You could spend a lifetime traveling through Mexico and still have many wonders left to explore. The country is full of massive tourist drawcards and stunning hidden gems, all waiting to be discovered. However, there are many factors to consider in determining when to visit certain places.
Choosing the right time of year can save you from unpleasant experiences or transform a good time into something truly magical. Read on to discover four of the most amazing places Mexico has to offer and the ideal times to visit them.
One of the amazing surreal constructions in Las Pozas
Stepping into Las Pozas feels like venturing into a mythical wonderland. The semi-cultivated jungle-garden is filled with massive surrealist sculptures, natural waterfalls, and sparkling pools. Its creator, British poet Edward James, designed it to be his vision of the Garden of Eden.
This stunning jungle paradise can be found high in the Mexican mountains, near the small town of Xilitla, in the state of San Luis Potosí. If you're a more adventurous traveller, you can hire a car and drive out yourself or take a bus from hubs in San Luis Potosí, Mexico City, or Querétaro. If you'd rather have everything taken care of for you, then there are plenty of tour packages that include Las Pozas.
Though surprisingly few foreigners have heard of Las Pozas, the place is famous in Mexico. During the high season and on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays all throughout the year, the beautiful hidden sanctuary is packed. Choose the wrong time and you can end up waiting in line for up to three hours!
The best months of the year to visit Las Pozas are between May and October. And if you can schedule your adventure on any day from Monday to Thursday, you'll be able to avoid line ups and have a more private experience of this stunning place.
The stunning turquoise waters of Huasteca Potosina
It's worth having Las Pozas and Huasteca Potosina pencilled into your itinerary next to each other as they are both in the same region of central Mexico. On top of the geographical convenience, this also means that when it's the ideal time to visit one, it's also perfect timing to visit the other.
Since timing is already taken care of, it's worth pointing out that this is a massive region with many amazing places to visit – waterfalls, cascades, hot springs, swimming parks, zip lines, caves, and so much more. With this in mind, it's worth giving yourself as much time here as you can afford. Two to three weeks would be ideal... though you'll still be wishing you could stay longer when it comes time to leave!
The Caribbean Coast
Swimming in the turquoise water in front of the ruins in Tulum
Like Huasteca Potosina, Mexico's Caribbean Coast has an overwhelming amount of beauty on offer. You can swim in front of ancient ruins in Tulum, learn about the incredible acoustic design capabilities of the ancient Mayan's at Chichén Itzá, dive into a massive underground river system at Rio Secreto, snorkel with turtles in the many cenotes that pepper the region, explore the world's second-largest reef system, and so much more.
Chichén Itzá: one of the seven wonders of the world
In Playa del Carmen, you will find a chill beach town with a vibrant nightlife that's also perfectly placed for excursions to the many theme parks that populate this region of Mexico. You'll also be close to Isla Mujeres, Cozumel, and Holbox – three islands that are well worth an expedition.
Gran Cenote: One of many stunning cenotes that can be found on Mexico's Caribbean Coast
Though it may be tempting to follow the idea of visiting in the low season, there's a catch when it comes to the Caribbean Coast. Though it's not 100% predictable, from roughly May to October each year, waves of Sargassum coat the shores, muddying the glistening turquoise water with reddish-brown gunge.
This seaweed piles up on the beaches creating an almighty stench. And if you dare to swim amongst it, you run the risk of finding out that your skin is sensitive to it. Though the worst you'll get is itchy redness, it's still not fun.
Some beach clubs rake the sargassum up daily, but the piles keep growing!
If you do visit the area when the sargassum is thick, then you may wish to save your swimming for certain areas, including the beautiful Bacalar. Here, you will find no sargassum as the town is set back a bit from the beach, nestled instead on a massive cenote filled with fresh water.
The other thing to consider is the fact that this region is still hot and humid, even in the midst of winter. So, heading to the Carribean Coast between November and April is advisable. The water is clear and sparkling, the heat is somewhat tempered, the mosquitos settle down a bit, and you won't need any winter gear!
San Miguel de Allende
Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel: The stunning cathedral in San Miguel de Allende
San Miguel de Allende is a sweet little town in the state of Guanajuato. Pretty much anywhere you visit in Guanajuato is going to be stunning, but San Miguel de Allende is particularly special at a certain time of year – during Day of the Dead.
The crumbling baroque architecture truly comes into its own over this three-day holiday. The cobbled streets fill with people in gothic costumes, their faces painted as skulls. Both tourists and locals get into it, leaving barely a soul in town who doesn't look like the walking dead. This makes strolling around a surreal experience as you genuinely feel like you're in the netherworld. Plenty of places in the downtown area offer face painting so you can get into the spirit.
The streets of San Miguel de Allende during Day of the Dead
The streets also fill with ofrendas, which are beautifully-designed and brightly-coloured altars created by Mexican families to honour their dead loved ones. They are filled with candles and symbols of death, but also feature pictures of those who have passed on, along with all their favourite foods, drinks, and treasures. Everything is displayed in celebration of life and acceptance of the inevitability of death.
Close up of one of the many ofrendas that line the cobbled streets
Day of the Dead celebrations tend to span from the 31st of October to the 1st of November each year. And as a final hot tip: when you're in San Miguel de Allende, the best churros and hot chocolate can be found at Chocolates y Churros San Agustín. Though be warned: the line gets insane and they close as soon as they sell out, so be sure to get in early!