Looking for the best places in Mexico to visit in December? You’re in the right spot!
We’ve compiled a must-see list of sun-soaked beaches, vibrant cultural hubs, and tranquil natural retreats. So sit back, grab a margarita, and let’s embark on this Mexican adventure together.
It’s time to spice up your winter travel plans!
There’s a reason Cancun tops our list of the best places in Mexico to visit in December. Imagine swapping your snow boots for flip-flops, your snowman for a sandcastle. Sounds dreamy, right?
This slice of the Caribbean is exactly that – a dream come to life. The weather in December is just what the doctor ordered for your winter blues. With temperatures hovering around the mid-20s Celsius (high-70s Fahrenheit), you can bid farewell to frostbite.
But what is it that makes Cancun stand out among the sea of beach destinations? Besides its pristine white sand beaches that stretch as far as the eye can see, it’s home to one of the most significant remnants of the Mayan civilization, the El Rey Ruins. Step back in time as you explore these ancient structures, all the while being a stone’s throw away from the beach.
When the sun goes down, Cancun comes alive with a vibrant nightlife. Dance the night away in one of the many bustling clubs and bars that line the streets of the Hotel Zone.
Pro Travel Tip: While in Cancun, don’t miss out on a day trip to Isla Mujeres. It’s a short ferry ride away and is famous for its tranquil beaches and stunning snorkeling spots.
2. Playa del Carmen
Here’s another beach town that’s no stranger to the spotlight. But let me tell you something, Playa del Carmen is not just another name in the long list of Mexico’s beach destinations. It’s a place that leaves its mark on you. And in December? It’s nothing short of a tropical Christmas fantasy.
The weather in December is as inviting as a warm hug. The average high temperature stays around 28 degrees Celsius (low 80s Fahrenheit), giving you plenty of opportunities to get your dose of Vitamin Sea.
When it comes to attractions, Playa del Carmen brings a world of wonders to your feet. The famed Fifth Avenue, or Quinta Avenida, is a vibrant stretch of shops, restaurants, and bars where you can find everything from local handicrafts to high-end brands.
For nature lovers, eco-parks like Xcaret and Xel-Ha offer an unforgettable mix of adventure and natural beauty. And let’s not forget the spectacular scuba diving experiences on offer. The Great Maya Reef, one of the largest coral reef systems in the world, is just off the coast.
Pro Travel Tip: If you’re visiting in early December, don’t miss out on the Riviera Maya Jazz Festival. It’s one of the biggest events of the year in Playa del Carmen and a great chance to groove to some world-class jazz music.
Last on our list of sun-kissed beach destinations, but certainly not the least, is Tulum. A place that weaves a magical spell of serenity, Tulum is an ideal retreat to escape the winter chills. With December temperatures averaging a balmy 28 degrees Celsius (low 80s Fahrenheit), it’s a perfect time to explore this tropical paradise.
Tulum is a unique blend of stunning beaches, captivating history, and an irresistible bohemian vibe. The Tulum Ruins, a well-preserved Mayan coastal city perched on a cliff, is a sight to behold. The Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a biodiverse wonderland that houses thousands of species of flora and fauna.
For those seeking inner peace, numerous yoga retreats around town offer a serene environment to unwind and rejuvenate.
Pro Travel Tip: While in Tulum, make sure to visit one of the many cenotes – natural sinkholes filled with crystal-clear water, perfect for swimming, snorkeling, or simply cooling off.
4. Mexico City
Stepping away from the beaches, let’s dive into the cultural heart of Mexico. Mexico City, the capital, is a bustling metropolis that blends the old with the new, traditions with trends, and the quaint with the quirky. In December, the city takes on a festive air, with lights, decorations, and celebrations in full swing.
The weather is cooler here, with temperatures ranging from 8 to 21 degrees Celsius (mid-40s to low-70s Fahrenheit). It’s an excellent time to explore the city without the summer heat or the rainy season showers.
Mexico City is a city of wonders. The Zocalo, one of the largest public squares in the world, is a must-visit. The Frida Kahlo Museum, dedicated to the life and works of the famous Mexican artist, is a cultural gem. And you simply cannot miss out on the city’s Christmas celebrations, which include colorful processions, live performances, and a grand display of lights and decorations.
Pro Travel Tip: While in Mexico City, be sure to sample some traditional holiday treats, such as bunuelos (deep-fried pastries) and ponche (warm fruit punch).
Next on our list is Guanajuato, a charming city that looks straight out of a vibrant postcard. With its colorful houses nestled into the hillside and narrow, winding streets, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is nothing short of enchanting. And with the mild December weather (average highs around 20 degrees Celsius or high-60s Fahrenheit), you can comfortably explore all its wonders.
A visit to Guanajuato is a walk through Mexico’s rich history and culture. The Mummies of Guanajuato, a collection of naturally mummified bodies, offer a fascinating, albeit slightly eerie, glimpse into the past. The annual Festival Internacional Cervantino, one of the most important arts and culture festivals in Latin America, fills the city with music, dance, and theater.
Pro Travel Tip: Take a ride on the funicular for a panoramic view of the city. The sight of the sun setting over the colorful houses is truly mesmerizing.
Our cultural journey continues to Oaxaca, a city that is often referred to as the culinary capital of Mexico. In December, the city’s weather remains pleasant with average temperatures around 27 degrees Celsius (low-80s Fahrenheit), making it an ideal time to indulge in its gastronomic delights.
Oaxaca’s rich cultural tapestry extends to its attractions too. The Monte Alban archaeological site, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, showcases the grandeur of the ancient Zapotec civilization. The vibrant local markets are the perfect place to sample the city’s famous cuisine, which includes delicacies like mole and tlayudas.
Pro Travel Tip: While in Oaxaca, take a trip to Teotitlan del Valle, a nearby village famous for its traditional Zapotec rug weaving.
7. Puerto Vallarta
As we journey back towards the coast, our first stop is Puerto Vallarta. This Pacific paradise is a nature lover’s dream, with its lush jungles, pristine beaches, and abundant wildlife. In December, Puerto Vallarta enjoys a respite from the rainy season, with temperatures around 31 degrees Celsius (high 80s Fahrenheit) – ideal for outdoor exploration.
There’s plenty to do in Puerto Vallarta, but one experience you should not miss is whale watching. From December to March, humpback whales visit the bay’s warm waters, making for a spectacular sight. For those seeking tranquility, the quaint villages of Yelapa and Majahuitas offer peaceful beaches and a laid-back vibe.
Let’s not forget about Zona Romantica, the city’s historic heart, known for its cobblestone streets, charming architecture, and vibrant arts scene.
Pro Travel Tip: Try to visit the El Eden Canopy Tour, where some scenes from the movie “Predator” were filmed. The tour offers zipline adventures through the verdant jungle.
8. Cabo San Lucas
Perched on the southernmost tip of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula, Cabo San Lucas is a destination like no other. This desert meets the sea paradise is a perfect December getaway, with temperatures around 27 degrees Celsius (low 80s Fahrenheit) and practically zero rainfall.
Cabo’s natural beauty is its biggest allure. The El Arco, a stunning rock formation emerging from the sea, is a sight to behold and an iconic symbol of the town. Medano Beach, with its golden sands and calm waters, is perfect for swimming and sunbathing. And for the adventurous souls, Cabo offers some of the best sport fishing opportunities in the world.
Pro Travel Tip: Take a boat ride to Lover’s Beach, a hidden beach nestled between dramatic rock formations. Be mindful of the tides, though, as high tides can make the beach inaccessible.
9. San Miguel de Allende
Our nature retreat continues to San Miguel de Allende, a city renowned for its well-preserved colonial architecture and enchanting natural surroundings. December sees San Miguel in a festive mood, with pleasant weather (average high around 22 degrees Celsius or low 70s Fahrenheit) and numerous Christmas festivities.
There’s much to love about San Miguel de Allende. The Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel, with its gothic façade, is the city’s centerpiece and a must-visit. A dip in one of the local hot springs is a relaxing experience. Art enthusiasts would love exploring the numerous art workshops and galleries around town.
Pro Travel Tip: Attend a traditional posada, a Mexican Christmas procession that reenacts Mary and Joseph’s search for shelter.
10. Chichen Itza
Finally, we round off our list with a visit to one of the world’s most famous archaeological sites – Chichen Itza. Located in the Yucatan Peninsula, this ancient Mayan city is a testament to a civilization that was far ahead of its time. December is a great time to visit, with mild temperatures (around 28 degrees Celsius or low 80s Fahrenheit) and lesser crowds.
Chichen Itza is home to several remarkable structures. El Castillo, also known as the Pyramid of Kukulcan, is a marvel of ancient architecture and astronomy. The Great Ball Court, the largest known ancient sports field, is another intriguing sight. Just a short drive away is the Cenote Ik Kil, a beautiful natural sinkhole ideal for swimming.
Pro Travel Tip: Arrive early to beat the crowds and the midday heat. And don’t forget to bring a hat, sunglasses, and plenty of water.
So there you have it – the top 10 best places to visit in Mexico this December. Whether you’re looking for sun-kissed beaches, vibrant cities, serene retreats, or glimpses into ancient civilizations, Mexico has something for everyone. And there’s something uniquely magical about experiencing it all in the festive month of December.
I hope this guide has given you a taste of what awaits you in Mexico this December. Remember, every journey begins with a single step. So why not take that step today and start planning your Mexican adventure? After all, the world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page. Here’s to turning the page and starting a new chapter. Hasta pronto, amigos!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Weather Like in Mexico in December?
In December, the weather in Mexico is typically mild and pleasant. Coastal regions like Cancun and Puerto Vallarta maintain warm temperatures ideal for beach activities, while cities like Mexico City and Guanajuato might have cooler, yet comfortable, weather.
Do I Need a Visa to Visit Mexico?
For many countries, a visa is not required for a tourist stay of up to 180 days in Mexico. However, it’s always best to check the current visa policies for your specific country before planning your trip.
Is it Safe to Travel to Mexico?
While Mexico does face some safety issues, millions of tourists safely visit every year. It’s important to research and stay updated on travel advisories, use common sense, and take precautions similar to those in any major city.
are there COVID-19 Travel Restrictions in Mexico?
COVID-19 travel restrictions can change frequently, so it’s crucial to stay updated. As of now, Mexico is open for tourists, but it’s recommended to check the latest government advisories and health guidelines before your journey.
What are the Must-Try Foods in Mexico?
Mexico’s culinary scene is vast and vibrant. Do not miss out on trying tacos, enchiladas, tamales, and mole. For sweets, try churros or flan. Each region also has its own specialties that are worth tasting.