Welcome to our Month by Month in Mérida guide. Here we will take a look at the different celebrations and events that happen in Mérida. We will also share the best times to visit and explore! While we could argue that Mérida is perfect year-round, there are definitely some months that have more going on than others!
What happens in Mérida in January – Enero?
Let’s start with one of our favorite months! The weather is quite delightful in January with some of the coolest daytime temperatures of the year. It’s perfect weather for exploring and doing all those touristy things that you’ve been wanting to do.
This article was updated in June of 2023.
My favorite ruins are Uxmal – only one hour from Mérida.
It’s a good time to visit some ruins, where there’s often not a lot of shade, and explore the towns nearby.
It’s also great weather for strolling around Mérida’s colorful streets and plazas.
There are many cafes and restaurants where you can sit outside and enjoy the warm winter breeze.
January also plays host to one of our favourite celebrations across Latin America. On the 6th, families come together to eat Rosca de Reyes and drink hot chocolate. This is King’s Day and it is traditionally when Mexicans exchange gifts over the festive season.
You can buy Rosca, a donut shaped, sweet bread with dried fruits, almost everywhere during this time. We highly recommend Ily Medina‘s delicious Roscas. Additionally, if you find the figure of the baby Jesus in your slice of Rosca then you must bring the tamales in…
What happens in Mérida in February – Febrero?
Dia de la Candelaria is on the 3rd of February and this is when you must bring the tamales if you found the baby Jesus in your Rosca.
Tamales are as Mexican as it gets and there are many types here in Yucatan that you can try. For a wonderfully authentic flavour, try tamales that have been cooked underground in banana leaves! This is one of the highlights of Month by Month in Mérida.
Mexicans are big on celebrating Valentine’s Day and so you can expect to see and feel the love around the 14th of February. It’s not just a day to share with a partner but also with friends and family or with any loved one.
View of north Mérida from Buyan apartments. I love the vista!
February’s weather is very much similar to January but you’ll notice the temperatures starting to climb up a little into the high 20s-low 30s once again. It’s still a good month for visitors to come and stay with you as it’s not yet too hot for touristic fun. Remember that this is still Winter so the sun sets around 6pm. Evenings can get quite cool, particularly if you’re at the beach.
What happens in Mérida in March – Marzo?
The date worth noting for the month of March is the birthday of Benito Juarez, Mexico’s first President. His birthday, on the 21st of March, is a national public holiday which actually takes place on whichever Monday is closest to this date. This is the first official puente of the year, or a long weekend. Many Merida families will leave the city and head to their beach houses along the Costa Esmeralda, most notably from Chelem along to Telchac Puerto.
Mérida in March is beautiful as the bugambilias and other flowers are in full bloom, many of which will have blossomed already in February. This already colorful city becomes even more vibrant with shades of pink, purple and red as the bushes of bugambilias cascade over neighbors’ walls and out over the sidewalks.
Bugambilias (Spanish) are everywhere in a variety of colors.
Days are starting to get longer again and temperatures are creeping higher as we get closer to the hotter months of the year of Month by Month in Mérida.
One other notable event in March is the Spring Solstice which is an important day in the Maya calendar. Many people in Mérida head to Chichen Itza or Dzibilchaltun to watch the sunrise over the ancient pyramids on the morning of the Spring Equinox.
What happens in Mérida in April – Abril?
Easter, or Semana Santa, is a really popular holiday here in Yucatan. The 2 weeks of school holidays over Semana Santa are when you’ll notice that a lot of Mexican families leave the hot city and head for their beach houses. This also means that it’s not the best time to visit the beach as they are busier than during the school terms. We suggest going to the beach when it’s not the school holidays.
Semana Santa starts on Palm Sunday and leads up to Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Saturday and Easter Sunday. During the week there are a number of religious festivities taking place including visits to mass and processions in the towns and squares.
As with many other celebrations in Mexico, traditionally families gather for a meal with loved ones. Sadly, there are no Easter eggs here – though you might find some imported Easter chocolate in Liverpool!
April and May are the hottest months in Mérida and Yucatan. This is when temperatures hover around the high 30s and 40 degree mark. It’s perfect beach weather but remember to take sunblock with you.
The strength of the sun’s rays might take you by surprise if you’re venturing out to Progreso and other beach towns of Month by Month in Mérida.
Progresso is a very short distance from Mérida.
It’s also important to remember that the clocks change over the first weekend of April. This means that the sun sets a bit later so the evenings get warmer. Clocks go forward one hour but in Cancun and Quintana Roo the clocks stay the same all year round.
What happens in Mérida in May – Mayo?
As previously mentioned, it does get really quite hot in May. Temperatures float around 40 degree celsius while the feels-like temperature can be 3 or 4 degrees higher. While traditionally May is the last of the hot dry months, in recent years the rainy season has begun earlier and earlier and you can now expect some rain in the 2nd half of the month. This is in the form of heavy downpours during the afternoons which do cool things down a little bit.
Don’t go out without some water and sunblock and try to avoid being out in the middle of the day. Also, make sure you get your air conditioning units cleaned in advance – you’re going to need them. Don’t worry, it’s only like this during April and May so the intense heat is short lived and we have a blog post with tips and advice to help you get through it.
A pool is a necessity, especially in May.
May has a couple of celebratory days including Labour Day on the 1st and Mother’s Day on the 10th. The latter is a really important day in Mexico, so expect to see lots of families out celebrating in restaurants over the weekend closest to the 10th. There is also Cinco de Mayo which isn’t actually an official public holiday. In fact, it’s hardly celebrated at all in Yucatan. Life usually just continues on as normal.
What happens in Mérida in June – Junio?
In regards to overall temperatures, June feels quite similar to April. If you Google it, the internet will tell you that June 1st is when the rainy season officially starts. But by this point you will probably have already experienced a few rainy afternoons in May. During the month of June though, it will start to rain more regularly and this brings a little relief in these hot and sticky afternoons.
With the rainy season comes the hurricanes. Yucatan tends to have one or two (or three) strong tropical storms to deal with from June to October.
High winds are typical and frequent in June.
Father’s Day is in June but it is not as widely celebrated in Mexico as Mother’s Day. However, you might still see people out celebrating with families in restaurants on the 3rd Sunday in June.
What happens in Mérida in July – Julio?
In July, rainy season is in full swing. If you’re planning a trip to Mérida, bear in mind that it will likely rain at around 3pm most afternoons. Of course, this does not always happen but if you’re organising day trips to ruins, cenotes or beaches, we recommend setting off as early as you can. Therefore, if it does rain in the afternoon, you won’t get caught in a downpour.
Because when it rains, it really does rain here. Prepare to see flooded roads in and around Mérida as, unfortunately, the city’s drainage system is not the best. We suggest taking necessary precautions such as driving slowly and cautiously and really avoiding going out during the heaviest rainfalls.
Beware of high waters and drive very, very slow. If there is pothole in the street it can cause major damage.
It’s also worth noting that with the rains come the new potholes. So another driving tip; take care on roads that you’re familiar just as much as the ones you don’t know. Potholes pop up quite quickly during these wet months.
What happens in Mérida in August – Agosto?
August is much the same as July in Mérida and Yucatan. Temperatures remain in the mid to high 30s and afternoons are spattered with showers and downpours. It can still feel quite hot and humid during these months.
Unfortunately, the consistent rainfall creates perfect conditions for mosquitoes to breed. Make sure to be extra vigilant during this period. Stock up on repellent and make sure that you don’t have a pool of water (perhaps an unused pool, a bucket collecting water etc.) somewhere in your garden. This makes for a perfect mosquito breeding ground.
Mosquitoes are one of the most dangerous things here. Be sure to use protection.
Both July and August are quiet months with no notable celebrations throughout Mexico. It’s a good time to travel but it’s the Summer holidays so Mexicans are also traveling a lot. Students tend to go back to school in the last couple of weeks of August .
What happens in Mérida in September – Septiembre?
September has one of Mexico’s most fun celebratory days and that is Dia de Independencia! If you want to bash around a piñata and listen to some classic Mexican tunes then this is your day. Due to the fact that Miguel Hidalgo cried out for Independence (which eventually led to the defeat of the Spanish and the end of colonial rule) on the night of the 15th, celebrations tend to last for 2 days with the official public holiday being on the 16th of the month.
Also in September there is the Autumn/Fall Equinox which was an extremely important day for the Ancient Mayans. As with the Spring Equinox, the best places to experience this day are at some ruins. We recommend Chichen Itza, where the rising and setting sun creates incredible shadows down the Kukulcan Pyramid.
The Mayan calendar exhibits the rituals observed throughout the year.
This is the month when you might notice temperatures continuing to dip as we have finally passed the hotter months and intense rainy season. It’s not a bad month for tourist activities but remember to get out early in the morning so that your day isn’t hindered by a downpour!
What happens in Mérida in October – Octubre?
By now we are coming towards the end of the rainy/hurricane season. However, the chances of heavy downpours are still quite likely during the month of October. By this point, the streets of Mérida are green and leafy from all the water and the countryside is vibrant and colorful!
Similarly to Europe and the USA and Canada, the clocks go back around the last weekend of October. Remember, this is not the case for Cancun and Quintana Roo so if you’re traveling between October and April, remember that there is 1 hour’s time difference.
Flor de Mayo blooms in pink, white, yellow and other colors. It is a beautiful local plant.
Halloween falls at the end of October but in Mexico this is more widely celebrated as Dia de los Muertos. However, Halloween is acknowledged and so you might see some young children out trick-or-treating with families in friendly neighbourhoods. During this time you can enjoy one of our favourite bakery items in Mexico, Pan de Muerto. This is a wonderfully soft, sweet bread usually topped with some sugar and citrus flavours.
Notably, this is a very popular time Month by Month in Mérida.
In Yucatan, the main celebration at this time is Hanal Pixan which takes place at the start of November so without further ado…
What happens in Mérida in November – Noviembre?
Throughout Mexico Dia de Muertos is celebrated on the 1st and 2nd of November. People visit cemeteries to pay respects to lost loved ones and decorate altars to remember them. In Yucatan, this celebration is more specifically called Hanal Pixan, which translates as ‘food for the souls’.
You will likely see beautifully decorated altars in the central square in Mérida and there is a parade, Paseo de las Animas, which usually takes place 2 or 3 days before Hanal Pixan. Locals wear traditional dress and paint their faces as they walk from the main cemetery in La Ermita to the Arch of San Juan. Also don’t forget to try some pib, the traditional food served during these days.
An engagement complete with Mariachis on the Paseo de Montejo.
Another festival day in November is Dia de la Revolucion, celebrated on the 20th of the month. A public holiday takes place on the 3rd Monday of November and is dedicated to the start of the 1910 revolution.
November, is also a great month to visit in regards to the weather. This is now dry season and the temperatures will have dropped to high 20s-low 30s. This is perfect for enjoying everything Mérida has to offer. Things are also starting to feel a bit festive as the sun sets a little earlier, around 5:15, and the city prepares for the festive season…
What happens in Mérida in December – Diciembre?
The final month of the year in Mérida sees the city come alive with festive decorations, lights and events. The main avenue of Paseo de Montejo is adorned with glittering lights and there are giant Christmas trees both at the Remate (end of Paseo de Montejo) and in front of Chedraui Selecto in the north.
The weather is great and the overall vibe in Merida around Christmas time is always very positive and relaxed of the last month in Month by Month in Mérida.
Colorful piñatas are filled with fruits, nuts, candy and more.
Christmas tends to start around the 12th of December which is the Day to celebrate the Virgin Guadalupe. So in the first couple of weeks of December, Mexicans from all over the country start the pilgrimage to the Basilica de Guadalupe in Mexico City. So you might see some people on the roads waving flags as they set off on their journey. It’s a very religious festival so many people in Merida will attend ceremonies and services at their local church.
The main Christmas celebrations are on the 24th of December. This is when families gather and eat delicious food and spend the evening together. The 25th is generally for eating ‘recalentado’, or leftovers, and everything is back to normal on the 26th.
And finally, the last night of the year is also a big celebration in which people come together to bring in the New Year. Expect to eat lots of food, hit a piñata and dance your way into the new year, Mérida-style!