Tulum has incredible street food options.

Best time to visit Riviera Maya (2024)

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The Riviera Maya in Mexico makes a perfect vacation destination. There are luxurious resorts, access to one of the world’s wonders, and adventure activities that can’t be beaten!

The relatively small part of the Yucatan peninsula has beautiful beaches but there are better times than others to bask in the sun. In this part of Mexico, you’ll find luxury resorts dotting the coastline. But, there are also incredible things to do when you’re off of the resort property. It’s part of what makes this area so special! Read on to learn about the best time to visit the Riviera Maya and so much more.

Where is Riviera Maya Mexico?

The Riviera Maya is part of Mexico known for its beaches and sunshine. Find it on the Yucatan Peninsula south of Cancun in the state of Quintana Roo. It includes cities like Playa del Carmen, Tulum, and Puerto Morelos.

Cancun isn’t technically included in the Riviera Maya, but I won’t judge if you count it.

Cancun is the heart of the party scene, nearby Cozumel is cruise central, and the Riviera Maya offers the best of the two worlds!

What’s the overall best time to visit Riviera Maya?

The Riviera Maya is known for its warm, sunny, weather, and stunning white sand beaches. But, like most tropical decisions, there are two different weather seasons in Rivera Maya: a rainy season and a dry season.

The rainy season in Riviera Maya starts in May and goes through November. The term “rainy season” doesn’t mean it rains all day every day. But, it does mean there is a chance of rain most days.

So, the best time to go to Riviera Maya is actually the spring. In spring the weather is warming up but the rain hasn’t come yet.

In recent years a massive seaweed bloom has hit the banks of the Riviera Maya in summer. So, best to get there in spring before it has a chance to show up! 

What’s the best time to go to Riviera Maya by Month?

Planning a trip to Riviera Maya means you should always know what weather to expect; there’s a big difference between the rainy season and the dry season!

Below are details about the Riviera Maya weather by month. This month-by-month guide includes what to expect for weather, flight prices, and what activities are in season.

Riviera Maya in January

January is in the dry season but there is still a chance for rain.

Highs are in the low 80s and lows can dip into the high 60s but generally stay in the 70s. 

The weather provides a warm escape from the cold weather in other parts of the world. So, even though January isn’t the prime weather season in the Riviera Maya, it’s still a popular time to visit.

In January you’re likely to have sunny days and the ocean is still relatively warm if you want to swim! 

Since the weather is milder but sunny, this can be a great time to explore some of the Mayan Ruins in the area. Take a tour or a road trip to see the sights since the weather is perfect for exploring!

Riviera Maya in February

In February, the weather in Riviera Maya is similar to in January. Except, it just gets a little bit warmer. The highs creep into the mid-80s but the lows stay the same.

If you’re looking for a warm getaway for Valentine’s Day then this part of Mexico is a great place to look! The weather is warm and the water isn’t too bad either so you can enjoy all of your favorite beach activities.

Riviera Maya in March

In March, the temperatures continue to rise but the chance of rain stays small. You’ll have sunny days, maybe a few clouds, but a low chance of rain.

With its warming weather and minimal chance of rain, March is one of the best times to visit Riviera Maya.You can even get lucky to have some of the first days of the year that see temperatures in the high 80s.

Riviera Maya in April

Based on the weather alone, April is the best month to visit Riviera Maya. So, start planning a spring break trip!

The temperatures cruise up into the high 80s but April isn’t the rainy season. So, you may get some cloud cover but rain shouldn’t ruin your plans.

Flight prices are generally lower in April, which is a big bonus.

Riviera Maya in May

May officially starts the rainy season. Temperatures go up into the 90s but the chance of rain/thunderstorms also increases.

But, flight prices are lowest in May. So, it may be worth the risk if you can get a good price on a flight early in the month. 

Even though it isn’t peak season, if you’re interested in swimming with whale sharks the season can start as early as May in Cancun. But, it’s not the best chance and there are never guarantees. 

Riviera Maya in June

June is considered the rainy season in the Riviera Maya. But, it’s also peak summer break for American schools. So, flight prices are at some of their highest all year. 

If you’re tied to a school schedule you may be stuck traveling in June. But, even if you can move your vacation back a month to July you’ll likely have a better experience.

June will still provide temperatures in the 90s’ and warm water for swimming in the ocean. On rainy days you can head to Cenotes to swim or visit some of the Mayan ruins.

Riviera Maya in July

July is another popular time to visit the Riviera Maya. Even though it’s summer break for school the rainy season and stifling warmth (highs in the low 90s) balance out and keep flight prices around average for the year.

Exploring ruins means waking up early to try to beat the heat and humidity. It’s no fun wandering around in the sun with no shade for relief!

If you’re interested in swimming with whale sharks on your trip July is one of the best months to visit. It’s worth it to put up with the weather if seeing whale sharks is your priority.

Riviera Maya in August

August has some of the hottest days of the year for the Riviera Maya. There is a chance of rain since it’s still the rainy season. The rain usually comes in short bursts though so you’d still have plenty of time to enjoy the sunshine.

The water is quite warm for swimming and snorkeling! Plus, August is another peak month for swimming with whale sharks.

Riviera Maya in September

The heat and rain from August continue into September. Flight prices are a bit better at the end of the summer season.

In September the highs are around 90 degrees. The sun is out but September is the rainiest month in Riviera Maya. Be sure to pack a rain jacket to manage the short bursts of rainfall that are likely this month.

Whale shark season comes to a close in September so this is your last good chance to swim with the giant fish.

Riviera Maya in October

October means the rainy season is coming to a close. The temperatures start to fall a little bit but highs are still generally in the upper 80s. Lows hang around the mid-70s. 

The sun is still out in Riveria Maya in October. You’ll want sunglasses and a raincoat to manage the hot sun with the potential for rain.

The water holds on to some of its summer warmth at the beginning of October.

Riviera Maya in November

The Riviera Maya becomes popular with tourists again as the northern hemisphere heads into winter.

November brings back temperatures in the mid-80s with highs in the low 70s. So, markedly cooler than a few months prior. But, not cold!

The days get shorter as the rain makes its way out of the area but it’s still a great time at the beach. November can be a bit windy as well.

Riviera Maya in December

December is one of the more popular months for travelers. Especially at the end of the month for the winter holidays.

Highs stay in the mid-80s and lows hang out around 70 degrees. The winds can hang around this time of year. Plus, flight prices are a bit higher than in other months with so many northerners attempting to escape the cold for the holidays.

What’s the best time to go to Riviera Maya by Month

The white sand beaches of the Riviera Maya are the first draw to the area. But, there are so many other things to do when you aren’t at the beach! For starters, be sure to check out the main shopping square at night. The performances are incredible and you can enjoy some freshly chopped mango while you watch!

1. Take a Tour to Chichen Itza

If you’re going to visit one site outside of the coast, Chichen Itza should be your pick. Chichen Itza used to be a major Mayan city. The ruins are now one of the wonders of the world. The main pyramid will take your breath away. But, be sure to see the entire site. It’s incredible. 

There are plenty of tour options available and you’ll want a guide so you can learn about the history and get the most out of your experience.

2. Visit Isla Holbox – An Island Paradise

It may seem silly to go from one beach paradise to another. But, Isla Holbox has a feeling all its own. The little island is off the northern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula and it’s like going back in time. It is nowhere near as developed as the Mayan Riviera so you get a very laid-back island vibe. Plus, there is a park on the island filled with flamingos!


3. Snorkel at one of the best Reefs in the World

The coral reef near the Riviera Maya is the 2nd largest in the world; second only to the Great Barrier Reef. This means you can find some pretty incredible snorkeling, or SCUBA diving, in the area.

Be sure to book your tour early since these are likely to sell out.

4. Swim with Whale Sharks

There aren’t many places in the world where you can swim with whale sharks. The Riviera Maya is one of the places in the world where whale sharks visit in a predictable pattern. The best months for whale shark swimming are July and August. The boat ride is long but the swim with the giant fish is absolutely worth the trouble. 

5. Take a swim in a Cenote

Cenotes are basically underground pools. They were formed by water running through the limestone underneath the ground. Then, they filled with spring water. Now, we have hundreds of amazing natural pools to explore.

Some of the cenotes are fully underground and some aren’t. Each cenote is unique and special. If you’ve seen one you have not seen them all!

Where to stay in Riviera Maya 

The Riviera Maya is a popular vacation destination which means there are lots of options for where you can stay.


To experience all that the Riviera Maya has to offer on a budget consider looking into an apart-hotel. They’re reasonable and you can sometimes save on food costs as a bonus!

But, there are traditional hotels that are well-reviewed and great for a budget too. Playa del Carmen is the perfect place to look. It’s very walkable and easy to navigate and there are lots of hotels.


When looking for a midrange hotel in Riviera Maya consider one of the local hotels. Typically you can get a few more amenities than a chain hotel. Plus, nothing beats a stay at a local boutique hotel like the Jungle Lodge.


The Riviera Maya is well-known for its luxury properties and all-inclusive resorts. There are lots to choose from but you can’t beat The Fives. 

For a luxury experience that isn’t all-inclusive The Fives – Downtown Playa del Carmen is the best choice. The rooftop pool views alone are worth the stay!

When is the hurricane season in Riviera Maya?

Hurricane seasons at Riviera Maya coincide with the rainy season; June- November. The highest probability is from August to October. Hurricanes are rare but they can certainly ruin your trip.

When is the high season in Riviera Maya?

The high season in Riviera Maya is from January to April. 

The temperatures are high and the risk for rain is low making it a perfect time to visit as long as you can handle the crowds. 

When is the shoulder season in Riviera Maya?

The should seasons in Riviera Maya are November and May. April can be tossed in there too. 

Even though April is a popular month you can still find shoulder season prices depending on when you’re looking.

Best time to visit Riviera Maya: FAQs

Learn about the best time to visit Playa Del Carmen by month

What’s the worst time to go to Riviera Maya?

September and October are the peak hurricane season and, therefore, the peak rainy season. 

What’s the cheapest time to visit Riviera Maya? 

Hurricane/Rainy season is the off-season for Riviera Maya. So, it will be cheaper to visit from June-November. The cheapest months are October-November.

What’s the best month to visit Riviera Maya?

April is the best month to visit the Riviera Maya. You get the benefit of warm weather without the rainy season or the peak season crowds.

What is the rainy season in Riviera Maya? 

The rainy season in Riviera Maya is from June- November. The rainy season means that rain is possible, or likely, most days. But, even still that doesn’t mean it will pour rain on you all day every day. Usually, it means there is some rain during the day but you can still chase the sun!

What’s the best time to visit Riviera Maya: Final word

The Riviera Maya is a paradise with beautiful sand beaches and bright sunny weather. I hope you find the best time to visit the Riviera Maya for your trip. You’ll love exploring the culture and basking in the sunlight!