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Mexico in January: Nature's Welcome

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The weather in January makes a trip to Mexico one of the best places to visit in North America. January is part of the dry season, which means lots of sunshine along hundreds of miles of the country’s coastline and on its innumerable beaches. Strictly speaking, it is still winter in Mexico in January, but little possibility of rain along with pleasant days means that you can explore the length and breadth of this beautiful country without having to face weather-related issues. From whale-watching and going deep into jungles to surfing the high seas and exploring the remarkable ruins of the Mayan civilization—Mexico in January is full of enchanting experiences and things to do

Mexico Weather in January

Panoramic view of the tropical beach in Cancun, Mexico
While is it still technically winter, the pleasant temperatures will make you forget the season that you are in, even though it may get cold occasionally

With pleasant days across the country, the weather of Mexico in January does not really feel like winter, although temperatures can dip in some parts. January is the second-coldest month of the year in Mexico City, the country’s capital. The average temperature in the city during this time of year is around 13°C with the maximum occasionally reaching  22°C. Daytime temperatures in Cancun can be as high as 27°C, making this month ideal for those looking forward to spending time on the beach. The average minimum temperature in Cancun during January is 20°C.

For a seasonal overview, check our travel guide on the best time to visit Mexico.

Why Visit Mexico in January

Mexico City, Mexico, Aerial View of Plaza de La Republica
Go on a sightseeing tour of Mexico City and discover all the beautiful architecture of the city
Monarch Butterfly feeding from Compass plants
Mexico's coastlines provide the perfect opportunity to gaze at the magnificence of whales

January is one of the most popular months among travelers heading for Mexico. Below are a few compelling reasons why you should plan a trip to the country during this month.

  • Pleasant days: January’s bright, sunny and pleasant days make Mexico a dream destination. This is an ideal time to discover the culture, history, and natural wonders of this fascinating country.
  • Cool capital: The weather of Mexico City in January is ideal for walking tours in the city. Head out to discover this sprawling metropolis, which is also North America’s largest city, on foot. See its colonial-era architecture; admire Palacio de Bellas Artes, a popular landmark; and visit the house of the iconic Mexican artist Frida Kahlo.
  • Beach beckons: Beach bums from everywhere descend on Mexico’s fabulous white sand beaches in January, thanks to the dry winter weather. Given the innumerable sandy stretches that the country has, there is always an option of kicking back on a quiet corner for those who do not wish to fight for their turf.
  • Whale-watching: January is also an excellent month for spotting whales. Travel to Puerto Vallarta, located on the Pacific coast, if you wish to get close to these gentle giants.
  • Butterfly season: As winter fades and the temperature rises, monarch butterflies across the central highlands of the country start fluttering over the forest floor. The best time to spot them is from the end of January to late March.
  • Events alert: Mexico in January is packed with some incredible events and festivals. In early January, there is the Three Kings Day, a major celebration marking the end of the Christmas season. Some other top-rated festivals include the International Cervantino Festival held in Merída; Fiesta de Enero, which showcases the history and culture of Mexico; the Sayulita Film Festival (which starts at the end of the month); and the Festival Alfonso Ortiz Tirado, a week-long musical event.

Where to go and what to do

Humpback Whale Breaching at Sunset
Mexico's coastlines provide the perfect opportunity to gaze at the magnificence of whales

Mexico in January makes for a spectacular vacation. Head for Puerto Vallarta, one of the best whale-watching spots on the continent, and see beautiful humpback whales and adorable baby whales. While there, do not forget to take in the sights and sounds of the buzzing flea market of Old Vallarta.

Located 208 km from Mexico City, the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve comes alive in January with countless colorful monarch butterflies, and watching them is a truly unique experience. For surfing, it does not get better than Sayulita, where you can also try other water sports like paddle-boarding and kayaking.

If you are itching to hit the road in January, Riviera Maya is a dream come true. This 120-kilometer stretch along the Caribbean coastline on the Yucatán Peninsula has it all—crystalline turquoise waters, powdery beaches, and majestic archaeological ruins. Cabo San Lucas is another coastal paradise that is famous for its deep-sea fishing, seafood, intriguing rock formations, and water sports. If you want variety, then head for Oaxaca. Enjoy its unspoiled beaches, charming colonial cities, indigenous culture, and thick forests brimming with animal and plant life.

What to bring

Smiling Young Red haired woman dressed in jacket
The weather can get chilly in a few parts so make sure that you have the proper clothing for such temperatures

Although January is a dry season in Mexico, it can get cold in the early mornings and late evenings. Make sure that you pack a light jacket for these occasions. Also, since you will be covering lots of urban space on foot, a comfortable pair of walking shoes is a must.

January is, unsurprisingly, a high tourist season in Mexico. Therefore, it is best to plan your trip well in advance to make it meaningful, memorable, and glitch-free. Our local travel experts in the country can design a customized trip to Mexico that meets your requirements so feel free to get in touch with them for a personalized itinerary. Also, check out our travel guide to get tips on how many days to spend in Mexico. We recommend going on a 10-day trip for the ideal vacation in the country. If you have fewer days in your hands, you could go for a 7-day itinerary to cover all the major highlights in the country.

So, wait no further to plan your trip to Mexico in January.

Our other similar travel guides that may interest you:

Mexico in December

Mexico in February

Create your custom-made trip to Mexico

Traveling to Mexico? Chat with a local travel specialist in Mexico who can help organize your trip.

  • Harriet Sleath
    Harriet Sleath
    Travel Expert in Mexico
  • Ivana Gasser
    Ivana Gasser
    Travel Expert in Mexico
Our travel experts are recommended by
  • BBC
  • Independent
  • Herald Sun
0 Comments We welcome your questions or comments to this article. Our travel experts will respond within 48 hours.
Travel Expert in Mexico
Harriet Sleath Travel Expert in Mexico
Travel Expert in Mexico
Ivana Gasser Travel Expert in Mexico
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