When is the best time to visit Mérida?

Boasting impressive architecture and charming streets packed with delights at every turn, Mérida is renowned as the cultural highlight of the Yucatán Peninsula.

If you’re in search of excellent museums, a thriving live music scene and mouth-watering local cuisine, start planning your trip now. Mérida also serves as a good base for exploring the spectacular Mayan ruins along the Ruta Puuc, the Celestún flamingo reserve and countless cenotes. Being inland, prices are relatively affordable year-round, though they spike when the weather is ideal and the holidays are in full swing.

If you can take the heat and don’t mind some rain, the low season brings fewer crowds and the best deals of the year. We’ve got the lowdown on what’s happening and when so you can pick the perfect time for your trip to Mérida.

People walking through Merída's historic center on a sunny day
The temperature in Mérida rises but remains comfortable in March © mehdi33300 / Shutterstock

Visit between December and April for perfect weather

Weather-wise, there’s no better time to visit Mérida than high season. It’s dry and balmy – optimal for sightseeing, outdoor dining and attending live performances around town. Expect higher prices and bigger crowds; book your hotel early if your visit falls during the winter holidays, Carnaval or Easter. Occasional nortes (storms bringing northerly winds) bring cooler evening temperatures, but nothing a light sweater won’t remedy.

Christmas and New Year bring the biggest crowds in December but the entire month is busy due to the beautiful weather. The festive atmosphere is reflected in a city-wide arts celebration that sees galleries, museums and theaters stay open late into the night. Día de la Virgen de Guadalupe is celebrated across Mexico on December 12th and Mérida is no exception.

January may be a bleak month in some locations but not here. It’s one of the busiest months of the year as crowds of visitors stretch their Christmas break into the new year and the city’s founding is celebrated during Mérida Fest, an extravaganza of live music and events that happens throughout the month. People flock to the area to start their year with a bang and the hotel prices reflect that – book early to avoid disappointment.

While the weather is still great in February, the city empties out a little and everyone catches their breath. But only for a hot minute as Carnaval rolls into town with colorful floats and glamorous dancers. Neighborhood parties fill the streets and the festive atmosphere is an incredible experience not to be missed.

March marks an uptick in day trips to the Mayan ruins of Chichén Itzá and Dzibilchaltún with the promise of seeing serpent formations and glowing temple doors on and around the spring equinox. The temperature also rises but remains comfortable. Easter festivities dominate the calendar in April with solemn street processions and dramatic reenactments of Jesus’ crucifixion. Street fairs and fireworks add a contrasting revelry to the holy celebrations. Hotels fill up and rates remain high.   

Three women with Catrina costumes and a man in white cowboy dress, wearing skull makeup and holding candles at a Dia de Muertos parade
Day of the Dead celebrations reach their height early in November © Loes Kieboom / Shutterstock

Find the best deals during low season

From May to June and September to November, heat and rain slow the stream of travelers and prices drop accordingly. However, live performances and celebrations continue unabated, and restaurants and bars bustle with locals. Nearby Mayan ruins and cenotes see fewer visitors, making it feel like you have them all to yourself.

Cinco de Mayo is celebrated in the city’s bars with drink specials that will keep you dancing until dawn. Le Noche Blanco (celebrated in both May and November) is a city-wide arts celebration that involves hundreds of cultural events throughout Mérida and downtown tends to become a giant street party in the midst of it all. Temperatures can hit 100°F though – bring a hat, plenty of sunscreen and find a shady spot when the going gets hot.

Hurricane season begins in June and in Mérida, that means afternoon rain showers. The heat combined with the rain make it muggy – if you can handle the sauna-like conditions, there are sweet deals available for lodging and tours. Ensure you book a room that has air conditioning, you won’t regret the extra expense.

The risk of hurricanes is at its height in September, with longer-lasting rains and occasional tropical storms. But that doesn’t stop Mérida from celebrating Mexican Independence Day, with street parties and the sound of El Grito in the main plaza. The three-week-long visual and performance art festival, Otoño Cultural, rounds out the month. Hotel prices drop considerably.

The city begins to cool off in October and the rain lets up, but prices stay low. Toward the end of the month, Méridianos begin their Día de los Muertos celebrations, with a candle-lit procession through the streets, faces painted like skeletons and altars lining the sidewalks; artistic performances liven up the plazas. Find out more about this cultural tradition and how to celebrate it in our insider’s guide.

November marks the return of cooler, drier weather, but traveler numbers remain low – the best of both worlds and a great time to visit. The Día de los Muertos celebrations hit their height in the first few days of the month. Later, music enthusiasts descend for Mérida’s annual jazz fest and La Nocha Blanca kicks off again across the city’s cultural venues. In nearby Celestún, thousands of flamingos begin to congregate for mating season, which runs until March.

The underground Cuzama cenote in Mexico's Yucatan
Consider touring the area cenotes in August, when the cool waters are a plus © Florian Augustin / Shutterstock

Explore the city during shoulder season

During July and August, the height of summer vacation brings a bump in tourism and hotel rates after the low season. The weather is hot and humid, and while rain showers are a daily occurrence, the sun almost always peeks out. On weekends, locals head to the Gulf coast to cool off, leaving Mérida half-empty – a great time to explore the city sights. Consider touring the nearby cenotes – they’re a wonderful experience whatever the weather and the cool water is a blessed relief from the humidity.

This article was first published Jan 7, 2022 and updated May 15, 2024.

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