Best time to visit the Riviera Maya depending of the seasons (2023)

/ Riviera Maya / By MExplor

The Riviera Maya is a stunning travel destination that offers pristine beaches, lush tropical forests, and a rich cultural heritage. Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach, explore ancient ruins, or swim with marine life, the Riviera Maya has something to offer for everyone.

However, it’s important to plan your travel itinerary carefully and choose the best time to visit the Riviera Maya, taking into account factors such as the wet and dry seasons, the hurricane season, and the high and low seasons. Additionally, the animal season in the region offers an opportunity to witness a diverse range of marine life in their natural habitat.

By understanding these different seasons and their implications, you can maximize your experience and ensure a safe and enjoyable trip. In this guide, we will explore the various seasons in the Riviera Maya and provide insights on how to plan your travel accordingly. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, this guide will help you navigate the different seasons and make the most of your trip.

Best time to travel to the Riviera Maya

Low and high season in the Riviera Maya

The high season in the Riviera Maya typically runs from December to April, which coincides with the winter months in North America and Europe. During this time, the weather is generally dry and sunny, making it an ideal time to visit the region. The high season is also when many festivals and events take place, including the famous Day of the Dead celebration in November.

The low season in the Riviera Maya typically runs from May to November, with the exception of July and August, which are still considered high season due to school summer vacations. During the low season, the weather is generally hot and humid, with occasional rainfall. However, this is also a great time to travel in the Riviera Maya if you’re looking for fewer crowds and lower prices on accommodation and tours.

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It’s important to note that while the high and low seasons and hurricane season can have an impact on your travel experience, the Riviera Maya is a beautiful and welcoming destination year-round. By planning your trip according to your preferences and keeping an eye on the weather, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable trip no matter when you visit.

Wet and dry season in the Riviera Maya

The Riviera Maya is a region located in the eastern part of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, on the Caribbean Sea. The climate in this region is characterized by two main seasons: the wet season and the dry season.

The wet season, also known as the rainy season, generally runs from May to October. During this period, the region experiences high temperatures and humidity, with occasional heavy rainfalls that can last for several hours. The rainy season is caused by the movement of warm, moist air from the Caribbean Sea, which results in frequent thunderstorms and rainfall. Despite the increased rainfall, the wet season can still be a good time to visit the Riviera Maya, as the rains tend to be short-lived and the region’s natural beauty is at its peak during this period.

The dry season, on the other hand, typically runs from November to April. During this period, the region experiences lower humidity and temperatures, with very little rainfall. The dry season is characterized by clear skies and cooler temperatures, making it the most popular time to visit the Riviera Maya. Many visitors choose to travel during the dry season to take advantage of the region’s beautiful beaches and warm, sunny weather.

Hurricane season

The hurricane season in the Riviera Maya typically runs from June to November, with the highest likelihood of storms occurring between August and October. While hurricanes are rare, it’s important to be prepared and monitor weather updates during this time. Many hotels and tour operators offer hurricane guarantees or flexible cancellation policies during this season.

Sargazo season in Cancun

Sargazo is a type of seaweed that can be found in the Caribbean Sea, including along the coast of Cancun. The presence of sargazo can have a significant impact on the region’s tourism industry and the environment.

The sargazo season in Cancun typically runs from May to October, with the highest concentrations of sargazo occurring from June to August. The cause of the increase in sargazo is still being studied, but it is believed to be related to a combination of natural and man-made factors, including changes in ocean currents, water temperature, and pollution.

The presence of sargazo can make swimming in the ocean less enjoyable, as the seaweed can cause skin irritation and unpleasant odors. It can also impact marine life and the local ecosystem. However, many beaches in Cancun work hard to keep their beaches clean and sargazo-free, providing a great experience for visitors.

To mitigate the impact of sargazo on tourism, many hotels and beach clubs in Cancun have implemented sargazo removal and prevention measures, including daily beach cleaning, the installation of nets to trap sargazo before it reaches the shore, and the use of specialized machinery to remove sargazo from the beach.

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While the sargazo season in the Riviera Maya can be unpredictable, visitors can still enjoy the region’s many attractions and activities, including shopping, dining, and visiting historical sites. Additionally, there are many other beaches in the region that are sargazo-free and offer excellent swimming and water sports opportunities.

Best time to visit the Riviera Maya depending of the seasons (1)

Best time to see whale sarks in Cancun

The best time to visit the Riviera Maya to see whale sharks in Cancun is between the months of June and September. During this period, whale sharks migrate to the waters off the coast of Cancun to feed on plankton that blooms in the warm waters.

Whale shark tours are offered by many operators in Cancun, typically from mid-May to mid-September. The tours generally depart early in the morning and last for about six to eight hours. They involve a boat ride to the open waters where whale sharks can be found.

During the tour, visitors are allowed to swim with the whale sharks, under the supervision of experienced guides. The tours are usually conducted in small groups to minimize the impact on the environment and ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all participants.

The whale shark tour packages offered by most operators usually include transportation to and from the hotel, snacks and drinks, snorkeling equipment, and the services of experienced guides. Visitors are advised to bring their own towels, sunscreen, and a change of clothes.

It is important to choose a reputable operator that follows responsible and sustainable practices to ensure that the whale sharks are not harmed in any way. Whale sharks are protected species, and it is illegal to touch or harm them. Visitors are advised to follow the guidelines provided by the tour operator and respect the whale sharks and their habitat.

Best whale shark tour in Cancun

MExplor is the ultimate choice for an unforgettable whale shark tour in Cancun. With years of experience and a team of knowledgeable and passionate guides, MExplor offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to swim alongside the gentle giants of the sea.

What sets MExplor apart is their commitment to sustainable tourism and responsible practices. They operate with a deep respect for the natural environment and the whale sharks, ensuring that every tour is conducted in a safe and sustainable manner.

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From the moment you step aboard their comfortable and spacious boats, you will be treated to exceptional service and personalized attention. Their expert guides will provide you with fascinating insights into the behavior and biology of the whale sharks, ensuring that you have a deeper appreciation for these magnificent creatures.

MExplor’s whale shark tour package includes everything you need for a comfortable and enjoyable experience, including transportation to and from your hotel, snorkeling equipment, and a delicious lunch served onboard. With a small group size, you’ll have plenty of space to swim with the whale sharks, take amazing photos, and create unforgettable memories.

Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the thrill of swimming with whale sharks in Cancun. Choose MExplor for an exceptional tour that combines adventure, education, and responsible tourism.


Best time to visit the Riviera Maya depending of the seasons (2)

Best time to see bull sharks in Cancun

The best time to visit the Riviera Maya to see bull sharks is from November to March. During this period, the waters around Playa del Carmen are cooler, and bull sharks migrate to the region’s shallow waters to mate and give birth.

Bull sharks are known for their aggressive nature and can be found in the shallow waters close to shore. While they are not typically a danger to humans, it is important to take caution and only observe them from a safe distance.

Many tour operators in Playa del Carmen offer diving and snorkeling tours to see bull sharks during their migration season. These tours are conducted by experienced guides who know the best locations to see these magnificent creatures.

It is important to choose a reputable tour operator that follows responsible and sustainable practices and provides proper safety equipment and guidelines for observing the sharks. Additionally, it is important to have previous diving experience to take part in a bull shark tour, as the waters around Playa del Carmen can have strong currents and low visibility.

Best time to visit the Riviera Maya

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The best time to visit the Riviera Maya is between the months of December and April, during the dry season. The weather during this period is generally sunny and dry, with comfortable temperatures and lower humidity. This makes it the perfect time for outdoor activities such as swimming, snorkeling, and exploring the region’s many natural wonders. Additionally, the peak tourist season is between December and March, so visitors can expect a lively and vibrant atmosphere, with plenty of events and activities to enjoy.

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What is the best time of year to visit Riviera Maya? ›

The best time to visit is between December and March when the weather is most settled. The hottest month of the year is May with an average daily maximum of 36 C and an average low of 23 C. The coolest month of the year is December with an average daily maximum of 28 C and an average low of 20 C.

What is the off season for Riviera Maya? ›

The low season, which is from September to November, is cooler with temperatures averaging around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. May is a bit of a transition month, with weather that varies widely from day to day. There can be cool nights, hot days, and even some rain.

Is January a good month to go to Riviera Maya? ›

The best times to visit Riviera Maya are January through April, the same as Cancun and Cozumel. The worst times are September and October during the peak rainy season. The three popular tourist destinations are located close to each other and share similar weather and peak tourism seasons.

What is the cheapest time of year to go to Riviera Maya? ›

High season is considered to be January, November and December. The cheapest month to fly from the United States is September. Enter your preferred departure airport and travel dates into the search form above to unlock the latest Riviera Maya flight deals.

Should I go to Riviera Maya in September? ›

The best months for good weather in Riviera Maya are January, February, March, April, May, July, November and December. On average, the warmest months are April, May, June, July, August, September and October. The rainiest months are June, September and October.

What is the coldest month in Riviera Maya? ›

June is the hottest month in Riviera Maya with an average temperature of 28°C (82°F) and the coldest is January at 23°C (73°F) with the most daily sunshine hours at 10 in August. The wettest month is September with an average of 247mm of rain.

What is the best time of year for Mexican Riviera? ›

Best Time to Visit and Weather

The best time to embark on a Mexican Riviera cruise is from late November to the end of February when the region experiences the dry season. You may want to avoid the rainy season from May to November when the area receives a lot of rainfall.

Does Riviera Maya have a hurricane season? ›

In summary, the hurricane season in Cancun and the Riviera Maya runs from June to November.

What is the difference between Riviera Maya and Riviera Cancun? ›

Oftentimes, people use Cancun and the Riviera Maya interchangeably; however, they are two different locations. Cancun is a city with a lot of residents while the Riviera Maya is a region south of Cancun with many smaller resort towns such as Playa del Carmen, Tulum, and Puerto Morelos all located along the water.

Which is better Cabo or Riviera Maya? ›

The best place for you will depend on your personal preferences! If you're looking for a luxurious setting where you can play golf on world-class courses, Cabo is your best option. But if you want to immerse yourself in Mexican culture and explore its rich history, the Riviera Maya is the better destination.

What is the latest season of Riviera? ›

Julia Stiles has revealed that there are currently no plans for a fourth season of Riviera. The actress starred as glamorous art curator Georgina Clios in three seasons of the Sky thriller series, which released its third run back in 2020.

Is there seaweed in Riviera Maya in January? ›

The Seaweed between Cancun and Tulum occur mostly in the summer months. Then the sea warms up and the algae bloom can grow. In winter there is basically no or less sargassum on the Riviera Maya. Therefore, these months are particularly suitable for a beach vacation on the east coast in Mexico.

Is Riviera Maya worth it? ›

In the end, there is no such thing as asking ourselves “is the Riviera Maya worth it?, because we know it totally is. If you have taken tropical vacations in the Caribbean or Hawaii and are looking for a new destination to visit, the Riviera Maya is an excellent choice.

Is Cancun better in January or February? ›

Winter: December to February

Winter months and early spring are top travel times in Cancun. Weather average temperatures are at their most pleasant, topping out in the low 80s, and many Americans are looking to escape the cold back home with a balmy vacation.

Where is better to go Cancun or Riviera Maya? ›

There's no doubt about it—there are many great places to party in the Yucatan Peninsula. But when comparing Cancun vs Riviera Maya, Cancun is the winner, hands-down. By visiting Cancun, you'll have access to world-class clubs and bars such as: Mandala.

Is it better to stay in Riviera Maya or Playa del Carmen? ›

If you don't plan to leave the resort, then staying in Riviera Maya may be the better choice for you. On the other hand, if you're looking for a more diverse travel experience with lots of outdoor activities and attractions nearby, then Playa del Carmen is a great place to stay.

What is the most expensive month to go to Mexico? ›

A: December and January tend to be the most expensive times to visit. Although Mexico City isn't as hot as some other cities in the country, it's still warmer than a lot of places in the world in the winter—making it an ideal getaway.

Does it rain a lot in Riviera Maya in September? ›

As we are in the tropics, the Mayan Riviera weather does include rain. And the majority of rain falls between July and September. These months have 70% of the rainfall during the year. But, even in the wettest period, this rain falls on average only 6 days a month!

Is there a lot of seaweed in Riviera Maya in September? ›

Seaweed season in Cancun is May to October so if you are visiting during those months in 2023 you could encounter sargassum seaweed on the beaches and/or in the water.

What is Riviera Maya like in September? ›

At this time of the year, you can expect nine hours of sunshine each day. The sun doesn't disappear until 7pm for most of the month and you'll get 12 hours of daylight. The average high daytime temperature in Riviera Maya in September's a balmy 32°C, but this may dip to around 23°C on cooler days.

Can you swim in Riviera Maya in November? ›

Yes! The water temperature in Riviera Maya in november is ideal. In november, swimming is ideal on the beaches around Riviera Maya! With water reaching 84°F at most and 82°F on average, spending time in the water is very pleasant.

Are there mosquitoes in Riviera Maya Mexico? ›

We've only had a problem with mosquitoes during one trip in September when we experienced higher humidity and temperatures, and it was only when we were around a certain pool in the resort. We always take insect repellent with us, but luckily have only needed it a few times.

Is the water warm in Riviera Maya? ›

One of the best things about the weather in the Riviera Maya is the fact that the waters are warm and soothing. The water temperatures hover between 78°F-80°F during the winter and 82°F-84°F during the summer.

What time of year is all inclusive cheapest in Mexico? ›

The months between July and October generally tend to be when you can score cheap accommodation prices, as low season means rates can drop as much as 40 percent.

What are the worst months for weather in Mexico? ›

The hottest months are April & May in the South, and July to September on Pacific Coast (Including Baja), and extremely hot in the Yucatan May to September. Also read about the dry season, below.

What is the perfect month to visit Mexico? ›

The best time to visit Mexico is during the dry season between December and April, when there is virtually no rain. The coolest months are between December and February, although temperatures can still reach averages of 82°F during the dry season. The wet season begins in the south in May and lasts until October.

Is the ocean swimmable in Riviera Maya? ›

Playa del Carmen, the north beach in Tulum, and Akumal all have lifeguards for the beaches but they are limited. Swim close to shore and it you are not a big swimmer, wear a life vest. Waves will not get to big, this is a not a surfers paradise so swimming can be done every day!

Do you need vaccinations for Riviera Maya? ›

Health on the Riviera Maya

Ensure that your Tetanus, Diphtheria and Polio vaccination is up to date. Hepatitis A and Typhoid are contracted via contaminated food and water, so it is vital that these are in date too. There is also a risk of Rabies, so anyone that is bitten by any mammal should be treated urgently!

Does Riviera Maya have a seaweed problem? ›

If you've been to the Riviera Maya before, there's more than likely a high chance that you've encountered sargassum before. Despite being home to some of the best, white-sanded beaches on the planet, the region's geographical location makes it a hot spot for the microalgae to wash up on.

Which part of Riviera Maya is best? ›

Cancun is the best place to stay in Riviera Maya if you are visiting for the first time. Cancun offers a lot of beautiful beaches, historical sites, and great hotels. Some of the best resorts in Cancun are Grand Fiesta Americana and Renaissance Cancun Resort.

Is Puerto Vallarta cheaper than Riviera Maya? ›

Prices & Cost

In general, Puerto Vallarta is cheaper than Cancun. If you want to keep your budget low, you night want to consider opting out of the all inclusive type vacation and book your own hotel and eat out at local restaurants.

What is the Riviera Maya known for? ›

The Riviera Maya is famous for its large scale all-inclusive resorts and a historical tourism base of smaller boutique hotels as well as the many fine-dining restaurants available along the Fed 307 and on or near the beaches.

What money should I take to Riviera Maya? ›

The currency in Riviera Maya is the Mexican Peso (Mex$). US dollars are sometimes accepted in some spots, but it's best to get your Riviera Maya currency sorted out before you go.

Where do you fly into for Riviera Maya? ›

A The Cancun International Airport is the closest to Riviera Maya, which is located 20-60 minutes away, depending on where you go.

Is Riviera Maya quieter than Cancun? ›

Quiet or Energetic? This is maybe the biggest difference when deciding between Riviera Maya or Cancun. They are certainly two very different ambiances. If you're looking for a strong nightlife and a bit of a livelier atmosphere, Cancun is likely the way you'll want to go.

What happens in season 3 of Riviera? ›

Riviera season 3 sees Georgina (Stiles) abandon the glamorous but cursed French Riviera and start her life over, only to be thrown headlong into a dark and dangerous conspiracy.

Where can I watch all 3 seasons of Riviera? ›

Currently you are able to watch "Riviera - Season 3" streaming on AMC Plus Apple TV Channel , AMC+ Amazon Channel, AMC+, DIRECTV, Sundance Now, Spectrum On Demand, AMC+ Roku Premium Channel or buy it as download on Apple TV, Amazon Video, Google Play Movies, Vudu.

How many seasons are in Riviera? ›

The first series premiered in the U.S. on 9 February 2019 on Ovation. The second season premiered on the network beginning on May 8, 2021 as part of the "Mystery Alley" block in a deal with Sky Studios. The second series was announced on 21 November 2017. It was renewed for a third and final series on 24 May 2019.

What are the worst months for seaweed in Cancun? ›

However, from June to August is the season when seaweed tends to arrive at our beaches in larger amounts. But not every year is the same, and sometimes you can find sargassum during winter too. Usually, some areas in Isla Mujeres and the Northside of Quintana Roo State are less affected than the South.

What are the worst months for seaweed in Playa del Carmen? ›

Sargassum season in the Mexican Caribbean typically runs from May through October, with July and August generally being the worst months for its arrival.

What month is seaweed season? ›

When is seaweed season? Seaweed season is March through October.

What are the best seasons in Riviera Maya? ›

The best time to visit Riviera Maya is in the spring, specifically in April and May, between hurricane season and busy season. If you visit between June and November, you risk your vacation being ruined by a hurricane, and December through March is when most people are visiting, so you will face crowds and high prices.

Is Riviera Maya safe to travel now? ›

The state of Quintana Roo — which includes popular tourist areas such Cancun, Cozumel and the Riviera Maya — is another area where the State Departments advises visitors to “exercise increased caution due to crime and kidnapping.”

Is Riviera Maya safe from cartel? ›

Both Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Maya are safe tourist areas. However, Puerto Vallarta is perhaps the slightly safer option of the two. Although the state of Jalisco has stricter travel warnings, you do not hear of Mexican drug cartels having fights and shootouts in Puerto Vallarta as you do in Cancun.

What are the best worst months to travel to Cancun? ›

The best time to visit Cancun is March and April when temperatures are in the 80s Fahrenheit and high 20s Celsius. Rainfall is the lowest of the year. The worst time is September and October during hurricane season.

What is the slowest month in Cancun? ›

Cancun's low season runs from June through October as it's the main rainy season in Mexico.

What month is Cancun least crowded? ›

Low season in Cancun

The low season is from June to October, with September and October being the least crowded. Tourists won't surround you, and you'll get the best prices.

How long is the shuttle from Cancun to Riviera Maya? ›

The common duration of a transportation service to The Grand Mayan Riviera Maya departing from Cancun Airport is 45 Mins.

Is Riviera Maya a party town? ›

Nightlife is big in the area, with trendy clubs such as Coco Bongo - which has clubs in both locations - offering non stop action until the wee hours of the morning. If you enjoy partying near the beach, Cancun won't disappoint you.

How far apart is Cancun and Riviera Maya? ›

Traveling outside of Cancun to the Riviera Maya requires more driving time. It is approximately 45 miles (or more) to reach the Riviera Maya. This means that you will be in the car for a minimum of an hour if you choose to stay in the Riviera Maya region of Mexico.

What is the difference between Riviera Maya and Playa del Carmen? ›

Playa del Carmen is a town, which is in the Riviera Maya. The Riviera Maya is also called the Mayan Riviera and is an area, which runs from just south of Cancun, until Tulum, and the entrance of the Sian Ka'an Biosphere.

What day of the week is cheapest to fly to Mexico? ›

Tips to find the best deals available every time you shop. Cheapest Days to Fly: The cheapest days to fly Mexico destinations are often Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday but this can vary; be sure to check the FareCompare Flexible Search Calendar to see the best days to fly for your trip.

What month are flights cheapest to Mexico? ›

Top tips for finding cheap flights to Mexico

Book at least 3 weeks before departure in order to get a below-average price. High season is considered to be January, November and December. The cheapest month to fly from the United States is May.

How much money should I take for a week in Mexico? ›

A good rule of thumb is to bring 25% of your overall budget in cash to avoid carrying around huge wads of money. What is this? For example, if your daily budget is $50 and you'll be in Mexico for six days, you should plan to bring $60-70 in cash.

What is hurricane season in Riviera Maya? ›

Hurricane season on the Riviera Maya runs from June 1 through November 30. The highest risk of storm activity is historically between August and October. The good news is, hurricanes are fairly rare.

What is the rainiest month in Riviera Maya? ›

June is the hottest month in Riviera Maya with an average temperature of 28°C (82°F) and the coldest is January at 23°C (73°F) with the most daily sunshine hours at 10 in August. The wettest month is September with an average of 247mm of rain.

Should I go to Cancun or Riviera Maya? ›

Despite the fact that the beach is beautiful in both places, some people prefer the beach in Cancun because it's wider and more vibrant in color than the beach in the Riviera Maya. Many honeymooners choose the Riviera Maya because the region tends to be more romantic.

What is the difference between Cancun and Riviera Maya? ›

What is Cancun and What is the Riviera Maya? Cancun is a large city located at the northeast tip of the Yucatan Peninsula. It was the very first tourism specific destination built in the early 70's. The Riviera Maya is a region to the south of Cancun that starts at Puerto Morelos and ends at the Sian Ka'an Biosphere.

Why is Riviera Maya popular? ›

It renowned for its nightlife, all inclusive resorts and beautiful beaches and is where most visitors base themselves on the Riviera Maya.

How long is the ride from Cancun airport to Riviera Maya? ›

The common duration of a transportation service to The Grand Mayan Riviera Maya departing from Cancun Airport is 45 Mins.

Is Riviera Maya a party city? ›

Nightlife is big in the area, with trendy clubs such as Coco Bongo - which has clubs in both locations - offering non stop action until the wee hours of the morning. If you enjoy partying near the beach, Cancun won't disappoint you.


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