How is Cancun Weather in December?
At the risk of killing suspense, we find it important to mention that Cancun weather in December is absolutely phenomenal! In fact, the best time to plan a vacation for Cancun is in the month of December.
The holiday season is the prime time for tourism, and it’s during this time that people flock to the city to explore the many things it has to offer. In order to understand why this is such a popular time in Cancun, we decided to look into what the weather is like in Cancun in December.
Where is Cancun?
The location of any city plays a huge role in its weather conditions which in turn determine the travel season of the place. Cancun city is located in southeastern Mexico by the northeastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula.
Adjacent to the city is the resort town of Isla Cancun or Cancun Island. Both the city and the island are linked together by a causeway and experience pretty much the same weather. This tropical position of Cancun on the world map largely explains why the peak travel season of the area falls in December.
Since Cancun faces the Caribbean Sea and boasts a Barrier Reef System, it’s an excellent place to experience snorkeling and scuba diving and to participate in water sport activities. All of these are best experienced during December as this when the temperature is mild and most suited for such adventures. Even during winters, the water of the sea warms up fairly quickly during day, making it most suited to swimming and various other water adventures.
What is Cancun’s weather like in December?
Both the Cancun city and Cancun Island experience mild and moderate weather conditions throughout December. The average temperate of the place ranges from 18 degree Celsius minimum to up to 27 degree Celsius maximum.
Cancun is also not severely impacted by heavy precipitation in December, and there are roughly only 10 days throughout the season when Cancun experiences rain. The overall level of precipitation in Cancun is quite low, making it even more comfortable a place to visit in December.
To get a more practical understanding of how the Cancun weather is in December, we looked at the general clothing recommendations for people traveling to the area. During Decembers in Cancun, people find themselves quite comfortable in simple summer clothing with light jackets or jumpers for evening when the temperature drops a bit.
This goes to show how bearable the weather during December in Cancun will be as you will neither be bogged down by sweat and insufferable heat nor have to worry about shivering in intolerable cold.
If you are someone who wants to stay as far away from cold as possible but can also not stand the scorching heat typical of tropical areas, then visiting Cancun in December would be perfect for you. This is because December is when winter is only beginning to start in Cancun so even though the winters are not intense in this area at all, you will still not experience the fill breadth of it.
The real time when one can feel winter in Cancun starts in January, and that’s the month when the lowest temperatures of the place are recorded. Even then, the temperature has never fallen below 9 degree Celsius so it’s never too cold anyway.
As far as summer is concerned, the reason summer months are not very popular amongst visitors looking for the ultimate beach vacation is that oceans heat up pretty quickly.
So while you will be searching for a way to escape the heat and would want to jump into cool water, you might not always be able to do that as water temperature rises to about 84 degrees Fahrenheit (about 29 degrees Celsius) during summers.
This leaves December, the beginning of winter, as the best time to head to this fantastic beach destination as it provide you the perfect escape from both extreme heat and extreme cold being experienced in other parts of the world.
Best Things to Do in Cancun during December
Now that it has been established that December is the best time to visit Cancun, let’s look at some of the most exciting things you can do during that time. Because the weather conditions are perfect for engaging in any and all kinds of water sports, there are lots of water-related activities that you can participate in and get maximum enjoyment out of.
But apart from that, Cancun is also very culturally rich so there are a lot of things related to its Mayan history that you can dig into. All in all, there are plenty of ways you can make the most of your time in Cancun in December.
Explore Royal Garrafon
Royal Garrafon is a National Reef Park situated just 25 minutes ferry ride away from Cancun. It’s one of the most popular attraction sites of Cancun and exploring it will be one of the best things you will do while staying Cancun during December.
The scenery of the place itself is magical. The cliffs and the reefs which open up onto crystal clear turquoise are as close to heaven as it gets and spending time exploring the wondrous nature that lives underwater will truly rejuvenate your soul.
Because the temperature of the ocean is perfect for water sports in December, there are a wide range of activities that you can participate in while visiting Royal Garrafon National Reef Park. You can not only snorkel and kayak, but also hike and relax on hammocks. There are many tours available that offer good packages including all the best activities that you can participate in while exploring Royal Garrafon National Reef Park. This means that you really have no reason to miss out on such an incredible experience in Cancun.
Celebrate Las Posadas in Cancun
Traditional holiday celebration in Mexico is another reason why December is a great time to visit Cancun. Since Mexico is a Catholic country, holidays in Cancun are taken very seriously. This means that Christmas is a special time of the year, one that is filled with many festivities. Las Posadas is arguably the best of all the festivities and celebrating it the Mexican way will definitely be something you won’t regret.
Posadas start 9 days prior to Christmas and include get-togethers and small celebrations every single day from the 16th of December to the 24th of December in honor of Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem.
During this time, you should expect yourself to be surrounded by joyous Christmas carols, colorful parades through various parks (we suggest heading over Xcaret park to take part in one of those!), and specific types of food and beverages (our favorites are bunuelos and atole). Posadas also include a very fascinating tradition of making and breaking pinatas as a sort of closing of all the ceremonies.
This festival is not something you get to experience in any other month, so if you are lucky enough to visit Cancun in December, celebrating Las Posadas with the locals should be at the top of your bucket list.
Enjoy Spending Vacation Time at Xel-Ha Park
Although a bit farther away from Cancun than the Royal Garrafon National Reef Park, traveling a couple of hours to Tulum to explore Xel-Ha Park is definitely worth it. The weather in December makes this place all the more exuberant as the mild temperature makes it quite comfortable for visitors to explore all the sites that Xel-Ha Park has to offer without either sweating or shivering.
Xel-Ha Park consists of a number of flowing rivers, beautiful cliffs, snorkeling spots, lighthouse and jungle trails. With a separate area for the young ones to splash around in water, you will find yourself sufficiently engaged at Xel-Ha.
You can go zip-lining, reach the top of the lighthouse and waterslide your way down, explore the Mayan Wall and numerous obscure caves of the place, or you can simply choose to laze around in one of the tubes across the flowing rivers of the Park and explore its scenic beauty at your ease.
Xel-Ha Park is a complete package in terms of exploration sites it has to offer. Therefore, visiting this park and exploring all the things that it has to offer is something you must not miss out on in Cancun during December.
Snorkel at Isla Contoy
Isla Contoy is considered an ecological paradise and its proximity to Cancun means that it’s very easy to access too. Located to the north of Cancun, Isla Contoy offers the best snorkeling experience. But beyond that, the journey to this island from Cancun is a pleasure all on its own. There is also usually a stop, midway at Isla Mujeres which is an equally beautiful place.
Isla Contoy’s Ixlache Reef is something which every tourist aims to visit when visiting Cancun. It’s the best place to snorkel because it’s rich with marine life. Snorkeling near the coral means that you will be able to view multitudes of different fish and sea turtles and marine plants.
Once you are done with snorkeling, you can also head over to the national park of Isla Contoy which features over 150 different species of birds and quite a few turtles as well. The tours of the national park are often guided, which makes it both a recreational and educational way of spending time.
Apart from snorkeling and exploring the national park, the beaches of Isla Contoy are also quite wonderful. And there’s no better time than December to go on a boat ride from Cancun to Isla Contoy, make a quick stop at Isla Mujeres, and then reach the best snorkeling destination of the area.
Explore El Rey
Cancun is rich with loads of natural beauty. There are beaches, cliffs, forests – you name it. But it’s also rich with history and its ancient Mayan culture is something that you must not forget to explore. There are plenty of Mayan ruins that you can head over to and visit. El Ray Mayan Ruins are one of the most popular and the most visited ruins in Cancun because they are relatively easier to access.
El Ray Mayan ruins consist of a temple complex made up of nearly 47 structures which are open for public. You can walk around them and see how the foundation of one of the most celebrated civilizations in the world was laid.
There are no fancy or detailed artifacts that you can see here, but the structures that are present are enough to give you a quick glimpse into the Mayan history. This makes El Ray Mayan ruins very easy to explore and quite feasible to fit into tight schedules.
So even if you are too busy hopping from one beach to another, you can always drop by for a quick visit. And since all of the structures of the ruins are out in the sun, December is the best time to visit the place since you will not have to worry about the scorching heat of the tropical sun.
Swim around MUSA
MUSA stands for Underwater Museum of Art. Scuba diving and exploring this place is literally the best thing that you can do while in Cancun. MUSA is home to nearly 500 incredible sculptures which are submerged 3 to 6 meters deep in water and can only be explored by diving down and swimming around. It was built with the purpose of conserving the coral reefs of the area by erecting an equally fascinating and attractive site for the visitors to explore.
If you are not comfortable with scuba-diving, you can always choose to just snorkel or can even decide to simply stay in your glass-bottom boat. Either way, visiting such a fascinating place will be something which will stay with you for a while.
You will get to see nearly 400 different statues of humans illustrating the way humanity interacts with the ecological world.
They also serve as a form of awareness about the irreversible damage that humans have inflicted upon marine life, especially coral reefs. This is done by planting parts of damaged coral reef on few of the structures so that the art is alive and transforming continuously as coral grows and brings changes to the sculpture.
Underwater Museum of Art is located between Cancun and Isla Mujeres. You can reach this fascinating site by getting on a ferry and then hopping onto a glass-bottom boat for snorkeling or scuba-diving.
Make a Day Trip to Valladolid
There is a lot that you can do while in Cancun. But just in case you have explored everything that Cancun city and its adjacent island has to offer, making a day trip to Valladolid is a fantastic idea. It is not very far away from Cancun so it’s entirely possible for you to leave the city in the morning, explore the magical town of Valladolid, and return to Cancun by night.
There are quite a few things that you can do while in Valladolid. There are a lot more sightseeing options here than you can find in Cancun so you can visit the La Casa de Los Venados, popular house owned by John Venator which consists of over 3,000 different Mexican art pieces.
If you didn’t get a chance to explore the Mayan ruins in Cancun, you can do that in Valladolid too. Ek Balam ruins situated near Valladolid are different and mysterious with carved Mayan Winged Angels.
Similarly, you can visit Chichen Itza ruins which are considered the singular most spectacular remnants of the Mayan civilization. This, again, can give you a nice break from all the beaches and water-related activities that Cancun offers.
Apart from sightseeing and exploration of history, Valladolid is also a good town to indulge in some hearty window shopping. If you are looking for traditional Mexican clothing or souvenirs, a day trip to Valladolid would help you fulfill that purpose as well.
To reiterate, Cancun weather in December is a blessing, it’s the perfect time to head to this beautiful part of Mexico and indulge yourself to the best of both natural and cultural world. It’s during December that you can take part in some of the most joyous festivals while at the same time enjoy swimming at the beaches and explore the ancient Mayan ruins.
Furthermore, while visiting Cancun, you can venture beyond Isla Cancun and explore the beautiful islands and national parks of Isla Contoy and Isle Mujeres. If that’s not enough, you can even make several day trips to Valladolid and nearby towns and expand your tourist horzions. All in all, we could not have guessed the number of things that you can do in a single month. After finding about the weather conditions of Cancun during December and the wide range of activities that it offers, it’s no wonder that more than 7 million international tourists flock to this place every year.