The coast of Mexico has some of the most beautiful beaches and resorts you can find, especially in the area known as the Riviera Maya. One of the most enticing areas that you can visit here is the city of Tulum. Located not too far away from the high-rises and bustling tourist area of Cancun, this ancient walled city was one of the last places inhabited by the Maya people and presents a more relaxed and nature-orientated type of vacation.
Today tourists from all over visit this luxurious location, soaking up the sun and staying in the Tulum villas surrounding the beachfront. If you’re planning your own trip to the area now or in the future, you might wonder when’s the best time to visit. Here we’ll tell you everything you need to know about the best times of the year to visit Tulum and what you can expect during your visit.
So, what exactly are the best months of the year to visit Tulum? The answer depends on the type of travel experience you seek. Because it’s located in a tropical area, the weather in Tulum is primarily warm and pleasant. In fact, only a few months of the year have weather that you’ll want to avoid. However, some months are busier than others, and if you’re looking to avoid the crowds, you’ll want to take that into consideration.
The busiest months of the year, known as the peak season, are the months of December to April. November and May through August are less busy. The months you want to avoid when booking a trip to Tulum are September and October, as they have the rainest weather conditions.
Let’s look at some of the differences between the peak season and off-season and what you’ll want to consider when deciding when to book your trip.
The Peak Season In Tulum—Great Weather And A Lively Atmosphere
If you’re the type of traveler that thrives on excitement and loves being amongst the crowds, you’ll have a fantastic time in Tulum during the peak season of December to April. During these months, Canadians and Americans seeking to leave their winter weather behind flock to Mexico’s tropical destinations in droves.
And why wouldn’t they? The weather in Tulum is nearly perfect, and every day you’re likely to wake up to blue skies, powdery sand, and the relaxing warm waters of the Caribbean Sea.
Depending on the month you visit during this period, you’ll be alongside Christmas and New Year’s travelers, or maybe even at the same time as the spring break crowd. Whatever the case, you’ll be surrounded by other people looking to enjoy some sun, sea, and relaxation.
Because these few months are busy, you’ll want to ensure that you book your accommodations as far in advance as possible for the best choices. We recommend trying to book one of the private Tulum Villas that walk right out onto the sand or one of the funky boutique beachfront hotels.
Wherever you choose to stay, know that you’ll likely pay peak prices for your accommodations during this time. However, if you book at the beginning of November as the season ramps up or toward the end of April, as the season dwindles down, you might be able to score a better rate.
You’ll also have your pick of events during these months, as you’ll find many different festivals happening and something unique and fun whenever you arrive. If you’re really looking to experience the party atmosphere in this area, try visiting in February during Carnival, when Tulum hosts the closing party for this fun festival.
If you have any “must-do” tours or activities during your visit, make sure to also book those in advance during these peak months. Many reach capacity relatively quickly, so you won’t want to take your chances.
However, there’s a reason why it’s the peak time for tourists during these months —it’s an absolutely beautiful place, and you’ll be guaranteed a good time.
The Off Season — A More Relaxed Vibe With Some Great Deals
If you’re looking for a more secluded environment during your trip, try visiting during the off-season months of May through August. These months are less popular with tourists because they’re very hot, with the temperatures reaching their peak by August.
However, if you don’t mind the heat, you’ll find that you can score great deals on accommodations and attractions and make the most of spending your time cooling off in those crystal blue waters.
The air will feel muggy, and you will get some rain during these hot months, maybe even daily. However, they’re often short showers, so they won’t entirely interrupt your day.
Some fun festivals take place during these months, and if you’re into exploring the area’s marine life, these summer months are the best times to do it. In May, the sea turtles start nesting, June is whale shark season, and in July, the sea turtles hatch and go off into the sea. August cumulates with the height of whale shark migration and sea turtles mating. Go in June for a chance to swim with the whale sharks.
There are areas where you will experience the Sargassum especially the Tulum area
The Rainy Season— Not The Best Vacation Experience
Once you hit September, you’ll have reached the rainest season in the area, and not the best time to plan your beach vacation. September is one of the rainy months of the year in this area, and it will rain more than fifty percent of the time, so you’ll likely spend more time indoors than outside.
You will still have some sunny periods during the day, but if you don’t like weather interruptions during your beach time, it might not be the best time for your visit.
You will find the Mexican Independence Day celebration during the middle of this month, however, and it provides a great party atmosphere and a chance to experience some incredible Mexican culture.
The wetness only continues into October, and this month may prove unpredictable. It’s hurricane season, so you never know when bad weather could strike and quickly change your plans or cause you to have to evacuate back home early.
However, if you’re willing to take a chance, you’ll find great deals on hotels and villas, and you’ll have a quiet getaway while still being able to sneak some time on the beach.
RELATED Best Restaurants in Tulum Mexico
Things Not To Miss No Matter When You Visit
No matter what season or month you visit Tulum, Mexico, expect to see some incredible attractions and immerse yourself in nature and history. Make sure not to miss these “must-see” places.
Without a doubt, if you’re visiting Tulum, you will likely have the Tulum Archaeological Site on your list. These ruins are some of the most-visited Mayan ruins in the area. Here you’ll see various temples and castles constructed by the pre-Columbian Mayans. The dramatic scenery here is beautiful as you look out over the cliffs upon which it rests and onto the majestic Caribbean Sea.
El Gran Cenote
This underground cavern provides the perfect opportunity for diving and swimming in waters the Mayans consider sacred. As you dive, you’ll look at some interesting geological features, like stalagmites and stalactites. It’s also the perfect way to cool off if you’re visiting Tulum during one of the hottest months.
This small site of ruins is a bit of a drive from Tulum (about 30 miles northwest) but offers you another chance to see some authentic Mayan ruins in a natural state. Unlike the Tulum ruins, these have not been restored and tend to draw fewer crowds if you’re looking for a bit more space. You can also climb to the top of the highest Mayan pyramid in the Yucatan peninsula.
For an eco-tourism experience, take some time to visit Aktun-Chen Park, where you’ll see 400 acres of preserved forests, caves, and local flora and fauna. The main cave is one of the park’s best attractions. It’s believed to be 5 million years old and has a river inside where you can swim and snorkel. It’s a great place to explore and immerse yourself in history.
Final Thoughts On The Best Time To Go To Tulum
The Mexican coast does not disappoint with its beautiful beaches and fantastic history and culture. No matter what time of year you visit, you will likely have a great vacation. However, if you want to guarantee great weather and maximum activities, you’ll want to take advantage of the peak season of December to April.
However, if you’re a budget traveler or looking for a bit more low-key experience, you’ll want to try going during the off-season. You’ll likely experience some rain during your trip at these times, but nothing that will damper the fun.
It’s best to avoid the months of September and October, where you’ll likely experience widespread rain and the potential for hurricanes. However, accommodations will be the most affordable and available during these times.
Hopefully, this information helps you plan your adventure to Tulum, Mexico. Without a doubt, you’ll experience an unforgettable trip.