Climate of Mexico
According to the Köppen climate classification Mexico has a wide variety of climates, all of which can be divided into tropical (A), desert/steppe (B) and sea/Mediterranean/land (C) climates.
In the north of Mexico, desert and steppe climates predominate. Mediterranean climatic zones can also be distinguished in a number of smaller areas, including the coastal areas in the extreme northwest of Mexico and a few smaller zones in the north of the country. Central Mexico mainly has to do with different country climates and partly a cold steppe climate. The south of Mexico mainly has tropical climates, the largest part of which has a tropical savanna climate, a smaller part has a monsoon climate and in some places a real tropical rainforest climate (type Af).
Holiday in Mexico
Where is the country of Mexico located? Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a country in the southern portion of North America. Mexico is a wonderful holiday destination. The combination of its own identity, delicious food and mostly fantastic weather make Mexico a top destination. You can go to Mexico for a relaxing holiday, to explore the culture or to make a tour through Mexico. From the Netherlands and Belgium it is especially Yucatán that is very popular. This is the most popular area for a holiday in Mexico, partly because of the flights that TUI has from Amsterdam to Cancún. This makes the beaches of Playa del Carmen, Cancún and Tulum easily accessible for tourists from the low countries.
Tropical rainforest climate
Some parts of Mexico are tropical, with temperatures around 30 degrees during the day and above 20 degrees at night, and reasonable amounts of precipitation. These areas can be found south of the city of Veracruz and west of the city of Tampico. The name Tampico comes from the Huaxtec tampiko and means “place of the otters”, because the city is surrounded by lagoons where many otters live. The Eastern Sierra Madre Mountains allow depressions to persist for a long time in the state of Tamaulipas, allowing reasonable amounts of rain to fall. Unlike the rest of Mexico, precipitation here is year-round, where other areas have distinct wet and dry seasons or relatively little rainfall throughout the year. Other areas with a tropical climate are the south of the states of Veracruz and Chiapas, the north of the state of Oaxaca and parts of the state of Tabasco. All of these areas are located in southern Mexico.
Other tropical climates
Where there is no tropical rainforest climate in the south of Mexico, there is almost always a tropical climate that falls under the name savanna climate or monsoon climate. On the west side of Mexico, the tropical climate extends along much of the slopes of the Western Sierra Madre Mountains. North of the city of Tepic, this climate gradually changes into a warm steppe climate (Bsh) and further north into a warm desert climate (BWh).
The tropical climate on the Yucatán Peninsula is characterized by a distinctly dry period with little precipitation in winter and a wetter period from June to November, in which there is also a risk of hurricanes and tropical storms. The month of September is the wettest and most places on Yucatán receive about 200 to no less than 350 millimeters of precipitation in one month. In combination with high daytime temperatures (32-33 degrees) and the high humidity during the summer months, it can get very muggy. Wind from the sea can provide some cooling directly along the coast, but at these temperatures and humidity levels the cooling effect is minimal.
Because it is sunnier in the winter months, slightly less warm and especially drier than in the summer months, Mexico is an excellent winter sun destination. Places such as Cancún and Playa del Carmen are best visited in the period from December to April, when the weather in the Netherlands is cool and often unpleasant. Because many Americans come to Mexico for their Christmas and spring break holidays during this period, it is also considerably busier and more expensive during this period.
After the high season there are often nice last minutes to book, but then you have to be lucky when it comes to the weather.
The fact that Mexico is a large country with a wide variety of climates is also clear from the fact that, in addition to tropical rainforests, parts of the country also have to deal with snow. The central part of the north, which borders the United States, regularly experiences snowfall. This is due to cold air moving south from the Rocky Mountains and causing cold and possibly snow. It can also snow on the highest mountain peaks further south.
Even in tropical areas, snow can occur under extreme conditions. The city of Tampico, which is really located in a tropical zone, is confronted with white flakes on average once a century.
In hurricane season, which lasts from June through November, hurricanes and tropical storms can wreak havoc on the Yucatán Peninsula, which is home to popular beach resorts such as Playa del Carmen and Cancún. It is difficult to predict how big the chance is that you will have to deal with severe weather. Some seasons there are no hurricanes and the total storm activity in this part of the Caribbean is low, other years it is a few times in this area. Unlike other natural disasters, such as earthquakes and tsunamis, hurricanes are easy to predict and in the event of a hurricane moving into Mexico, there is plenty of time to take measures, including evacuations.
The western coastal areas, along the Northeast Pacific Ocean, are also at risk of hurricanes. Activity is also quite high here, but most hurricanes fail to make landfall and have weakened to a tropical depression before reaching the coast of Mexico. In rare cases, places like Puerto Vallarta and Acapulco can be hit by a hurricane or tropical storm.
Much of Mexico is made up of mountains. Only the coasts and the Yucatán Peninsula are lower than 200 meters above sea level. The Mexican plateau, where the capital Mexico City is also located, covers about a third of the entire country and extends north into the United States. The northern part, with an average altitude of 1500 to 1800 meters, has a cold steppe climate. The southern part, with an average altitude of 2000 to 2500 meters, has a cold steppe climate that changes into land climates in the higher parts. The Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt forms the southern border of the plateau and mainly consists of volcanoes with a height of up to almost 5.5 kilometers. This area is rough and mountainous, with little vegetation except for the southern slopes.
The figures below are based on long-term average climate statistics. The temperatures are displayed in degrees Celsius (°C).
|Maximum temperature||Minimum temperature||Hours of sunshine per day||Days of rainfall per month||Water temperature|
Best time to visit Mexico
Do you want to know when is the best time to travel to Mexico? You can determine the best time to travel to a destination based on the weather and climate. In addition, there are other factors that are not directly related to the weather and that can influence the best travel periods for a travel destination. Think, for example, of holidays or festive periods, which makes traveling more interesting or not, because daily life comes to a standstill as a result. Mexico is the largest country in Central America. The country is located on the Pacific Ocean (or Pacific Ocean) and the Gulf of Mexico. Because of the surface area, the different landscapes and the influences of both large bodies of water, Mexico has an enormously diverse climate, where you cannot designate one period as the best time to travel. The weather conditions are too far apart for that. If we had to make a choice, we would indicate the period February to May as the best time to travel to Mexico. This is a dry period in a large part of the country with pleasant temperatures and sufficient sunshine. In addition, there is no chance of hurricanes in the spring, neither on the west coast nor on the east coast.
Beach Vacation in Mexico
Of all the tourists who fly from the Netherlands or Belgium, most head there to enjoy a beach holiday. This is often combined with a few outings. For example, the excursions to ancient Mayan cities such as Chichén Itzá are very popular to do during a holiday in Mexico. With 10,143 kilometers of coastline, there are plenty of beaches to enjoy. The Dutch mainly travel to the Yucatán peninsula for a holiday in the sun. Places like Playa del Carmen, Cancún, Tulum and an area like the Costa Mujeres offer a beach lover everything they could wish for. The Pacific coast is especially popular among Americans. Dutch tourists are increasingly flying to the western coastal areas of Mexico for a holiday in the sun. Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas are the top destinations here. The best travel time for a beach holiday in Mexico is from December to May. The month of December can be very expensive to travel to the Mexican coastal areas due to the holidays. After all, Mexico is the most popular winter sun destination for Americans. If you want to travel to Yucatan, it is best to focus on the months of February, March and April. It can still be a bit wet there in January and February.
Round trip through Mexico
Mexico is perfect for a tour. There are plenty of interesting areas, cities and sights to choose from. If you want to make a tour through Mexico, we would recommend spring and autumn as the best time to travel. These are the periods with the best weather conditions. Summer is the wet season in many places in Mexico and winter can be too cool in the higher areas. If you want to combine a Mexico tour with a few days at the beach in Playa del Carmen or Cancún, the best time to travel is the period from February to May. In the autumn there can still be quite unstable weather in Yucatan.