Mexico is not only one of the largest but also one of the most diverse countries on Earth. During October and at any other time of the year, Mexico offers an intriguing travel experience.
White sandy beaches like those from a picture book and the temples of the Maya are two of the many reasons that speak for a vacation in one of the most beautiful countries on this planet.
In this article, we’ll let you know in detail what the month of October has to offer and everything you need to know when traveling during this time.
Recommended Tours for October
Is it too rainy? Will there be hurricanes? What do you need to pack and wear in October, and more questions answered!
Is October a Good Time?
While it’s hot and humid with some possible rainy days, October is a very good time to visit Mexico. The resorts/beaches are not as crowded as in the summer and spring months. It’s still hurricane season but the odds of one impacting you are slim.
Last year, we were back in Mexico in October and found it to be an ideal month for my round trip. There were no hurricanes and it almost never rained. The weather and climate were perfect, despite the official rainy season. I am aware that the weather could have been worse, but it wasn’t.
Only in the highlands was it quite cool in the evenings. We had this experience in San Cristobal de las Casas and Palenque. There, you just need to make sure to get warm blankets in the accommodations and to have a jacket with you for the evenings.
All in all, it was the best travel time for a holiday in Mexico for us so are. Mainly,
we were in the Yucatan Peninsula and the highlands of Chiapas.
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October weather in Mexico varies, as temperatures and precipitation differ across the country. This month marks the tail end of the rainy season, especially in the southern and coastal regions.
Average high temperatures during October in Mexico range from the upper 70s°F (about 25°C) in the mountainous and central regions to the mid-90s°F (about 35°C) in coastal and desert areas. Precipitation varies, from an average of about 2 inches in the northern deserts to up to 10 inches in the tropical south.
Despite these variations, October can still be an excellent time to visit Mexico in terms of weather conditions. It is generally warm but not as scorching as the summer months, and the rain, while present, is often short-lived, typically occurring in the afternoons and passing quickly.
All this creates an excellent opportunity for you to explore the country’s rich cultural and natural attractions without the heavy tourist traffic of the peak season.
Is It Very Hot in October in Mexico?
The heat in Mexico during October is variable, depending on the region. Coastal areas like Cancun and Cabo San Lucas experience hotter conditions, with average high temperatures around the mid-90s°F (about 35°C).
Meanwhile, regions at higher altitudes such as Mexico City, experience milder temperatures, typically in the upper 70s°F (about 25°C). The desert areas can still be pretty hot during the day, but they cool down significantly at night. Remember, regardless of where you go, hydration is key when exploring in these temperatures.
Rain and Hurricanes
October is the tail end of the hurricane season and the rainy season in Mexico. Most regions, especially those near the coast and in the south, can experience short but intense afternoon showers.
For instance, in Cancun and Riviera Maya, you can expect about 9-10 inches of rainfall spread across the month. Mexico City and the central highlands, however, receive significantly less rain, typically around 2-3 inches.
Technically it’s still hurricane season in October. However, on multiple trips during this month, I’ve only lost a handful of days to steady rain in total. For the most part, it will be just hot and humid.
Daytime heating will typically produce an afternoon or evening shower but they usually go as quickly as they come. Please don’t stress over the forecasts. They always predict rain in this season but it’s usually not bad at all.
Even though hurricanes are less common in October, they can still occur, especially in the Atlantic-facing regions. It’s crucial to keep an eye on the forecast and stay informed about potential tropical storms if you plan to visit during this time. Despite the possibility of rain and storms, these usually pass quickly, leaving behind cooler temperatures and clear skies, ideal for exploration and adventure.
Humidity in Mexico varies considerably by region in October, significantly impacting travelers’ comfort and experiences. In coastal regions like Cancun and the Riviera Maya, October sees high humidity levels, averaging about 77%. This high humidity amplifies the heat, making it feel hotter than it actually is. Despite sea breezes offering some relief, it’s crucial to stay hydrated, seek shade, and wear sun protection.
Mexico City, at a higher altitude, experiences more moderate humidity levels averaging around 50% in October. The lower humidity makes the heat less intense, but the altitude might require some acclimatization.
Cabo San Lucas, a desert region, has lower humidity levels, usually around 45-55% in October. The dry air makes the heat more tolerable, but hydration and sun protection remain vital.
Weather Details in October by Region
I’ve been visiting different regions in Mexico for the last 15 years. I experienced hurricanes, tropical storms, depressions, and lots of sunshine in October. It’s a dice roll. However, I wouldn’t worry as it was mostly sunny.
Friends of ours have gone to different areas in October almost every year for over ten years and have not run into a hurricane yet. The odds are you won’t see one either, but no one can promise you that won’t happen. It is always kind of a gamble.
An October visit to Cancun offers a calm, relaxed atmosphere compared to the bustling summer season. However, prepare for a sweltering environment. Daytime temperatures average around 90°F (32°C), while nights are slightly cooler at around 77°F (25°C).
Keep in mind that it’s also pretty muggy, with average humidity resting at approximately 77%. As for rain, afternoon showers are frequent but usually brief.
I have been to Cancun in October recently and had no issues with rain. I am that person that says it doesn’t rain all day over there. There’s usually rain in the forecast but it passes quickly. I’ve been to Cancun five times during this month and have not had a rain out.
Compared to its colder winters, Mexico City experiences milder weather in October. There are likely to be afternoon showers, but it rarely rains all day. With ample indoor activities, such as museum visits and dining at fantastic restaurants, the occasional rains should not dampen your travel plans.
Cabo San Lucas
For those seeking warmth and sunshine, Cabo San Lucas fits the bill. Despite being October, temperatures hover around a balmy 90°F (32°C). Cabo’s rainy season typically wraps up in September, so you’re likely to enjoy an abundance of sunshine during your visit.
In Tulum, expect afternoon rains while enjoying lower tourist traffic and better deals on accommodations. The temperature is typically warm, but the October showers offer a respite from the heat. This period is an excellent opportunity for budget-conscious travelers to enjoy this popular destination.
The culturally rich city of Oaxaca, known for its remarkable cuisine and vibrant festivals, enjoys a desert-like climate. The city’s rainy season typically ends in September, so the chances of rainfall in October, especially the latter half, are lower.
Located between Cancun and Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya boasts a posh and luxurious atmosphere. Its weather in October mirrors that of Cancun, Tulum, and Playa del Carmen, meaning you should prepare for high temperatures. However, the proximity to the Caribbean Sea means you’ll likely experience occasional breezes and have plenty of opportunities for refreshing swims.
Guadalajara offers a pleasant climate in October. The city, famous for tequila and mariachi music, enjoys an average temperature of around 77°F (25°C) during the day and 57°F (14°C) at night. Rainfall is less frequent compared to the wet summer months, making it a great time to explore this vibrant city.
October in Monterrey is comfortably warm with temperatures typically ranging from 60°F (15°C) at night to 82°F (28°C) during the daytime. Rainfall is infrequent, making it an ideal time to enjoy the city’s natural and architectural marvels.
Puerto Vallarta is a beach resort city located on the Pacific coast. In October, the weather starts to cool down after the hot summer with temperatures ranging from 70°F (21°C) to 90°F (32°C).
While October is the tail end of the rainy season, you can expect less rain towards the end of the month.
Crowds and Activities in October by Region
Cancun in October
Cancun’s hot weather in October doesn’t deter visitors, but it’s certainly less crowded compared to peak summer months. The relative calm provides an excellent opportunity to explore Cancun’s rich cultural heritage, including the famed Mayan ruins.
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to take a refreshing dip in Cancun’s numerous cenotes. With the Atlantic hurricane season ending on November 1, it’s essential to stay updated about potential storms.
Mexico City in October
Mexico City in October provides a balance of comfortable weather and rich cultural experiences without the heavy crowds that come in winter.
Some of the highlights include the famous Frida Kahlo Museum, the magnificent Palacio de Bellas Artes, and the expansive Chapultepec Park. Additionally, if you’re visiting around the end of October, you can witness the unforgettable spectacle of the Day of the Dead festivities.
Cabo San Lucas in October
October in Cabo San Lucas still has the warm temperatures characteristic of the summer months, but with the rainy season ending in September, it’s much drier.
As Cabo San Lucas is less crowded in October, it’s an excellent time to explore attractions like the Arch of Cabo San Lucas, the vibrant Marina, and the sandy stretches of Medano Beach. The clear weather also makes for perfect whale watching opportunities.
Tulum sees a decrease in tourist traffic in October, making it an ideal time to explore the city’s many offerings.
Discover the magic of Tulum’s Mayan ruins, particularly the El Castillo pyramid overlooking the Caribbean Sea. For nature lovers, a visit to the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve is a must, offering a chance to see diverse wildlife and stunning landscapes.
In Oaxaca, October is a fascinating time to visit because it marks the lead-up to the Day of the Dead celebrations. This cultural capital is less crowded in October, allowing you to fully appreciate its colorful markets, traditional arts and crafts, and mouthwatering Oaxacan cuisine.
You can also visit Monte Alban, an impressive archaeological site offering stunning views of the surrounding valley.
October is considered the low season in Riviera Maya, which means fewer crowds and more opportunities to enjoy the area’s spectacular attractions.
Explore the ancient Mayan ruins at Coba and Tulum, or discover the natural beauty of the eco-archaeological park Xcaret. Don’t forget to snorkel in the Great Mayan Reef, the second-largest coral reef system in the world.
October in Guadalajara is relatively quiet, offering an excellent opportunity to explore the city’s offerings at your own pace.
Visit the Hospicio Cabañas, a UNESCO World Heritage site, or stroll around the charming neighborhood of Tlaquepaque. For tequila lovers, a trip to the nearby town of Tequila, where the famous spirit originated, is a must.
In Monterrey, October is a relatively calm time, perfect for enjoying the city’s natural wonders and rich cultural heritage.
Must-visit spots include the stunning Cerro de la Silla, the Macroplaza, and the captivating Museum of Contemporary Art. This time of year is also ideal for exploring the nearby Cumbres de Monterrey National Park.
October marks the end of the rainy season in Puerto Vallarta, leading to fewer crowds and more comfortable exploring conditions.
The city offers an array of activities, from strolling down the El Malecon boardwalk to experiencing the vibrant nightlife. For nature enthusiasts, a boat trip to the Marietas Islands is a must, where you can swim, snorkel, and discover hidden beaches.
What to Wear and Pack in October
Given the climatic diversity in Mexico, packing for a trip in October should focus on versatility and comfort.
In coastal areas where temperatures are warmer, wear lightweight and breathable clothing. Opt for loose-fitting, cotton or linen shirts, shorts, dresses, or skirts that can provide both comfort and protection from the sun. Don’t forget your swimsuit for those refreshing dips in the ocean or the hotel pool.
In the cooler highlands and desert areas, layers are key. Pack short-sleeve or long-sleeve tops that can be worn alone during the day or layered under a light jacket or sweater for the cooler evenings. Comfortable walking shoes are a must regardless of the region as Mexico’s landscapes often involve a fair bit of walking or hiking, be it urban exploration in Mexico City or trekking in Oaxaca.
If you’re planning on visiting any religious sites or more conservative towns, it’s also good to have a few modest items of clothing, such as long skirts, trousers, or shawls to cover your shoulders. Additionally, the sun can be quite strong even in October, so a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen are essential.
Basic Packing List
Here’s a more detailed packing list to help you prepare:
- Lightweight shirts: Both short-sleeved and long-sleeved, for protection from the sun.
- Shorts and lightweight pants: For hot days and cooler evenings.
- Dresses or skirts: Lightweight and comfortable, perfect for the beach or casual dining.
- Swimsuits: More than one, so you always have a dry one ready.
- Light jacket or sweater: For cooler nights or air-conditioned places.
- Comfortable walking shoes: Consider waterproof if you plan on adventuring outdoors.
- Sandals: For the beach and casual wear.
- Wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses: To protect from the sun.
- Rain jacket or umbrella: October is part of the rainy season.
- Modest clothing: For visiting religious sites or conservative towns.
- High SPF sunscreen: The sun can be intense even in October.
- Reusable water bottle: Staying hydrated is key in the Mexican heat.
- Quick-dry towel: Useful for beach visits or unexpected rain showers.
- Insect repellent: Particularly if you’re visiting jungle or beach areas.
- Travel first-aid kit: Always useful in case of minor injuries or ailments.
Remember, the key to packing for Mexico in October is versatility. Be prepared for a range of temperatures and conditions so that, no matter the weather, you can enjoy everything Mexico has to offer.
Things to Do in October by Region
Swimming in Cancun’s Cenotes: October’s balmy temperatures make it perfect for a dip in Cancun’s famous cenotes. These natural sinkholes, filled with crystal-clear freshwater, offer a refreshing escape from the heat and a unique snorkeling or diving experience.
Exploring the Mayan Ruins: Cancun is not just about beaches and resorts. Close by are the historical Mayan ruins, which provide a glimpse into the ancient civilization. October provides a calm and less crowded atmosphere for this exploration.
Dolphin Watching: In the waters surrounding Cancun, there are often opportunities to spot dolphins. With fewer tourists in October, it’s an excellent time for a dolphin-watching tour.
Visit The Day of the Dead Festival: Mexico City is famous for its Day of the Dead celebrations in late October. It’s a colorful, vibrant event with parades, costumes, and traditional food.
Exploring the City’s Museums: Mexico City is rich in history and culture, and there’s no better way to experience it than by visiting its many museums. This includes the Frida Kahlo Museum, the Anthropology Museum, and many others.
Experience a Lucha Libre Match: A truly unique Mexican experience, Lucha Libre is professional wrestling characterized by colorful masks, rapid sequences of holds, and high-flying maneuvers. October’s mild weather makes it an ideal time to catch a match.
Cabo San Lucas
Deep Sea Fishing: Cabo San Lucas is well-known for its deep-sea fishing opportunities. October marks the beginning of the peak season for many species of game fish.
Whale Watching: Starting in October, you can witness the annual migration of the humpback and gray whales in Cabo San Lucas.
Visit Land’s End (El Arco): A natural rock arch at the southern tip of Cabo San Lucas, it’s an iconic landmark where the Pacific Ocean meets the Sea of Cortez. The boat ride to the arch is a great activity for October.
Visit Tulum Ruins: The archaeological site in Tulum, right by the sea, is a must-visit. With less crowd in October, you’ll enjoy a peaceful exploration of this historical site.
Exploring Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve: This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a nature lover’s paradise with its tropical forests, marshes, and barrier reef.
Swimming in Gran Cenote: One of the most popular cenotes in Tulum, Gran Cenote is perfect for a refreshing swim or snorkel in October. It’s a magical spot with clear water, fish, and turtles.
Visit Tlaquepaque: This colorful neighborhood is known for its vibrant arts scene, historic architecture, and bustling markets. October’s mild weather is perfect for wandering its charming streets and shopping for local crafts.
Touring Tequila distilleries: A visit to Guadalajara isn’t complete without a trip to the nearby town of Tequila, where the world-famous spirit originates. October is an excellent time to tour the distilleries and sample some of the best tequilas.
Experience Mariachi music: Guadalajara is the birthplace of Mariachi music. You can enjoy authentic performances in the plazas and restaurants throughout the city.
Celebrate Dia de los Muertos: Oaxaca is renowned for its Day of the Dead festivities. In October, the city comes alive with colorful decorations, processions, and traditional music.
Explore the Monte Alban Ruins: The Monte Alban archaeological site offers an insight into Zapotec culture. With fewer tourists in October, it’s an ideal time for exploration.
Visit the markets: Oaxaca’s markets are bustling hubs of local life. They’re great for sampling local delicacies and buying unique handicrafts, particularly in the milder weather of October.
San Cristobal de las Casas
Visit the Indigenous Villages: San Cristobal is surrounded by indigenous villages, where you can learn about the unique cultures and traditions. The cooler weather in October makes it comfortable for visits.
Explore the Sumidero Canyon: Take a boat trip along the Grijalva River and marvel at the towering cliffs of Sumidero Canyon. October’s generally clear weather makes it ideal for this trip.
Visit the Amber Museum: San Cristobal is famous for its amber. Visit the Amber Museum to learn about this precious resin and maybe even buy a piece as a souvenir.
Visit the Palenque Ruins: The ancient Maya city of Palenque is one of the best-preserved archaeological sites in Mexico. October’s cooler, less humid weather is ideal for exploring these ruins.
Explore Misol-Ha and Agua Azul Waterfalls: These stunning waterfalls are near Palenque and are well worth a visit. The rainfall in October ensures they’re at their most spectacular.
Tour the Jungle: Palenque is surrounded by lush jungle, full of wildlife and natural beauty. Guided tours are available, and the milder temperatures in October make it a good time for this activity.