Planning a trip to Mexico and wondering if May is a good time to visit?
Most places in Mexico are fantastic destinations to visit year-round, but there are some great benefits to visiting during May. Having visited extensively, our travel buddy Haley from Fernweh Foreigner gives us the inside scoop.
The beautiful weather, cultural events, low crowds, and lower prices make Mexico worth a visit just before the summer season begins.
Whether you want to lay out on the beach, swim with sea turtles, visit ancient archeological sites, get great shots of beautiful colonial architecture, watch a game of futbol or experience historical events, the month of May is the perfect time to visit Mexico.
Mexico In May: Weather
The weather in Mexico can vary greatly depending on where you are in the country. Overall, the month of May is the last dry month before the wet season of summer starts but temperatures will vary by region.
Coastal towns will be hot and humid in May, whether you’re on the east or west coast. Although not quite as bad as summer, high-elevation cities will be cool and spring-like no matter what time of year you visit.
Plus, one of the best things about visiting Mexico in May is that spring crowds start to go home, and prices start to lower.
Weather in Cancun, Mexico in May
Cancun is one of the warmest year-round destinations in Mexico, but May is a great month to visit before the weather gets quite a bit warmer for the summer.
Average temperatures are typically around the high 80s and usually don’t go below the mid 70s, making May a perfect beach month in Cancun.
May also gets significantly less rainfall than the summer months with an average of about 7 days. It does get more rain than the spring season but unless you want to spend your vacation with spring breakers, May is a much calmer, less crowded, and cheaper time to visit Cancun.
Weather in Riviera Maya in May
Still in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, just southwest of Cancun, the weather in the Riviera Maya is very similar during the month of May.
I prefer the Riviera Maya over Cancun because of the beautiful beach towns like Playa del Carmen, Tulum, Akumal and Cozumel.
Like Cancun, average temperatures are around the high 80s but there is a lot of humidity so it will feel hotter than what it says. Late May is the start of the rainy season but even if a rainstorm comes, it will typically pass through pretty quickly (excluding hurricanes of course).
Weather in Mexico City in May
Mexico City is one of the best year-round destinations in the country for its spring-like weather, and it is my favorite place to visit in Mexico.
There is so much to see and do in this capital city, and the average 60 to 70-degree temperatures make it perfect for exploring the city.
The winter and spring months are the driest months in Mexico City, and although rainfall in May starts to pick up to an average of 6 days, it is much drier than the wet months of summer.
Puerto Vallarta Weather in May
On the western coast of the country, the popular beach destination of Puerto Vallarta is dry, sunny, and warm during the month of May.
The temperatures average in the mid-80s, rainfall is low, and humidity starts to rise as it gets closer to the wet season of summer. May is also one of the cheaper months to visit Puerto Vallarta after spring breakers start going home.
Where To Go In Mexico In May
Weather in coastal towns around Mexico makes for perfect beach vacations during the month of May, while certain events make visiting the center of the country perfect in May.
Even better, May is much less crowded with more reasonable prices around the country.
✅ Mexico City
Mexico City is my favorite place to visit in Mexico for its history, food, sports, and events. There is so much to see and do that even one week in Mexico City may not be enough to see everything.
Mexico City is also a great base city to explore other parts of Mexico either by bus or plane. A super easy day trip from Mexico City is to the city of Puebla, where you can experience the May celebration of Cinco de Mayo.
Some of our favorite places to visit in Mexico City are the Zócalo city center, the Teotihuacan pyramids, the Estadio Azteca soccer stadium, the neighborhood of Coyoacán, the Bosque de Chapultepec park and zoo, the colorful Xochimilco canals and the affluent neighborhood of Polanco.
📍Where to Stay in Mexico City
Polanco, Roma, and Condesa are nice and safe areas for hotels in Mexico City. The area outside the airport isn’t great but we love the Courtyard Marriott attached to the airport because it’s super nice, easy to get to, and easy to get on busses or planes to other destinations.
✅ Playa del Carmen
Playa del Carmen is located in the Riviera Maya on the eastern coast of Mexico in the Yucatan Peninsula.
We prefer to have a beach vacation at Playa del Carmen over Cancun because it feels a little less touristy, a little quieter and calmer, and a lot closer to some other great Riviera Maya destinations.
Aside from the beaches, restaurants and shops to visit in Playa del Carmen, some of our favorite places to visit are the beach town of Akumal, where you can swim with sea turtles, just over 30 minutes to the south, and the archeological site of Tulum, about an hour to the south.
The small island of Cozumel is also directly off the coast from Playa del Carmen, which is a great place to snorkel or scuba dive and you can also visit the Punta Sur Eco Beach Park and see loads of crocodiles.
📍Where to Stay in Playa del Carmen
➡️ Book Mahekal Beach Resort
Anything along 10th avenue or right off the beach should be pretty nice in Playa del Carmen, but we do like the Mahekal Resort best.
✅ Cabo San Lucas
Located at the southernmost tip of Baja California, Cabo San Lucas is one of the best western Mexico destinations to visit in May for the ocean and marine life lovers.
Starting in late April or early May, the Mobula Munkiana rays congregate in the waters of the Sea of Cortez and can be seen leaping up to 9 feet out of the water doing flips and somersaults before flopping back on the surface of the water. And it’s not just one or two rays jumping out of the water, there can be hundreds at a time performing this speculated mating ritual.
For those that love to eat seafood and catch their own dinner, deep-sea fishing is some of the best in Cabo and is particularly good from May through November.
📍Where to Stay in Cabo San Lucas
➡️ Book Playa Grande Resort & Grand Spa
The reality is there are a lot of expensive places, but this is a more reasonable one close to the water that we enjoy.
What to Do in Mexico in May
Aside from having great weather during the month of May, there are also some great events to take advantage of as well as sites to visit with fewer crowds during this month.
✔️Celebrate Cinco de Mayo
Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico’s Independence Day, which is a common misconception, but instead is the celebration of the military victory over the French in 1862.
This historic battle occurred in the town of Puebla and was such a significant win because the underdog Mexican army stopped the advance of the French on the capital of Mexico City.
The celebration of this battle is mostly just celebrated in the state of Puebla, although celebrations initially started weeks after the battle occurred in 1862 when news traveled to Mexicans living in the United States at the time.
If you’re visiting the town of Puebla during the beginning of May, traditions you can experience include the huge Cinco de Mayo parade, battle reenactments, a fair, and test tasting at the International Mole Festival.
Although it is officially a one-day holiday in the state of Puebla, some celebrations can last weeks after the 5th.
✔️Watch A Liga MX Final
Whether you’re an avid soccer fan or not, going to a game while in Mexico is one of the best ways to experience the culture.
Liga MX, the Mexican soccer league, typically finishes their regular season games by the end of April or the beginning of May. Immediately after, the playoffs begin and typically last a few weeks before the two final games (the two final teams play a home and away game) in mid to late May.
Where games are held will depend on which teams are still in the race for the final, but there are teams all over Mexico. All playoff games will be exciting and intense, but the last final game will be the most electric, followed by a huge party in the town of the winning team.
✔️Visit The Ancient Archeological Site Of Chichén-Itzá
If you’re traveling anywhere in the Yucatan Peninsula, a visit to the ancient Mayan pyramid of Chichén-Itzá is a must.
The archeological site is located somewhat in the middle of the Peninsula, and the easiest way to visit is through a tour. Most tours also include a few other activities, like swimming in a Cenote.
It’s always pretty busy but the slower tourist season of May should make for fewer crowds. Since it is inland, in the jungle, it is a lot hotter so be sure to go prepared.
If you are also heading to the capital of Mexico, just outside of Mexico City are the ancient pyramids of Teotihuacan which, unlike Chichén-Itzá, you can climb all the way to the top.
✔️Swim with Turtles In Akumal
Just a little over 30 minutes south of Playa del Carmen, you can swim out from the beach in Akumal to find abundant marine life.
Sea Turtles are the most common inhabitants found in these waters, but we also saw some stingrays while we were there.
NOTE: Touching the turtles and picking them up (which we saw tourists doing) is not allowed.
Be sure to bring reef-friendly sunscreen as this is a rule there, and enjoy the sea life as much as you want but keep your hands to yourself.
FAQs: May in Mexico
Here are a few questions that might come up when planning your trip to Mexico.
Is May a good time to visit Mexico?
May is a fantastic time to visit Mexico for the great weather, special events, fewer crowds, and lower prices.
Is May the rainy season in Mexico?
May is typically on the border, at the end of the dry season and the beginning of the rainy season. Depending on where you go in Mexico, May usually has low to very low averages of rainfall, but it gets higher the more humid and the closer to June it gets.
Is Mexico too hot in May?
I’ve lived in warm climates like Arizona, Texas, and Florida, so to me, May is not at all too hot in Mexico. The coastal towns will be some of the hottest, especially on the east side, with averages in the high 80s but humidity will make that feel quite a bit warmer.
The good thing is that you are likely visiting these areas to go to the beach and get in the water to cool off so it won’t be too hot. Even if you are visiting the inland site of Chichen Itza, which is a lot hotter, tours often include a visit to a Cenote where you can relax in the cool water.
Wrap-Up: Mexico in May
Mexico is an amazing place to visit any time of year for a beach vacation on the coast, a historical trip to archeological sites, or a cultural visit to the capital.
But if you want to take advantage of low crowds, reasonable prices, or warm and sunny weather, May is the perfect time to head south of the border to Mexico.
Be sure to bring plenty of reef-friendly sunscreen (they don’t allow any other kind in the waters), some hats, and an umbrella just in case for your beach or city trip to Mexico!