February can be a great time to visit Mexico. The weather is warm and sunny, especially along the coasts and in the Yucatan Peninsula. The crowds from the winter holidays have gone home but peak spring break crowds have not yet arrived. February falls outside of the June-October rainy season in most of Mexico. However, the weather and activities do vary across Mexico’s diverse regions in February. Here’s what to expect in popular destinations.
Weather in Mexico in February
Along the beaches in places like Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, Los Cabos, and Puerto Vallarta, February daytime highs reach the 80s F/high 20s C. Water temperatures are in the 70s-80s F/low to high 20s C, warm enough for swimming. Cooling breezes come off the ocean. Rain is unlikely along the Yucatan and Baja coasts. Nights dip down into the 60s/high teens.
In Mexico City, Guadalajara, Oaxaca and other inland areas, February brings dry pleasant weather, with highs around 75 F/24 C and lows around 50 F/10 C. Bring a light jacket for evenings. The lands inland from Mazatlan on the Pacific Coast and Tampico on the Gulf Coast are more humid and can see occasional showers in February. But amounts are modest.
Areas near the U.S. border like Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez have similar dry pleasant weather as inland cities, with highs around 70 F/21 C and lows around 50 F/10 C. Bring light layers and a jacket.
Crowds in February
February falls nicely between the busier winter holiday peak from mid-December through New Year’s and the busy spring break months of March and April. Resorts, attractions and cities are less crowded and hotel rates are lower. Exceptions are beach destinations like Cancun that draw college spring breakers late February into March. Avoid those dates if you don’t want to be among the party crowds.
Things to Do
With warm weather and fewer crowds, February is an ideal time to relax on Mexico’s beautiful beaches. Ocean swim, snorkel, sail, kayak, parasail and more along the many miles of sand. Top beach destinations include Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, Puerto Vallarta, Los Cabos, and Huatulco. Whale watching also peaks in February near Puerto Vallarta and Los Cabos.
Explore Mexico’s fascinating ancient ruins without the summer heat and crowds. Top sites like Chichen Itza, Tulum, Teotihuacan, Palenque, Uxmal and more have cooler, comfortable weather and fewer people in February.
The colorful, historic colonial cities of San Miguel de Allende, Oaxaca, Mexico City, Guanajuato, Queretaro and others have lovely weather and festive celebrations before Lent. Catch the last Days of the Dead in early February, big Carnival celebrations leading up to Lent, parades and more.
Nature and Adventure
February’s dry weather makes it a great time for hiking, biking, horseback riding, ATVs, zip lining, and more outdoor adventures. Explore forests, jungles, waterfalls, rivers, lakes, and wildlife reserves. Top inland nature spots include Chipinque Ecological Park, Copper Canyon, El Cielo Biosphere Reserve, and the monarch butterfly reserves in Michoacan.
Festivals and Events
- Carnaval – Week-long Mardi Gras type event takes place in Mazatlan and other coastal cities
- Day of the Dead – Leftover celebrations of Day of the Dead occur early February
- Festival of Mayahuel – Celebration of the goddess of agave, tequila and pulque in early February near Tequila
- Samalayuca Sand Dunes Festival – Music, food, and off-road races at this desert area near Juarez
- Bird Festivals – Spot a variety of tropical birds at festivals in areas like Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta, Veracruz
Where to Go
Cancun, Riviera Maya, Tulum – Easy to reach Caribbean beaches with resorts, dining, nightlife and offshore activities like snorkeling, scuba, fishing. Whale sharks appear off Isla Mujeres and Cozumel late February. Avoid college spring break dates if you don’t want crowds.
Los Cabos – Includes Cabo San Lucas lively resort town and quieter San Jose del Cabo. Whale watching, snorkeling, boating, fishing, golf.
Puerto Vallarta – Historic and artsy beach town with resorts, dining, culture. Good for nature lovers and whale watching.
Huatulco – Quieter beach area with 9 bays, DOM all-inclusive resorts, snorkeling, fishing, hiking, birding.
Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo – Relaxed Pacific beach towns with resorts, charter fishing, sailing, sea turtles.
Inland Colonial Cities
Mexico City – Vibrant capital with history, culture, cuisine, nightlife. Visit the historic center, Frida Kahlo museums, Pyramids of Teotihuacan and more.
Oaxaca – Rich indigenous culture and craft traditions. Explore Monte Alban ruins, artisan villages, markets, festivals.
Guanajuato – Historic and picturesque hillside town with murals, museums, festivals, Mexican culture.
San Miguel de Allende – Colorful colonial gem with boutiques, galleries, food scene and events.
Queretaro – Pretty downtown center, aqueduct, museums and proximity to Tequisquiapan thermal springs area.
Copper Canyon – Rugged canyon area in Chihuahua for hiking, riding the scenic train, staying in cliffside lodges and visiting Tarahumara villages.
Chipinque Ecological Park – Forested park near Monterrey good for hiking, mountain biking, seeing wildlife like monkeys.
El Cielo Biosphere – Tropical forest area near Tampico great for hiking, birding and seeing butterflies and orchids.
Monarch Butterfly Reserves – See millions of monarch butterflies wintering in Michoacan’s Oyamel fir forests November to March. Best in February.
Mexico has an extensive network of domestic flights through leading airlines Aeromexico, Volaris, VivaAerobus and Interjet. Nonstop flights connect most major tourist destinations. Buses run frequently between most cities and towns on comfortable direct long-haul or second-class buses. First-class buses with reclining seats are best for overnight trips. In cities, taxis, Uber, buses and collective vans provide transportation around town. Many tourists get around by rental car, which provides maximum flexibility for exploring the countryside. Be cautious driving at night.
Best Places for These Types of Travelers
Cancun/Riviera Maya – Kid-friendly resorts, beaches, cenotes, parks and adventure activities. Avoid spring break period.
Puerto Vallarta – Manageable town with outdoor fun like boat tours and hiking. Some all-inclusives cater to families.
Cabo – Kid-friendly hotels, beaches, glass-bottom boat tours to see whales and sea lions.
Tulum – Relaxed boho-chic beach town with boutique hotels, al fresco dining, cenotes, solitude on the beach.
Los Cabos – Romantic resorts, spas, restaurants, activities like sunset cruises and stargazing in the desert.
San Miguel de Allende – Quaint and artsy colonial town that’s popular with couples and retirees.
Puerto Escondido – Known for surfing waves, hostels, laid-back bars, fishing village vibes and turtle releases.
Palenque – Jungle town near Mayan ruins, with cheap dorms and hotels, river tubing, jungles and waterfalls to explore.
Oaxaca City – Vibrant destination with hostels, markets, cultural attractions like Day of the Dead, nearby ruins and artisan villages to visit.
Los Cabos – High-end resorts, spas, golf courses, fine dining, sportfishing, private villas.
Riviera Nayarit – Luxury all-inclusive resorts in Punta Mita and Nuevo Vallarta, with six-star amenities and glittering super yachts.
Mexico City – Upscale hotels, fine dining, arts culture, designer shopping at Antara Polanco mall. Day trip to Teotihuacan ruins.
Health and Safety
Most of Mexico’s popular tourist areas are safe, with obvious exceptions like border towns. Use common sense as you would when traveling anywhere. The U.S. State Department Mexico Travel Advisory covers safety notations and areas to avoid. Zika is minimal risk in Mexico except near the southern Chiapas border. No vaccinations are required except recommended routine ones. The CDC recommends anti-malaria pills if visiting rural areas in specific parts of Mexico. Most tourist destinations are not high risk. Carry traveler’s diarrhea and altitude sickness medication in remote areas. Confirm your health insurance covers you internationally. Mexico has excellent private hospitals in areas like Cancun, Cabo and Mexico City if needed.
U.S., Canadian, U.K. and European Union passport holders can visit Mexico without a visa for up to 180 days. Only a valid passport is required. Be sure it is valid for at least six months beyond your entry date. All tourists must complete a simple Mexican Tourist Card upon arrival. Keep the lower portion safe during your stay as it’s collected when departing Mexico.
Mexico’s official currency is the Mexican Peso. U.S. dollars are widely accepted at many tourist businesses but you’ll get better prices paying in pesos. ATMs are plentiful in cities and tourist areas, dispensing pesos with typical banking fees per transaction. Most hotels, restaurants, and shops accept major credit cards but carry pesos for local markets, transportation, tips and smaller vendors.
When to Book
Airline tickets to Mexico tend to be most expensive from November through March – the popular winter travel season. Aim for shoulder season months like September, October or April for lower airfares. Hotel rates dip from May through early December outside peak holiday times. Packages and all-inclusive resorts offer deep discounts on rooms and activities during summer months when temperatures inland are hot. Flights and hotels fill up fast during U.S. school holidays like spring break and Christmas/New Year’s. Book those at least two months ahead.
With pleasant weather and fewer crowds, February can be an ideal time to visit Mexico. The coastal resort areas have warm sunshine for beachgoing, while the weather remains comfortable for exploring inland cities like Oaxaca and Mexico City without extreme heat or rain. Spring break crowds have not yet descended in force. It’s still possible to catch some Day of the Dead, Carnival and other February festivities. Avoid college spring break hotspots if you want to skip the party crowds. Wherever you travel in Mexico during February, the weather, smaller crowds, special events and lower prices compared to winter peak make it an excellent month to go. With proper precautions regarding safety and health, Mexico offers a warm and welcoming escape during February.