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Riviera Maya is a beautiful Mexican destination that is popular with tourists for good reason. With so many stunning white sand beaches to lounge on and plenty of traditional restaurants and shops to enjoy, there is something for everyone to experience on vacation.
The best time to visit Riviera Maya is during the spring, from March to April. You’ll be visiting during the shoulder season when tourism isn’t as high. The weather will average around 84°F (29°C) during the day, which makes swimming in the Caribbean Sea ideal. Hotels will also be cheaper than during the peak tourist season.
If you’re looking to book a trip to Riviera Maya, you’ll find a monthly breakdown below. This can help you decide when you’ll find your ideal weather, as well as various activities and festivals that you can participate in while you’re visiting.
- Plan Your Trip To Riviera Maya: Monthly Breakdown
- January – Enjoy the Nightlife
- February – Experience Traditional Mexican Foods
- March – Relax on the Beach like a Local
- April – Experience Traditional Mexican Religious Culture
- May – Enjoy the Beaches (Before The Crowds)
- June – Swim in the Cenotes
- July – Zip Line Around Playa del Carmen
- August – Go Snorkeling in the Caribbean
- September – Celebrate Mexican Independence
- October – View the Sea Turtle Hatchlings
- November – Listen to Jazz Music on the Beach
- December – Enjoy the Christmas Festivities
When is the Worst Time To Visit Riviera Maya?
The worst month to visit Riviera Maya is October, as this is the peak of the rainy season. Your beach days may need to be rescheduled around the rainfall, which can ruin a vacation for many people.
Weather within the Mexican Caribbean can change very quickly, leading to a vacation that is difficult to plan. If you’re trying to book a trip during the hurricane season (June-November), you may need to manage canceled flights due to hurricane weather brewing in the ocean.
The high season within Riviera Maya is during the summer, between July and August. If you want to avoid the crowds of tourists, it’s best to plan around these months. You’re likely to have a more relaxing vacation if you avoid the summertime and all the general busyness it attracts.
When is the Cheapest Time to Visit Riviera Maya?
If you have some wiggle room for when you plan your vacation to the beautiful Riviera Maya, the cheapest month to look at flights and hotel booking options is in late January. At the beginning of the month, there’s a small uptick in tourism for the new year’s period.
This is considered the low season for the area, so you won’t be competing with thousands of other tourists to get a good deal on your hotel rates. You’ll have more buying power with the money you saved on your travel costs, so you can splurge on a nicer room or even a stay at an all-inclusive resort.
September through mid-November are also cheaper times to book a trip to Riviera Maya. However, you’ll also be competing with the rainy hurricane season. If you’re willing to take your chances, there are plenty of deals to be had on both flights and hotels.
Plan Your Trip To Riviera Maya: Monthly Breakdown
January – Enjoy the Nightlife
January is a temperate time to visit Riviera Maya if you’re looking to plan a vacation at the beginning of the year. With lows of 61°F (16°C) and a high of 82°F (28°C), you’ll enjoy cool nights that lead to warm days.
On average, there are 2.6 inches of rainfall for the month of January, ensuring that things don’t get too dry and uncomfortable. You won’t have to worry about heavy rainfall ruining your vacation, either.
Celebrating the first day of the year is an exciting time in Riviera Maya. You can opt to stay up into the morning hours at one of the many clubs or you can take in the first sunrise of the new year at a local beach.
The gay-friendly Arena Festival is a great place for LGBTQ folks to find like-minded friends. Even if you’re just an ally, this is an exciting music festival that involves a lot of dancing and plenty of drinks all around.
- Ring in the New Year at Mamitas Beach
- Dance all night at Coco Bongo
- Take in some artwork at the Akumal Arts Festival
- Enjoy the EDM performances at the Arena Festival
Related Read: The 10 Best All-Inclusive Tulum Resorts
February – Experience Traditional Mexican Foods
February is an ideal time to enjoy the culinary scene within Riviera Maya, as it’s when the annual Tulum Food, Spirits, and Wine Festival is held. You’ll be able to snack on street food and enjoy cocktails and glasses of aromatic wine while you watch the festivities.
The weather warms up slightly from January, lingering around 86°F (30°C), with plenty of sunshine during the day. If you’re looking to escape harsh winter conditions elsewhere, this is a great destination to enjoy beach-worthy temperatures throughout the year.
There isn’t much rainfall during this month, which averages around 1.2 inches. You’ll have warm, dry days that allow you to get outdoors and explore the natural surroundings that Mexico has to offer.
Mardi Gras is an exciting event to take in while you’re visiting Mexico, as the locals enjoy throwing a large party to commemorate this time. You’ll enjoy great food and rowdy events with everyone around you.
- Enjoy tamales for dinner during Candlemas
- Partake in the culinary experience of the Tulum Food, Spirits, and Wine Festival
- Celebrate Mardi Gras like a locals
- Have fun at the Cozumel Carnival
March – Relax on the Beach like a Local
While the beach is nice throughout the year in Mexico, the weather in March allows visitors to stay out all day without getting overheated. The highs range from 86°F (30°C) and drop to 70°F (21°C) on cooler days.
Nothing beats grabbing a cold cocktail and heading to the beach. You can bring your favorite book and get lost in the pages for hours while listening to the soothing lapping waves of the Caribbean.
The sun won’t set until around 7 PM during the month of March, providing you with plenty of daylight for your adventures. If you visit during the Spring Equinox, you can watch the unique shadows cast around the Chichen Itza pyramids. This only happens twice every year.
- Hang out at the beach for Benito Juarez Day
- View the pyramids of Chichen Itza on Spring Equinox
- Enjoy cocktails on the beach while enjoying the perfect springtime weather
Related Read: The 17 Best All-Inclusive Mexico Resorts for Families
April – Experience Traditional Mexican Religious Culture
Even if you yourself aren’t a practicing Catholic, April is a great time to visit. You’ll be able to enjoy the festivities that surround Holy Week, culminating in Easter celebrations. This is a colorful and exciting time to experience Riviera Maya.
There is plenty of good food to be had, as everyone is gearing up for a feast on Easter Sunday. You can also choose to relax on the beach, which should be less crowded on days when everyone is at mass during Holy Week.
The weather begins to warm up, averaging out at 88°F (31°C). You can expect to enjoy nearly 12.5 hours of sunlight a day, providing you with plenty of time to enjoy the Easter celebrations within the city.
Mexico is a nation that celebrates Easter with an enthusiastic passion, so be prepared for a nearly two-week-long celebration. This is one of the most important holidays in Mexican culture.
- Celebrate Holy Week with the locals during the week leading up to Easter
- Enjoy the calm before the storm as tourism begins to spike
- Spend Easter in Playa del Carmen
May – Enjoy the Beaches (Before The Crowds)
While you may experience occasional showers during this month, the weather continues to be warm with an average of 88°F (31°C). It’s not quite sweltering yet and you can easily spend hours at the beach without getting fatigued by the hot weather.
As Riviera Maya begins to prepare for an influx of tourism, the beaches will get busier. However, more shops and restaurants will open — providing new places to explore and delicious food items to taste.
Summertime activities abound in the area, such as snorkeling, surfing, and taking scenic boat rides. Whatever interests you, you’re sure to find someone offering an excursion that provides you with a unique opportunity to take in the natural beauty of Mexico.
- Relax on the beach for Labor Day with the locals
- Explore the local shops that are preparing for the tourist season
- Take a snorkeling trip in Cozumel
- Hop on the ferry to spend the day in Isla Mujeres
June – Swim in the Cenotes
During the month of June, the weather in Riviera Maya is fairly hot during the day at 88°F (31°C). At nighttime, the weather cools off to a comfortable 70°F (21°C).
The sun rises at around 6 in the morning and sets at half past 7, leaving plenty of sunlit hours in the day to explore all that this portion of Mexico has to offer. If you’re looking for a unique adventure, you can float down the Mayan canals that are located in Sian Ka’an.
You can stay active and still explore the towns by renting a bicycle and taking a taco tour or simply admiring the various forms of street art. For a more relaxed evening, head to any of the rooftop cocktail bars in the surrounding cities and take in the sunset.
- Walk or bike around Tulum Pueblo
- Enjoy a cocktail in Playa del Carmen and listen to live music
- Cool off in a cenote
July – Zip Line Around Playa del Carmen
July really begins to heat up in Riviera Maya, with highs hitting 91°F (33°C). You’ll want to bring a wide-brimmed hat and plenty of sunscreens if you’re planning a vacation during the heat of the summer.
This is often considered the hottest time of the year. At the very least, there’s usually a cool and refreshing sea breeze while you’re enjoying the sandy beaches.
To cool off, you can purchase a zip lining package and feel the wind on your face as you’re zipping through the treetops. This is a popular activity around Playa del Carmen and various adventure parks offer tickets.
During the balmy evenings, you may be interested in taking free salsa dancing lessons. These are offered at Zenzi in Playa del Carmen and they’re a great way to get a chance to hone your dancing skills.
- Visit Zenzi for free dancing lessons
- Rent jet skis to enjoy the cool breeze on the water
- Go zip lining in Playa del Carmen
August – Go Snorkeling in the Caribbean
August is still a busy time of year for Riviera Maya, though you can take steps to avoid some of the crowds. If you head out early to your destination, you should have the place mostly to yourself.
The month still experiences frequent showers, though they’re not long-lasting. Expect highs to settle at a hot 91°F (33°C). Most days average out to around a more manageable 82°F (28°C).
Taking a dive into the ocean or swimming with the sea turtles are both free and they allow you to cool off during the heat of the day. Remember to bring your snorkeling gear to Akumal beach so you can view the sea turtles up close.
- Explore the Mayan ruins in Tulum
- Swim with sea turtles at Akumal beach
- Dive into a fresh plate of ceviche at El Pirata
Related Read: 10 BEST Spots To Go Snorkeling in Isla Mujeres
September – Celebrate Mexican Independence
September is a relatively wet month in Riviera Maya, with around 8.1 inches of rainfall. However, the showers are often over quickly. They help to keep the grounds green and lush.
During the day, expect temperatures maxing out at around 90°F (32°C), with cooler days staying at approximately 73°F (23°C). You may want to bring a waterproof jacket to keep you warm and dry during the evenings.
September is the month to celebrate the independence of the Mexican nation. Like many festivals in the area, the celebration is marked by the colorful decor and lively music and dancing.
On the hotter days, you can head out on an adventure such as exploring the caves at Cenote Caracol. You’ll get a break from the sunlight and beat the heat while inside the caves.
- Partake in the festivities around Independence Day
- Explore Cenote Caracol and the caves
- Take a kitesurfing lesson off of a Tulum beach
- Sign up for a scuba diving class in Cenotes
October – View the Sea Turtle Hatchlings
October in Riviera Maya provides temperatures at a comfortable 88°F (31°C). At night, it may dip down to a crisp 68°F (20°C), so pack accordingly.
You’ll want to pick up an umbrella when you land, as you can expect a fair amount of rainfall. However, it usually won’t rain all day and you can head out after the shower and enjoy the beach once again.
If you’re bringing younger kids along, they’ll love watching the sea turtles hatch along the coast. This is an annual festival held in Riviera Maya, to celebrate the new hatchlings that make their way into the ocean to begin their life.
The Day of the Dead is a lively celebration in Mexico and any tourist would be lucky to experience it first-hand. With brightly decorated sugar skulls, the locals celebrate those that have passed on.
- Watch the sea turtles hatch at the Turtle Festival
- Enjoy the colorful Day of the Dead with traditional food and entertainment
- Dress up on Halloween and head to a local gathering or club
November – Listen to Jazz Music on the Beach
If you’re looking to celebrate Thanksgiving abroad, November is a unique time to visit Rivera Maya. The holiday can get busy but there is still plenty of serenity to be found during this time, such as at the beach or by the hotel pool.
November is the tail end of the hurricane season, so you shouldn’t expect too much bad weather. However, it’s recommended that visitors keep an eye on the weather to see if there’s anything brewing out in the Caribbean before your flight.
The weather during this month sticks around a balmy 84°C (29°C) during the day, before dropping down to around 77°F (25°C) in the evening. On average, the area experiences 4.6 inches of rainfall.
If you enjoy listening to smooth jazz music, you’ll love attending the Riviera Maya Jazz Festival. You can bring a towel and a picnic to the beach and lay out for hours listening to the melodic music.
- Enjoy free jazz music during the Riviera Maya Jazz Festival
- Watch the morning parade in Playa del Carmen on Mexican Revolution Day
- Take a dip in the warm Caribbean waters before the Thanksgiving feast
Related Read: Do You Tip at All-Inclusive Resorts?
December – Enjoy the Christmas Festivities
If you were ever going to run a marathon in Mexico, December is the best time to do so. The popular marathon held in Cancún annually features cooler weather when compared to the rest of the year.
Rivera Maya provides a sun-filled Christmas holiday, with temperatures sticking around 82°F (28°C) during the day. At nighttime, the low is usually around 71°F (22°C). You can easily get by with a light jacket for your evening activities.
For visitors planning to stick around for the festivities of Christmas, it may be wise to work up an appetite for all of the delicious food that’s traditionally served. There are several firework shows and festivals held during the holiday season.
Christmas is a beautiful time to visit the area, as the churches and surrounding buildings are often ornately decorated. If this isn’t your thing, there are plenty of secular things to do, such as enjoying hikes and outdoor recreation in the cooler temperatures.
- Participate (or watch!) in the Cancún Marathon
- Celebrate Christmas with a midnight mass
- Watch fireworks during the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe