In December, Christmas is in the air and vacations to the beach are being planned. Cancun may be top of mind and you may be wondering if Cancun in December is a good idea. Those white sandy beaches and warm Caribbean waters are beckoning for you to visit, so will you go? Well, December is in fact a fantastic time to go on a vacation to Cancun, but the holiday season does have some drawbacks. There are many factors to consider when deciding whether to visit Cancun in December, ranging from weather, crowds and the availability of activities.
When its snowing and freezing where you live, spending the holidays somewhere warm sounds like the perfect plan! Instead of building snowmen this year, spend your days on balmy beaches, snorkeling or exploring historical sights.
The weather in Cancun in December can only be described as glorious! The days are sunny and warm and the nights are balmy and breezy. During the day the skies are clear and rain is very unlikely. The median temperature in December is 28°C with the ocean generally being a warm 27°C, making for very comfortable swimming conditions.
The sunshine and clear skies makes for the perfect beach weather. Grab a book and lie on the beach, top up your tan or take part in fun land sports like beach volleyball, hiking or golf.
Cancun Marathon – a beautiful route that starts and ends in downtown Cancun.
Sunset Boat Parade – a parade of decorated, lit-up boats from sunset at the Jardin del Arte. Enjoy live music, street food vendors and handicrafts at this kid-friendly, free event.
Posadas – from December 14th to the 24th, residents celebrate the upcoming Christmas holiday with street processions, street festivals, passion plays and a feast. It’s wonderful to witness and fun to participate in where you can.
Day of the Innocents – think of this as Mexico’s April Fool’s Day. It’s a nationwide pranking day, observed on December 28th annually.
New Years Eve – New Years Eve is a big event in Cancun with a party to be found on almost every street corner and beach. There are also boat parties such as the All White Boat Party that sets sail to Isla Mujeres and includes an open bar, snacks and entertainment.
December is most definitely peak season in Cancun with many tourists flocking to this warm tropical paradise during the holidays. Beaches, resorts and popular tourist attractions will be busier at this time of the year but if you’re a patient person, it can be worth the wait. Unlike in March and April around Spring Break, the crowds in Cancun in December are a lovely mix of young and older families, couples and groups of friends. You won’t find any teens wandering around on their own causing trouble.
At clubs and bars, there is a real festive atmosphere in the air in December and while bars are crowded, you will find an older crowd of revelers generally over the age of 25.
The quietest areas to stay in are Playa Mujeres or Riviera Cancun. They are significantly less crowded than the main tourist hubs in Cancun, like around the hotel zone. Booking in advance can find you cheaper airfare and deals on accommodation. Finding a pool lounger, a spot on the beach or a table at a restaurant won’t be a problem at all in early December.
The warm, sunny days make for perfect sightseeing weather, particularly if you’re planning to visit the jungle adventure park, Chichen Itza and Valladolid. The excellent conditions means bad weather won’t rain on your parade and you can see all the amazing sights around Cancun.
Some quieter, hidden gems to discover in Cancun in December that you won’t regret visiting are:
- Cenote Chaak Tun – explore the three caverns and a beautiful pool of water with massive stalactites overhead
- Cenote Chikin Ha – an open-air cavern with sparkling see-through water you can snorkel in. Swim alongside tropical fish, turtles and coral reef.
- Coba Ruins – the ruins in Coba are much less crowded and just as beautiful as popular attractions.
- Dos Ojos – close to Tulum, the underwater caves and turquoise water is perfect for swimming and snorkelling.
- Half Moon Bay – a secluded beach that is great for snorkeling and witnessing the diverse marine life including barracudas, small sharks and turtles.
- Isla Blanca – a quiet beach with virtually no people around, great for fly-fishing and kiteboarding.
Snorkeling and Diving
Because there is minimal wind and no rain during December the water is very clear and calm, making for excellent snorkeling and scuba diving conditions. You can also sometimes spot the last of the baby sea turtles making their way back into the ocean after hatching season – an incredible sight!
The cost of flights, transport and hotels is at its highest in December with it being peak holiday season. You will find local bars, restaurants and the likes of dive shops and tour companies also hike their prices in December because of increased demand.
Shoulder season ends in mid-December, just before the mad rush of tourists. Visiting Cancun in December can be cheaper and less crowded if you visit in early December. Days are still just as sunny and crowds are much more manageable.
While Cancun is crowded and more expensive in December, the great weather and festive atmosphere only serve to enhance the natural beauty of this popular vacation destination. Snorkeling and diving conditions are at their best during December along with the perfect sunny weather for optimal sightseeing. New Years in Cancun is like no other with unbelievable fireworks displays and parties all over town. Cancun in December will make for a holiday you won’t ever forget.