in Cancun is October. This coincides with the height of the Atlantic hurricane season.
Daytime temperatures stay consistent and warm, but total rainfall during October can range from 2.4 to 46.8 inches compared to 0.2 – 10.8 in December.
About the Author
Hey there! This is Isabella, the owner, and writer of this site. I have been living in Cancun for the past 12 years and although I have been roaming around Mexico, Cancun’s spectacular turquoise waters and pristine beach draw me back to this popular Mexican beach destination. That is why I decided to start this blog, to show you all the beauty you can find in Cancun and share helpful travel tips to help you plan a fabulous vacation in Cancun!