Tulum is a beautiful Caribbean coastal town on Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula. It’s a tropical paradise well-known for its pristine beaches, ancient Mayan ruins, refreshing cenotes, and lively vibe.
There’s never really a bad time to visit this dreamy Mexican town. However, learning more about the weather, tourist seasons, and a few other factors will help you plan your Tulum itinerary better.
The best time to visit Tulum comes down to the vacation you’re after and the experiences and activities you plan to enjoy while there. To help you out, I’ve laid out everything you need to know in this guide. I’ve also included some activities that are great for each season.
Best Time to Travel to Tulum By Season
Does your ideal vacation mostly revolve around sunbathing, swimming, and sipping cocktails on the beach? Or, are you looking for a Tulum adventure that involves sightseeing as many attractions as possible? Here is a quick breakdown of the seasons to help you decide the best time to travel to Tulum.
Winter in Tulum
Winter in Tulum lasts from mid-December to mid-March. The average temperature is between 74° F and 77° F (23° C and 25° C).
This season produces the most comfortable weather. It yields low rainfall and mild temperatures that are perfect for lounging next to the ocean as well as sightseeing further inland.
It might cool down slightly at night, but expect plenty of sunshine and mostly clear skies during the day. This is great weather for exploring the Tulum ruins and other sites away from the ocean.
What to pack: Bring along all of your warm-weather clothing, like shorts, t-shirts, summer dresses, and of course, your swimsuits. For cool evenings, pack a light sweater. Sunscreen and sunglasses are also a must throughout the year.
Spring in Tulum
Springtime in Tulum is from mid-March to mid-June. In March and April, the temperatures are just starting to heat back up in the lead-up to summer. They average between 77° F and 80° F (25° C and 27° C). Rainfall is low, and the daylight hours are long.
This makes early spring an excellent time to travel to Tulum. The weather is prime for discovering the famous Mayan ruins found in this area, most notably, the archaeological site, Chichén Itzá.
May and June are hot months with temperatures averaging around 82°F (27°C). Rainfall starts to increase around this time, with June being one of Tulum’s wettest months.
Note that even if the forecast shows rain and thunderstorms every day, they typically don’t last very long. You can still spend the good part of the day next to the ocean sunbathing and swimming.
What to pack: Bring warm-weather clothing and beachwear. If you’re going on excursions, it’s a good idea to pack a light backpack, comfortable shoes, and a reusable water bottle.
Summer in Tulum
Summer in Tulum is from mid-June to mid-September. These months produce high humidity and hot temperatures. The average temperature is around 85°F (29°C). It’s perfect beach weather but might make inland activities seem less desirable to some. Although, you can always visit an underground cenote and have a swim to cool off.
The Tulum rainy season starts in June and carries on until October. Short showers break up the hot rays of the summer sun. You may find the occasional rainfall to be a welcome reprieve from the heat.
What to pack: To combat the heat, pack light clothing items made of natural fibers, like summer dresses, shorts, and tank tops. For nights out, bring along a nice outfit. Even though Tulum is quite casual, some of the nightlife spots are slightly more upscale. Mosquitoes are more common during summer, so bring along some insect repellant too.
Fall in Tulum
The fall months in Tulum are from mid-September to mid-December. The temperatures gradually decrease the closer you get to winter. September is still a hot 82°F (27°C), while December’s average temperature is a comfortable 75°F (23°C).
September and October are the wettest months of the year. The temperatures are so warm that if rainfall hits, you probably won’t stay damp for too long. And once the clouds clear, you’ll still be able to sunbathe and swim in the ocean.
What to pack: For the occasional showers, bring a rain poncho and a small travel umbrella. It’s always beach weather in Tulum, so pack all your usual warm-weather clothes. You may also need a light sweater for after the sun goes down.
Tulum Hurricane Season
Tulum hurricane season is from June to November, with the highest threat being from August to October.
This shouldn’t put you off too much, as Tulum is far enough from the Caribbean that it’s missed by the most severe tropical storms. By the time a hurricane gets near the town, it’s usually downgraded to a storm that’s far less severe.
Also, hurricanes don’t strike by surprise; meteorologists can predict their size and time of arrival.
The peak of the Tulum hurricane season is in October, which is also the wettest month of the year. Although hurricane season might not be the best time of year to go to Tulum for the weather, accommodation prices are usually more affordable during this month.
Seaweed Season (Sargassum Season)
Seaweed season, also referred to as sargassum season, is a natural phenomenon that occurs in the North Atlantic’s Sargasso Sea. It’s when a type of brown algae (called sargassum) floats on the water’s surface. As you can imagine, it’s not great for water conditions.
Seaweed season in Tulum is usually from about April to August. Although the seaweed in itself doesn’t pose a threat, the algae play host to microbes and bacteria that aren’t great to come into contact with. In some cases, this leads to rashes and other skin irritations.
During this time, certain beaches in Tulum contain more seaweed than others. Some hotels in Tulum control the high amounts of seaweed by clearing it from their shores. However, most low-budget accommodations don’t have the means to clear up their beaches from the sargassum or are unwilling to.
Although this shouldn’t take away from your trip, it’s something to keep in mind when planning the best month to go to Tulum. This is especially true if you’re keen on enjoying lots of aquatic activities.
High Season in Tulum
The high season in Tulum is mostly during the winter months. It kicks off at the end of November and carries on until about April. People flock to Tulum to escape the cooler temperatures in the northern hemisphere.
Spring Break, which is right around Easter time, is also a very busy time in Tulum, Mexico.
If you don’t mind the crowds, this is an excelling time to visit. The temperatures are nice, the atmosphere is lively, and the water is prime for swimming and other water activities.
If you’re planning to travel to Tulum during the high season, it’s a good idea to book your accommodation well in advance. Hotel prices will be higher during this time, so if you’re looking for a deal, plan early.
Low Season in Tulum
The low season in Tulum is in the summer months and slightly beyond. May, in particular, is far less busy due to it being the hottest month. September and October are also considered the low season as they see the highest amount of rainfall, and hurricane season is at its peak.
If you’re trying to save money, you can score on some great hotel deals in Tulum during the low season. The weather might not be suitable for lying next to the beach all day, but you’ll still have clear skies most of the time. You’ll also benefit from a more quiet holiday without the hordes of high season travelers.
Festivals, Events, and Holidays in Tulum
This Mexican town is a popular place to visit. There is always an exciting calendar of things to do that you might want to consider adding to your trip itinerary. There are too many to name, but here are the most popular options in and around the area.
Carnival Tulum is a lively affair that attracts thousands of visitors from the Quintana Roo state of Mexico and beyond. This three-day celebration is full of parties, shows, and parades. Many parties go late into the night. It usually takes place in February, one week before Ash Wednesday.
Spring Break, March/April
Although Spring Break celebrations are bigger in Cancun, which is about 1.5 to 2 hours away, they still bring plenty of tourists to Tulum. This area of Mexico is gaining traction among vacationers who seek a more upscale holiday vibe.
Whale Shark Season, May to September
The warm Caribbean water around Tulum attracts Whale Sharks each year. Between May and September, hundreds of these gentle giants gather in Mexico’s Riviera Maya during their annual migration.
Whale Sharks are the largest fish species in the world. They don’t breach but instead stay underwater at all times. They also prefer open water, so you won’t spot them from shore.
These excursions depart from Tulum and take guests by boat off the coast to prime viewing areas. Seeing these beautiful creatures up close is a true bucket-list activity.
Riviera Maya Festival, November
The Riviera Maya Festival takes place in the neighboring Playa del Carmen. This free, three-day event happens in late November each year. It’s held right on the beach, so you can listen to jazz tunes alongside the crashing waves. Sway to sultry jazz music while sipping on a tropical cocktail.
New Year’s Eve, December
The weather in Tulum in December provides the perfect environment for exciting New Year’s Eve celebrations. With sunshine, clear skies, and the ocean, it’s the perfect recipe for fun and the best way to cap off the year.
Parties take place throughout the area. The most exciting ones are usually hosted at the hotels’ beach clubs and beach bars. Some restaurants also host New Year’s Eve parties.
Zamna Festival, December to January
Zamna Festival is an electronic music festival that treats guests to a full sensory experience. It kicks off on New Year’s Eve and carries on for about 10 days. The festival is set in the middle of the jungle, with a lagoon and cenote nearby for cooling down.
With state-of-the-art light and sound productions, a jungle party atmosphere, and world-class performances, it’s the ultimate festival experience.
Full Moon Parties, Monthly
Full moon parties take place each month in Tulum. The hotel Papaya Playa Project hosts the area’s largest and most popular parties. Every month on a Saturday that’s closest to the full moon, DJs and musicians promote a lively party atmosphere with lots of dancing and drinks.
Best Time to Go to Tulum, All Things Considered
Taking everything into consideration, the best time to visit Tulum is during either of the shoulder seasons. February to April (apart from Spring break) offer great prices on accommodation, and the temperatures are pleasant with low precipitation.
The other shoulder season of November to early December is another great time to visit Tulum. Hurricane season is over, and the winter tourists are only just starting to arrive. Hotel prices haven’t reached their peak just yet, and you’ll probably be able to score some great deals.
Best Time of Year to Go to Tulum: Final Thoughts
There are so many fun things to do in Tulum year-round, which is why there’s never really a bad time to plan a trip. However, factors like your budget, the activities you’d like to enjoy, and the festivals and events you’d like to attend can influence your decision.
Hopefully, this guide has narrowed down your list of possible months and seasons to visit. But just know that no matter when you travel to Tulum, you’re sure to have a wonderful time.