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Weather in Mexico in January: A Guide to Each Region

Weather in Mexico in January: A Guide to Each Region

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The weather in Mexico in January calls for sunny days so pack your bags and get down south. 

Of course, the weather in Mexico in January varies depending on which side of the country you plan to visit.  

Planning to stay in the Caribbean? Look forward to perfect beach days. A trip to Mexico City will have a mild fall-like climate. The best time to visit Mexico City in my humble opinion (as someone who lived there for four years).

In this article, I will go over what the weather’s like in popular spots of Mexico in January, so you know what you expect in each location. 

Whether you are planning a beach vacation, exploring different cities, or going on a surfing trip, count on this guide to have Mexico’s January weather details ready for you. 

A quick overview: Weather in Mexico in January

Now before exploring Mexico region by region let’s understand what type of weather you will expect in Mexico in January. 

When we think of Mexico we all think of beaches, tequila, and hot sunny days that are perfect for tanning our skin. This is the case for those destinations lying on the coast of Mexico. 

But as we move inland and up to northern Mexico you can expect colder temperatures. Don’t expect to find the same weather in Mexico City or Monterrey as you would find in Cancun

But generally speaking the weather in Mexico in January is much warmer in comparison to a cold Canadian January. That is why it is high season in Mexico. From around early December to late March, Mexico is at its busiest.

So you can expect prices to be a little bit higher in Mexico in January than they would be in, say, July. But that’s because the weather is best at this time of year and everyone is flocking here in search of some Vitamin D.

Average Temperature:

In January, temperatures can drastically vary from region to region. In the north temperatures can range from -1°C (30°F) to 18°C (64°F).  Central regions call for temperatures from 6°C (42°F) to 21°C (69°F). In the south and on the coast average temperature ranges from 21°C (69°F) to 29°C (84°F).

small kiosk in a park in mexico city in

January in Mexico City is a great time to get out and explore the city’s countless parks.

Amount of Precipitation:

January in Mexico is considered the dry season with little amounts of rainfall throughout the country. This is a great time to visit Mexico because you don’t have to worry about hurricanes or tropical storms.

Coastal and beach areas such as Cancun or Puerto Vallarta average approximately 1 – 2 inches of rain in January. 

Is there snow in Mexico in January?

In Mexico, it is rare to find daytime temperatures below the freezing point.  In the Caribbean, Pacific Coast, and Mexico City, snow is unheard of.  But there are a few places such as Durango, Chihuahua, and Nevado de Toluca that do receive snow in the winter months.

What is the Temperature of the Sea in Mexico in January?

If you can’t wait to dip your toes in the ocean, January is the perfect time to do so. The average sea temperature in the Caribbean is 26°C (79°F) and 25°C (77°F) in the Pacific.  This water feels balmy and warm and it is a great way to cool off from the hot Mexican Sun.

Now let’s get into more detail with a breakdown of specific regions in Mexico and their weather in January. 

golden sand beach with a curving coastline and the ocean on the left side with trees behind the san on the right side.

The beautiful beaches of Mexico in January should not be missed.

Mexico City: Mild weather great for exploring!

First stop, Mexico City.  If you are looking to visit Mexico City in January it is the perfect time to do so. 

The weather in January is mild, which allows you to explore the vibrant city without sweating profusely or having to layer up with bulky winter clothes. Check out our full Mexico City packing list to make sure you don’t miss out on packing anything for your trip.

Humidity levels are low and precipitation is rare. At this time of year it is almost always blue skies and warm sunshine during the day with cooler temperatures as soon as the sun goes down. 

January in Mexico City calls for mild sunny days and cool evenings. If you are spending the entire day out and about I recommend bringing layers to keep warm in the chilly evening. If you’re used to the heat after traveling to other parts of Mexico, you may even want a jean jacket or something similar.

Average Temperature:

The average daytime temperature in Mexico City in January is 19°C (66°F) and can drop to a low of 4°C (39°F) in the night. 

Average Precipitation:

On average, there is a 7% chance of rainfall.  The amount of rain is 11 mm or less.

Snow:

It is extremely rare to experience snow in Mexico City in January. There has only been one time in history that it has snowed in Mexico City in January and that was back in January 1967.

Activities:

January is a great time to explore historical sights around the city such as the Centro Historicio, Palacio de Bellas Artes, and the Frida Kahlo Museum. 

Explore the cuisine in Mexico City and indulge in winter favorites like hot chocolate, ponche, pozole, and the most popular of the season – Rosca de Reyes, a circular bread topped with dried fruits and eaten on January 6th, Kings Day.

blue skies and golden sand beach with a mountain in the background.

The beaches in Mexico in January are utterly spectacular with crystal clear blue skies and refreshing water for swimming.

Oaxaca: City or Beach Getaway

Oaxaca is a diverse state in Southern Mexico. From beaches on the Pacific Ocean to Mountain Ranges – Oaxaca has it all. The weather in Mexico in January in this region of Mexico is pretty fantastic thanks to how far south the state of Oaxaca is.

January is a fantastic time to visit Oaxaca to experience summer lime climates. Even though January is considered one of the cooler months of the year you can still be sure that you will be wearing your summer clothes. 

Oaxaca is a big state with so much diversity you might have varying temperatures in each city. Spend time surfing in the coastal town of Puerto Escondido, visit the Pueblos Mágicos in Oaxaca, or go Mezcal Tasting in Oaxaca City.

While Oaxaca’s climate is not dry, January is considered a dry season and that is due to the amount of precipitation that falls. Humidity is low with moderate temperatures. 

I was visiting Huatulco in January one year and remember a lot of the trees and vegetation being brown and dry due to lack of rainfall. Which is why they tend to call the wet season the Green Season in Oaxaca.

Expect blue skies and sunny days with cool breezy evenings. In the Oaxaca beach towns, your average temperature will be roughly 29°C (84°F), while inland Oaxaca will be a bit colder with temperatures of roughly 22°C (71°F).  

The ocean temperature is warm, perfect for swimming, surfing, and lazy days at the beach. 

Average Temperature: 

The average daytime temperature in Oaxaca in January is 22°C (71°F), with an average low of 9°C (48°F) at night. 

Precipitation:

On an average day, there is a 12% chance of rainfall with the amount being 13 mm. 

Snow:

There is a slim to no chance that you will ever experience snow in Oaxaca. 

Sea Temperature:

The average water temperature in the Pacific Ocean bordering Oaxaca is 27°C (80°F) perfect for all water activities. If you plan to spend a longer period in the water surfing a light wetsuit or a rashguard might come in handy to keep you warm. 

Activities:

Dive into true Oaxaca culture and plan a mezical tasting. There are so many wonderful mezcalerias around the area that you can visit. Alternatively, check out these other cool tours in Oaxaca to enjoy during your January travels.

white papel picado over a street in Mexico in January.

The weather in Mexico in January is great for exploring all of the small towns and villages known as Pueblos Magicos.

Los Cabos: Warm and sunny beach getaway

Los Cabos consists of Cabo San Lucas, San Jose del Cabo, and a few other towns around the southern tip of Baja California Sur.

The weather in Los Cabos in January is perfect. This is the best time of the year to escape the freezing winter of Canada, the United States, and Europe. 

The weather at midday is blissful and sunny perfect for swimming and spending time at the beach. It’s a wonderful time to explore all of the day trips from Cabo San Lucas for hiking and desert exploring.

You can sample all of the best restaurants in San Jose del Cabo or the Thursday Art Market, which is one of the best things to do in San Jose del Cabo.

Because Cabo is further north than the more tropical areas like Oaxaca and Puerto Vallarta, temperatures are a little bit cooler. If you plan to travel to Los Cabos in January it’s a good idea to pack a light jacket to keep warm in the evenings. 

For all those ocean wildlife lovers out there, January might be the best time for you to visit Los Cabos. It is possible to witness Humpback and other species of whales in the Pacific Ocean. 

 Average Temperature:

The average daytime temperature has a high of 27°C (80°F) and an average nighttime low of 16°C (60°F).

Precipitation:

In January, rainfall is rare due to the desert climate of Los Cabos. You might expect to see only one rainy day in January with less than 2 mm of rainfall.  

Snow:

There is an extremely rare chance that you will witness snow in Los Cabos in January. 

Sea Temperature:

The ocean’s average Ocean Temperature is 23°C.

Activities:

Whale watching is at its best in Los Cabos in January. You can find multiple species of whales such as Humpback Whales, Grey Whales, and Blue Whales just to name a few. Dolphin sightings are very common in January as well. 

rocky beach with blue skies and mountains in the background.

Places like Puerto Vallarta, Sayulita, and Oaxaca are some of my favorite beach areas in Mexico during the winter months.

Puerto Vallarta: Blissful beach temperatures

Puerto Vallarta, situated on the Pacific coast of Mexico, is another fantastic destination to escape the cold winter months of North America for some fun in the sun. 

Here you have the Pacific Ocean, perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and whale watching at this time of year.

The weather is beautiful in Puerto Vallarta in January with pleasant sunny days and cool ocean breezy evenings. Spend your daytime at the beach or poolside.  The sun is out and the weather is hot with a refreshing wind sweeping the air. 

Sit outside and enjoy all of the best restaurants in Puerto Vallarta. A cold beer and a fish taco while dining al fresco. What could be better?

Puerto Vallarta is well known for its great beaches, fabulous nightlife, the long boardwalk, and fun water activities. January is a great time to explore this city because it isn’t extremely hot compared to the summer months. 

Also, January is whale watching season in Puerto Vallarta where the Humpback whales come to give birth to their baby calves. You may even be lucky enough to watch them waving their fins and breaching from shore.

Average Temperature:

The average daily high in Puerto Vallarta in January is 27°C (80°F), with an average low temperature of 17°C (62°F).

Precipitation:

January is the dry season for Puerto Vallary with little to no rainfall. You can expect a 3% chance of rain on an average day with the amount being less than 16 mm. 

Snow:

The chance of seeing snow in Puerto Vallarta in January is extremely rare. 

Ocean Temperature:

The average ocean temperature is 25°C (77°F). Perfect for swimming and cooling off from the hot heat. 

Activities:

January is one of the best times of the year to see humpback whales in their natural wild habitat.  You can also spend your days relaxing on the beach, exploring the ocean with snorkeling and scuba diving excursions, or wandering down the Malecon.

Take a hike to Las Animas beach when it’s not quite so hot during the day or head over to nearby Sayulita or Bucerias for a day at the beach.

dusty street with a bicycle cart in the shade and a cat laying underneath it.

Even the cats need a break from the sun during the heat of the day in January in Mexico.

Cancun: Beach vacation paradise

Cancun is a vacationer’s paradise. Located on the northeast coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, Cancun is the perfect Caribbean beach escape. 

White sand, blue waters, and sunny days are to be expected in Cancun. 

January brings a beautiful climate perfect for laying out at the beach working on that sun tan. Days are warm with blue skies and the evenings cool down with a gentle sea breeze. 

I recommend packing a sweater to keep warm for the evenings in Cancun. Check out our full Cancun packing guide for more tips.

There are so many fun things to do in Cancun and January in Cancun is a great time for exploring all the theme parks in the area because the climate isn’t extremely hot, you can enjoy your time without so much sweat or dehydration.

Humidity levels are also significantly lower in January compared to the summer months. 

Average Temperature:

January in Cancun brings an average daily high temperature of 29°C (84°F). with an average low of 19°C (66°F).

Precipitation:

On average in January in Cancun, it rains 5 days out of the month with about 90 mm of downfall. 

Snow:

Snow in Cancun is an extremely rare event. 

Sea Temperature:

The Caribbean Sea holds an average temperature of 25 °C (77°F) in January. 

Activities:

January is a great time in Cancun for water activities such as snorkeling and scuba diving. Also, trips to Isla Mujeres or Chichen Itza are more enjoyable due to the milder temperatures. 

Cancun does experience stronger winds in January creating rougher waves. Be sure to check the swimming conditions at each beach you visit to take care of your safety. 

colorful papel picado on a street in mexico

Sayulita is a very popular spot in Mexico in January.

Riviera Maya: Warm and sunny beach vacation

Searching for a tropical winter getaway? January is an excellent time for a trip to the Mayan Riviera. 

The Mayan Riviera lies on the eastern Yucatan Peninsula extending through Cancun, Puerto Morelos, and Playa del Carmen reaching all the way south to Tulum

You can also explore Akumal, Cozumel, and Bacalar while you’re in this region of Mexico.

The weather is typically fantastic in January with warm temperatures and lower humidity. 

Sunny days and blue skies are to be expected but don’t forget to pack a sweater for those cool breezy evenings. 

The sea is calm in January, ideal for snorkeling, diving, or simply relaxing on the beach. 

Average Temperature:

January in the Mayan Riviera brings an average daytime high of 27°C (80°F) and a low of 20°C (68°F). 

Precipitation:

You might find rainfall 6 days a month with an average of 50 mm across those 6 days. 

Snow:

It is extremely rare to see snow in the Mayan Riviera. 

Sea Temperature:

The Caribbean Sea in January has an average temperature of 27°C (80°F). This water is perfect for swimming! You won’t exactly cool off from the heat, it’s more like taking a dip in a bathtub, but that means you can stay in for hours swimming and snorkeling without need a wetsuit.

Activities:

January in the Mayan Riviera is awesome for swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving. There are so many excursions in the Riviera Maya that are worth your time. 

Because of the mild weather and low humidity levels, January is a great time for enjoying outdoor activities like exploring cenotes in Tulum or even further afield to somewhere special like Calakmul Biosphere.

Alternatively, explore the three Pueblos Mágicos of Quintana Roo, the state that the Riviera Maya is in. You’ll get a chance to see some really special parts of Mexico.