Tulum was the last city built by the Mayans, and its initial name was Zama, which means “dawn” or “sunrise.”
The city is indeed a place where the first light of day kisses the shores, so the Mayans couldn’t have thought of a better name for it.
So, when is the right time to visit this dreamy destination?
The truth is, Tulum is beautiful year-round, but some months may align better with your traveling preferences — and this is where we jump in!
Let’s handpick your perfect time — and avoid the worst time — for your unforgettable Tulum escapade.
Tulum is an absolute weather wonderland in its peak season, which runs from late December to April.
This is known as the “dry season” in Tulum, which means that your holiday will consist of nothing but beautiful blue skies, limitless sunshine, and, most importantly — no hurricanes.
The temperatures are also great. The average temperature from December to February is around 82°F (28°C), with highs of 86°F (30°C) in March and April.
The coldest month is January, with a minimum temperature of 69.1°F (20.6°C). Of course, it’s not as cold as it would be in a typical winter, but it’s chilly enough to encourage you to carry a cozy sweater.
The months of December through April are when the waters are at their calmest because there isn’t any rain or strong winds to disturb them and cause waves. Plus, the water temperature is spot-on for sunbathing, hovering around 81°F (27°C).
With the sun shining brightly, less frequent rains, and the ocean being a tranquil lagoon, there’s nothing that you can’t do in Tulum in its high season.
Want to simply enjoy the sun at some of Mexico’s best beaches? Done. Planning a trip to see the Mayan sites without checking your weather app every five seconds? Say no more.
The plethora of adventures doesn’t end there, though. You can even go cenote swimming or snorkeling on the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, visit the Dolphinaris Tulum, or tour the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve to witness some of the world’s most magnificent birds.
If you’re looking for something truly exciting in terms of Mexican wildlife, Tulum’s whale-watching season runs from December to March — yep, you can see these gentle giants up close and personal.
If you plan to visit Tulum for a pinch of festivity, we recommend planning your vacation around Christmas and New Year’s Eve. You can celebrate these big days on the beach or at a magnificent coastal restaurant while viewing spectacular fireworks. If you want something more vibrant, book during Spring break — this is when parties are endless.
The best time to visit Tulum without the hustle and bustle is to book in either the shoulder season or the off-season.
The shoulder season lasts during the months of July, August, November, and early December. It’s when the city is not too crowded, not too quiet, and pocket-friendly.
The off-season is in the months of May, June, September, and October, and this is the time when Tulum is at its quietest and cheapest.
So, why are there cheaper deals and a decrease in tourism during these months? Well, from May to October, Tulum enters the rainy season, and from June to November, there’s the possibility of a hurricane.
The months with the most rainy days are September and October, with the average precipitation level going up to 8.8 inches (224.6 millimeters). Still, the showers are brief and don’t occur every day, which is a big plus, as you’d still get plenty of sunshine.
The peak hurricane season in Tulum is from August to October. The last hurricane to reach Tulum was Hurricane Grace, a category 1 storm in August 2021. Prior to this, Tulum suffered a hurricane in October 2005, a category 5 storm known as Hurricane Wilma.
As you may see, natural hazards do play a part in Tulum’s tourism. But, hey, with a little planning — such as checking the weather and following any hurricane updates — you can have a terrific time in Tulum at a lower cost and in a much quieter setting.
Mother Nature might throw a curveball with a few raindrops or storms, but Tulum’s still dishing out a menu of excitement.
On days when it’s warm and sunny, you can do everything you’d do during peak season (December to April). You can lay on the beach, snorkel, swim, surf, take a dip in a cenote, hike, or visit Mayan ruins.
On days when it’s rainy, wave a brief goodbye to beach activities and adventures in the jungle. Take an umbrella and soak up the indoor magic of the city. Explore handmade crafts at the Tulum Artisan Market or go to a charming cafe to enjoy traditional food and great coffee. You can also go on a shopping spree and visit the beautiful clothing shops in central Tulum Pueblo and Tulum Beach Road.
Then, there are the festivals and other fun activities. In May, there’s Cinco de Mayo, celebrating Mexican culture and tradition. June celebrates the Summer Solstice, whereas July marks the International Film Festival. August celebrates the Tulum Ruins Music Festival, and in September, you get to celebrate Mexico’s Independence Day. Lastly, October and November are famous for the Tulum Jazz Festival and Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), respectively.
Yup, Tulum knows how to party — even when the weather isn’t right!
The worst time to visit Tulum depends on what kind of vacation magic you’re after. Let’s break down Tulum’s “worst” periods.
Mid-December through April may be the worst time for tourists who can’t handle big flocks of tourists and like to vacation on a budget.
August to October may not be ideal for people who can’t handle rainy, scorchy, and humid days and are disturbed by the thought of a hurricane striking out of nowhere and ruining their dream vacation.
May to July is a big no-no for tourists who are allergic to sargassum or for those who simply see it as a buzzkill — it’s not exactly a prime aesthetic, after all. However, although Tulum has about 650ft (200m) of sargassum barriers, it only covers a small portion of the coastline, and the seaweed is not as present on every beach.
May to June and September to October may not be suitable for partygoers and those who thrive amongst crowds, either. While there are still plenty of fun things to do, many clubs, bars, restaurants, or tours may not be open or won’t work full-time due to the decrease in tourists.
And that’s all, folks. If you don’t mind anything we mentioned above, kudos to you — you’ll have a dream vacation in Tulum no matter the season!
While Tulum is beautiful year-round, tailor-made for every type of adventurer, you might prefer certain periods over others, so let’s go over them one last time.
If you crave the perfect weather to get that beautiful golden, sunkissed tan, then book in the peak season, from December through April.
Looking for peace and tranquility? Make reservations when Tulum is at its most quiet (and cheapest) — either in May/June or September/October.
Better yet, you may stand somewhere in the middle and like to party but don’t like feeling overwhelmed by a big flock of tourists. If that’s the case, then the shoulder season (July/August or November/early December) is the best time for you.
Every season has its own unique qualities that appeal to the whims and preferences of travelers heading there. So, which is the best time for your dream Tulum getaway?
Whichever it is, we hope that we’ve helped you make a wise choice. Stay safe, and may this trip be exactly what you wished for.