Best Time to Visit Playa del Carmen

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Best time to go to Playa del Carmen - 2023 January - December Guide

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Are you wondering when the best time to visit Playa del Carmen is? Well, you’re not alone. In this article, we will share the best months and the ones to avoid. So keep on reading to find the ideal time to visit Playa del Carmen for your kind of holiday.

Playa del Carmen Beach
Playa del Carmen Beach

About Playa del Carmen

In the last decade, Playa del Carmen has become a favorite for expats and digital nomads because of its great weather, good infrastructure, and proximity to the beach, islands, reefs, cenotes and stunning Mayan ruins. 

While this Riviera Maya’s emerging star is a year-round resort destination, visitor numbers fluctuate throughout the year. Choosing the right time to visit will make the experience even more unique. Snowbirds and spring breakers flood in over the winter and spring, causing hotel prices to skyrocket and the beach town’s population to tenfold. 

However, if you don’t mind a little rain and high humidity, the ideal time to come could be in the autumn, when visitor numbers decrease and costs plummet. Fortunately, Playa del Carmen never closes, and lousy weather usually lasts up to a few days.

Here’s a comprehensive guide on the best times to visit Playa del Carmen, season by season and month by month.


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When is the best month to visit Playa del Carmen?

Expert Tip: The end of November and the first week of December right after Thanksgiving is, hands down, the best time to visit Playa del Carmen. Not only are flights and lodgings cheaper during this period, but the weather is near-perfect!

When is Peak Season in Playa del Carmen?

Peak season in Playa del Carmen is from December to April. High season delivers warm days and mild nights but also large crowds and excessive pricing. Beaches are bursting to the seams, and hotel costs skyrocket over the holidays and spring break. While the mild weather makes the outdoors delightful, don’t anticipate peace and quiet as revelers descend to the beautiful town for a good time. Make sure you make your trip plans many months in advance.

What is the busiest time of the year in Playa del Carmen? 

Spring break, Easter, and August are the most popular times to visit Playa del Carmen

When is Off-season in Playa del Carmen?

Off-season in Playa del Carmen is July and August. Summer in Playa del Carmen brings scorching heat and oppressive humidity. Despite this, Mexicans and international visitors flock to the area to enjoy their summer holidays. While there may be occasional rain showers, the sun will always shine for the rest of the day. Make the most of the pleasant nights by attending Playa’s annual festival of its patron saint, la Virgen del Carmen.

When is Shoulder season in Playa del Carmen?

Shoulder season in Playa del Carmen is May to June and September to November. Visit Playa del Carmen during the shoulder season, particularly November, for the perfect combination of fantastic weather, fewer crowds, and travel deals. However, due to the blazing heat, tropical storms, and Sargassum (seaweed), most travelers try to avoid this season. 

When is Hurricane Season in Playa del Carmen?

Hurricane season in Playa del Carmen runs from June to October and peaks during the fall with gusts of wind, heavier rain, and the occasional power outages. However, hurricanes are very rare in Playa del Carmen. The town is only experiencing a few storms every year. It does rain a lot more these months, especially during the day, but you get sunny blue skies for the rest of the day.  

The worst month to visit Playa del Carmen?

October is the worst month to visit Playa del Carmen. Yes, the weather will still be pleasant most of the day (it always is), but hurricane season is at its peak, so heavier rain showers during the day might make you change your plans.

Want to learn more about Playa del Carmen’s tourism seasons and month-by-month expert tips? Then, we have all the answers for you below!

Playa del Carmen’s two season

When is the dry season?

The dry season in Playa del Carmen lasts from December to April, and it is also by far the most popular time to visit the area. During the dry season, you get the best weather, with average temperatures in the mid-70s to low-80s Fahrenheit (25-30 Celsius). However, this is also the busiest time of the year for Playa del Carmen so if you want to avoid the tourist crowds, make sure you visit during the rainy season. 

When is the Rainy Season?

The rainy season in Playa del Carmen is May-November. The temperatures are still very pleasant, but there is more rainfall and the possibility of hurricanes. You will enjoy the rainy season if you want to avoid the cross (who doesn’t) and are ok with occasional showers or sprinkles of rain during the day or are on a budget and want to save money on transport and hotels. 

Here’s a monthly look at what to anticipate in Playa del Carmen throughout the year (although events are always subject to change). 


January – Crowded with warm days and cool nights

Average Temperature: 60 – 80°F

Sunny days and mild nights for the start of the year as vacationers continue to travel to Playa for some winter solace. Christmas celebrations continue into the first week of January with the famed Three Kings parade. While Playa del Carmen isn’t really big on traditions, Rosca de Reyes (a cake traditionally eaten on the feast day) is available in most shops and bakeries.

Key Events for January:  Día de Los Reyes Magos (Epiphany)


February – Carnaval Celebrations

Average Temperature: 64 – 87°F

The beautiful weather continues, but Tulum quiets down (still busy compared to the off-season). Except during Carnaval, when parades, outrageous costumes, live music, and dancing take over the streets of this quiet town.

Perfect weather continues throughout, and February is when some of Playa del Carmen’s best parties happen. ZoukMX dance festival takes place throughout the whole month and ends with a big beach and jungle party. 

Carnaval Playa del Carmen
Carnaval Playa del Carmen

Key Events for February: Carnaval, Day of the Constitution, ZoukMX, and the Arena Festival.


March – Spring Breakers descend

Average Temperature: 65 – 88°F

Spring breakers arrive on the shores of the Yucatan as the temperature rises. Beaches, restaurants, nightclubs, and bars are crowded with younger folks. March is also probably the best month to explore the Mayan ruins of Chichén Itzá, which is about a 2.5 hour taxi ride from Playa del Carmen. 

Key Events for March: Spring Break and Spring Equinox


April – Easter, and prices go up

Average Temperature: 66 – 91°F

Tourism picks up again as Mexicans flock to the beach during Semana Santa for Easter vacation. Sargassum (seaweed) begins to develop on the beaches as temperatures rise. Churches are packed on Easter Sunday, and the Riviera Maya Film Festival takes place in the middle of April, with a week of free movie screenings across the city (free movies!!!).

Key Events for April: Easter, Holy Week, and Riviera Maya Film Festival 


May – Sacred Mayan Journey 

Average Temperature: 70 – 92°F

Cinco de Mayo isn’t a huge deal in Playa, although bars and nightclubs have drink and beer specials to commemorate the holiday. The Sacred Maya Journey begins at the end of May with the traditional large boats appearing in Xcaret Park, recreating an old Mayan rite in which pilgrims made yearly pilgrimages to Cozumel Island to pay homage to Ixchel, the fertility goddess.

Key Events for May: Cinco de Mayo and the Sacred Mayan Journey


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June – Best Month for hotel deals

Average Temperature: 71 – 92°F

This month marks the formal start of the rainy season, with scorching sunny and humid days and brief afternoon rain showers. Tourists are few, and prices reach their all-time lows as hotels are trying to lure tourists in with deals.

Key Events for June: Not much. It’s just too hot and humid outside.


July – The start of the vacation season for Mexico, and prices go up

Average Temperature: 72 – 93°F

It gets even more humid and hot as Mexicans flock for their summer vacation, making prices go up. In mid-July, Playa enthusiastically celebrates the Festival of the Virgin of Carmen, with women dressed in embroidered huipil parading the streets with gilded images of their patron saint. Palacio Municipal also hosts a variety of cultural activities, mariachi performances, and live music acts during the Feria del Carmen.

Key Events for July: Feria del Carmen (fair)


August – It is melting hot. Seriously. It is boiling…and humid

Average Temperature: 71 – 91°F

The hot August days go hand in hand with afternoon thunderstorms. Despite being one of the hottest months of the year, Playa del Carmen continues to attract big crowds of summer visitors from Mexico and Europe. The scorching heat and wet days herald the arrival of tropical storms. Sargassum seaweed appears on beaches.

Key Events for August: Not much. It’s just too hot and humid outside.


September – Storm Season Part 1

Average Temperature: 68 – 89°F

It is the height of the hurricane season, but the sun shines daily over the blue skies before and after the rain showers. Tourists are few as power outages, as hurricane season, flash floods keep them away. Locals commemorate Mexican Independence Day in the middle of the month by painting their faces and echoing “Viva Mexico!” thought the country. This is your opportunity to see El Grito, a war cry reenactment, at Palacio Municipal.

Key Events for September: Mexican Independence Day


October – Storm Season Part 2

Average Temperature: 66 – 87°F

The rainiest month of the year. Some restaurants and hotels close down, but most will remain open. Beaches are deserted, and if you’re fortunate, the sun will shine through for the most part of your trip. Halloween is celebrated towards the end of October. Adult partygoers frequently dress up in costumes and party in the clubs till the early morning hours.

Key Events for October: Halloween


 November – Great Weather and Festival Season begins

Average Temperature: 67 – 85°F

November is the greatest month to visit Playa del Carmen as the rain is less often and the crowds are still thin. Mexico celebrates one of its most significant holidays during the first week of November – the Day of the Dead. While Playa’s festivities pale in contrast to those in the neighboring Mexican towns of Cancun and Tulum, the Dia de Muertos festival in Xcaret Park is definitely worth attending. Small parades take place along Fifth Avenue, and people traditionally gather at the municipal cemetery around midnight.

Dia de los Muertes Festival
Dia de los Muertes Festival

Key Events for November: Dia de Los Muertos and Riviera Maya Jazz Festival.


December – Best Weather in Playa del Carmen and the highest pricing

Average Temperature: 63 – 84°F

The skies clear, and Playa regains its picture-perfect appearance. International travelers mean crowded beaches, completely booked resorts, and sky-high rates. Restaurants begin to fill up in mid-December when Mexicans descend for posadas (Christmas parties). Because almost everyone in Playa goes out for Christmas and New Year’s Eve, book your restaurant reservations early.

Key Events for December: Feast of the Virgen de Guadalupe, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve.

Bottom Line – The best time to visit Playa del Carmen

The best time to visit Play del Carmen really depends on your interests and the activities you want to enjoy. Playa has a tropical climate; thus, it is hot and humid all year, so you can’t really go wrong visiting Play del Carmen any time of the year (ok…maybe try to avoid October).


Most frequent questions and answers

The shoulder months of April, May, November, and December are the best times to visit Playa Del Carmen. You’ll find fewer people and more pleasant weather throughout these months.

Overall, you can go to Playa Del Carmen almost any time of year and have a terrific time. However, some periods of the year are better than others. 

Travelers, expats, and digital nomads flock to Playa Del Carmen for a variety of reasons, but the most prevalent are:

  • The beautiful white sandy beaches
  • Warm turquoise blue oceans
  • All-inclusive resorts
  • Mysterious and majestic cenotes
  • A more laid-back vacation than Cancun
  • Vibrant coral reefs

There are several things to do in Playa, like shopping till you drop, participating in an array of water sports, swimming in surrounding famed cenotes, exploring Mayan ruins, and enjoying the famed Mexican cuisine. Playa Del Carmen has plenty to offer practically every type of tourist!

Travelers, expats, and digital nomads flock to Playa Del Carmen for a variety of reasons, but the most prevalent are:

  • The beautiful white sandy beaches
  • Warm turquoise blue oceans
  • All-inclusive resorts
  • Mysterious and majestic cenotes
  • A more laid-back vacation than Cancun
  • Vibrant coral reefs

There are several things to do in Playa, like shopping till you drop, participating in an array of water sports, swimming in surrounding famed cenotes, exploring Mayan ruins, and enjoying the famed Mexican cuisine. Playa Del Carmen has plenty to offer practically every type of tourist!

No one really knows when the phenomenon will occur. Sargassum generally appears as the water temperature rises during the summer months. When the sea cools, it disappears.

But Playa del Carmen is much more than just the beach. So, if you’re going to visit and there’s Sargassum, go swimming in cenotes. 

If you are looking for the best deals for hotels and flights for your trip to Playa del Carmen, then September is your best bet. Due to the rainy weather, this time of the year is less busy with travelers and hotels, and airlines are more open to deals and discounts.

January is the cheapest month to fly from the United States to Playa del Carmen.

The short answer is that it depends on your nationality. A visa is not required for Americans Citizens if their stay is less than 90 days. Most international visitors will just need to get a tourist card rather than a visa. 

If you decide to stay in Mexico for more than six months, you must apply for a Mexican residence permit.

Traveling to 🇲🇽 Mexico soon?

I recommend these travel resources for Mexico that I personally use:

🏨 Hotels: I have found that Expedia and consistently have the best deals on hotels and resorts in Mexico. If you prefer to stay at a vacation rental, check VRBO that is usually cheaper than AirBnB’s added fees!

✈️ Flights: To find the best flight deals to Mexico, I always use Kayak. Remember to subscribe to their price alerts for the travel dates you want. Another great alternative for flight deals is Expedia.

🚗 Rental Cars: I always use and highly recommend Discover Cars because it allows me to compare several car rental companies and view ratings on various factors such as overall value, pick-up procedure, agent efficiency, car condition, and total time taken.

🚙 Cancun Airport Transportation: For the fastest and easiest way to travel, I suggest arranging a private transfer with Cancun Airport Transportation. Honestly, no better way to travel from the airport to your hotel or resort.

🤿 Tours & Activities: For tours and activities in Mexico, I highly recommend using either Viator or GetYourGuide. These websites offer a full refund if you cancel your booking 24 hours before the start of the tour, and they also provide excellent customer service in case of any issues.

🚨 Travel Insurance: I always suggest purchasing travel insurance as a precaution before traveling, especially after a recent accident in a taxi in Mexico. For short trips, I recommend Travel Insurance Master, whereas for digital nomads, Safety Wing is a better option.

📷 Best Camera for your trip: I always carry with me a GoPro, It’s light, compact, takes great video and pictures, and most importantly, it’s waterproof! You just can’t go wrong with one. If you are interested in higher quality video and photography, I always carry with me on my trips and highly recommend the Sony A7IV which I think is the best travel DSLR Camera out there.

☀️ Biodegradable Sunscreen: Remember to include a good sunscreen to protect yourself from the summer sun. I always use and suggest Sun Bum Sunscreen, which is vegan, reef-friendly, and cruelty-free.