Social media-driven fame keeps drawing flocks of trendy tourists to the pearl of Mexico on Riviera Maya, and it is not surprising. The turquoise Caribbean waters, the powdery white sandy beaches, and the soul of Mayan Culture make Tulum a paradise on Earth.
With its popularity being on a perpetual rise, this ancient port town has become one of the most populated and expensive destinations in Mexico, particularly during the winter high season.
The low season attracts budget travelers despite the warmer weather due to great hotel deals and the uncongested townscape. The right time to travel there depends a lot on what you are looking for. Let’s help you figure out which is the best time to travel to Tulum.
Tulum’s Tourism Seasons
Here’s what this little seaside town’s tourism seasons look like.
High Season: Mid-December to April
The high season starts during the winter months, moving slowly into spring. Since the temperature is perfect and the humidity is lower, these are the best months to visit Tulum.
Most of the tourists descend towards the town in December, January, and February, especially visitors from the US and Canada, who want to skip out on their own harsh winters and enjoy the tropical sunshine.
If you thrive in a lively atmosphere and don’t mind being around crowds, this time is perfect for you. Be sure to book in advance as places sell out fast, and the prices skyrocket during high season.
Shoulder Seasons: July to August and November to mid-December
In July and August, the weather is still humid with light showers, but you still get plenty of sunshine. Travelers from various parts of the globe come during this time to enjoy Tulum’s nightlife.
The nights are perfect for moonlit beach parties, downtown bar hopping, and pool parties, and you can do all this without breaking the bank.
November offers you the best of both worlds as the weather starts to clear out, crowds are thinner, and the prices are still low.
Low Seasons: May to June and September to October
This is the so-called low season when you’ll find fewer crowds, cheaper accommodation, and a more relaxed vibe. May/June months can get hot if you’re inland, but you can still enjoy the seas and explore cenotes and Mayan ruins.
In June, September, and October, you’ll see rain. But rain in there doesn’t last long, and you’ll get plenty of sunshine. This is the best time to travel to Tulum if you want to interact with locals and get discounted deals on hotels.
October is considered peak hurricane season. It’s best to avoid visiting during this time as seaside activities are limited, and you won’t be able to enjoy the true essence of Riviera Maya.
Best Months to Visit Tulum
January – The Busy One
January is especially busy and lively with New Year’s parties, dia de Reyes celebrations (end of Christmas), multi-day music festivals, LGBTQI+ festivals, and late-night partying. It is the peak of the high season as days are warm, nights are cool, places are crowded, and prices are high.
February – Carnaval Takes Over
As the pleasant weather continues with clear skies and warm weather, crowds start to shed a little. There is a constant party atmosphere thanks to Carnaval, where you can enjoy live music, Mexican street food, costumes, and drinks. This time is ideal to enjoy the beaches and explore the Mayan ruins, cenotes, and other hidden gems.
March – Time for Maya Celebrations
As temperatures start to rise, you see a spurt of spring breaker descend towards the beaches. In March, Tulum hosts the Alborada Maya Festival, a fusion of Mayan and Catholic traditions, and Chichen Itza has spring equinox celebrations. For events, there is a five-day food and wine festival featuring chefs from all around the world.
April – High Price
The weather starts getting hot, and many local Mexicans flock toward the beach (it’s a national tradition). It’s the best time for a family vacation with fewer parties and crowds.
This weather is best for enjoying the beach and exploring Tulum. Plus, Dia del Nino is celebrated, so you can get discounts for kids.
May – Best Hotel Deals
Low season starts, tourism slows down, and you get great hotel deals. As temperatures rise, the ocean water gets warmer, making it ideal for snorkeling, diving, and other water sports.
May hosts the 8-day Festival de Cultura del Caribe, which celebrates Mexican, Mayan, and Caribbean culture. Unlike most of Mexico, Cinco de Mayo isn’t big here, but you’ll find bars offering drink deals.
June- Best for Low Budget Traveler
June is the best time of year to go to Tulum for a quiet holiday with fewer crowds and on a budget. It’s a rainy month, but the showers pass quickly.
Since this is when the hurricane season often starts, some tours and attractions close down during this time. But it’s peak season for whale shark spotting tours, which are a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Music lovers can visit Playa del Carmen for La Fete de la Musique.
July – The Vacation Season
July is warm and humid, with high temperatures and some rain. Humidity gets high, but it’ll feel fine when you’re by the coast. It’s the peak of summer vacation for Mexicans, making it a busy season for local visitors. In July, the tours to see and swim with whale sharks are at their peak.
August – The Hottest Season
August is the hottest month, but this is when showers slow down. So come with your cotton summer clothes, loads of sunscreen, big sunglasses, and floppy hats.
Sea turtle season is in full swing near the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, and it’s the last month for guaranteed spotting and swimming with whale sharks.
September – The Height of The Hurricane Season
As hurricane season begins, you get to see a lot of rain with less sunshine. But the good thing is that the temperatures start to drop a little.
September is when Mexico celebrates the Autumn Equinox and Independence Day with lots of good food, fireworks, music, and dancing.
October – Low-cost Rooms
You’ll get to see a lot of rainfall, so some businesses close down or reduce hours. But most of them offer some huge deals on rooms, food, and drinks. Since there are fewer tourists around, you get to spend a lot of peaceful time on beaches and even click great pictures without getting photobombed.
November – The Beginning of The Festivals
With the hurricane season starting to descend in November, the weather becomes cooler in Tulum. In my opinion, it’s the best time to go there before peak season begins and crowds get crazy.
You can enjoy yourself on the beaches or explore the inlands. Don’t miss out on the Day of the Dead, the Riviera Maya Festival, and the Tulum Food, Wines, and Spirit Festival.
December – Best Weather But High Price
With hurricane season finally over, December marks the beginning of the peak season. The weather is perfect, with clear blue skies, warm temperatures, and little to no rain. As the month progresses, you’ll see more and more tourists roll in, driving up the prices for almost everything. So make sure you book everything in advance.
Best Times to Visit Tulum to Avoid the Seaweed
One of the most common concerns among tourists is to avoid sargassum seaweed season. There is no guarantee you’ll be able to avoid seaweed. You tend to spot more and more of it as the weather gets warm and humid between April and October.
June and July are often the peak months and can even make the beach water unswimmable. If you want to avoid this smelly brown plant on beaches and in water, you’d like to visit between November and April.
Worst Times to Visit Tulum
Being a year-round destination, the best time to go to Tulum really depends on what you want from your vacation.
If you are looking to spend some peaceful time with a smaller crowd or are on a low budget, you must avoid the peak season from December to April.
If you want to vacation in a pleasant temperature with sunshine and no rain I’d suggest avoiding May, June, September, and especially October when it is peak hurricane season. During these four months, a lot of places tend to close down, and limited events are going on around town.
You should also take seaweed season seriously, especially if you like your beach time. If you do visit during Sargassam time, make sure to book a hotel with a nice poolside and try dipping in the cenotes.
When is the best time to visit Tulum? It is a tropical haven throughout the entire year. So the best time to go there depends on what you’re looking for.
Each month has something unique to offer in terms of weather, events, and prices. It could be vibrant crowds, peak party season, warm temperatures, no crowds, budget hotel deals, events, and festivals. I hope I could help you pick and plan the right time for your perfect Mexican escapade!