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Cruise ships docked at the Puerto Maya piers in Cozumel (Photo: Aaron Saunders)
Cruise ships docked at the Puerto Maya piers in Cozumel (Photo: Aaron Saunders)

Best Time to Cruise to Cozumel: A Month-by-Month Guide

Cruise ships docked at the Puerto Maya piers in Cozumel (Photo: Aaron Saunders)
Cruise ships docked at the Puerto Maya piers in Cozumel (Photo: Aaron Saunders)
Contributor
Carolina Pirola

Last updated
Feb 21, 2024

There’s never a bad time to cruise Cozumel in Mexico, where temperatures remain invitingly temperate year-round and hurricanes are rare. The rainy season, which runs from May to October, typically brings sharp downpours, but they are usually brief.

Winter marks peak season in Cozumel, and you’ll likely find lots of Western Caribbean cruises calling this port during those months. Cozumel weather in December, January and February is perfect for those seeking a taste of summer without the high humidity and temperatures of the months of June through September. The summer is hot and wet, whereas November typically sees more sunny than cloudy days.

Even during the coolest months, Cozumel is balmy with average daily temperatures hovering over 80ºF. So, while your packing list will remain for the most part unchanged year-round, there are significant differences in terms of humidity and chance of rain between months. Read on for an overview of what to expect each month of the year when your cruise ship docks at the Cozumel cruise port.

Cozumel Weather in January: Cooler Weather but Warm Sea Temperatures

The Island of Cozumel is situated just east of Playa del Carmen on the Mexican mainland. (Photo: Aaron Saunders)
The Island of Cozumel is situated just east of Playa del Carmen on the Mexican mainland. (Photo: Aaron Saunders)

While you might get the odd cooler day, Cozumel weather in January is still tropical with clear skies and maybe a soft, refreshing breeze. Humidity levels can be high but not oppressively so, and there’s generally very little rain, making it a great month for outdoor activities.

With an average temperature of 79ºF, the sea is warm enough for swimming, snorkeling and other water-based activities during this month. If you don’t feel like joining any of the shore excursions offered by your cruise line, relaxing at a beach club is a great way to spend a few hours. You’ll get access to restaurants, water sports and sun loungers. If you’re lucky, your club will also provide access to a private pool.

What to Pack for a Cozumel Cruise in January: Compared with the rest of the winter months, January is cool, especially in the evening, but you will only need to pack a light jacket or a couple of layers. Save some space in your suitcase and leave your heavy coat at home.

Cozumel Weather in February: Mild Temperatures and Little Rain

Cozumel's pristine beaches are just minutes from the cruise piers. (Photo: Aaron Saunders)
Cozumel's pristine beaches are just minutes from the cruise piers. (Photo: Aaron Saunders)

Cozumel weather in February continues to be dry and mild with balmy evenings and few chances of rain. Temperatures don’t differ much from those you can expect in January, typically ranging from 70ºF to 82ºF. High humidity levels may be uncomfortable to some, but they’re far more manageable than those in the spring and summer.

The winter is arguably the best time to cruise to Cozumel, and February is perhaps the best month of all with its sunny, dry days and comfortable temperatures.

February is the month of Carnival in Cozumel where the atmosphere is festive, and you’ll get a chance to see parades and live bands. Many of the most exciting Carnival activities take place after the sun sets, but you’ll still be able to enjoy the colorful decorations and plenty of family-oriented celebrations.

Note that it's peak season -- perhaps even more so than January -- so expect to find crowds. To escape the masses, find a more secluded beach on the eastern side of the island; the seas will be rougher, but the experience will be more relaxing.

What to Pack for a Cozumel Cruise in February: While you can pack lightly in February, much like January, you should pack a couple of layers -- especially a light jacket -- to be prepared for the chillier evenings.

Cozumel Weather in March: Sunny, Dry Days and Balmy Evenings

Touring the Ciudad de Angeles orphanage in Cozumel, Mexico (Photo: Aaron Saunders)
Touring the Ciudad de Angeles orphanage in Cozumel, Mexico (Photo: Aaron Saunders)

Days are longer in March than in the preceding three months, offering about 11.5 hours of daylight and an average of eight hours of sunshine. Dry conditions and decent levels of humidity make Cozumel weather in March pleasant and warm. Average temperatures remain between 71ºF and 83ºF, allowing for mild days and slightly cooler nights.

March is the driest month of the year, making it an ideal time to enjoy outdoor activities such as hitting the beach or swimming in cenotes. It is also the month when thousands of spring breakers flood every corner of the island, making it the ultimate fun spot for some and a nightmare for others. If you want to avoid the crowds, you might want to plan ahead.

What to Pack for a Cozumel Cruise in March: Chances that you will need an umbrella in Cozumel in March are slim, so leave that item at home or on the boat and bring instead a hat and sunscreen. You might need a thin layer in the evening, too.

Weather in Cozumel in April: Hot Days and Low Chances of Rain

Chen Rio beach Cozumel island in Riviera Maya of Mayan Mexico (Photo: lunamarina/Shutterstock)
Chen Rio beach, Cozumel Riviera Maya, Mexico (Photo: lunamarina/Shutterstock)

The weather in Cozumel in April is dry and sunny, with conditions that are typically similar to those in March. Temperatures could be a little bit higher than in previous weeks (with daytime highs of around 85ºF), and humidity levels may begin to increase ever so slightly. Chances of encountering rain, though, are still slim. Expect around 8.5 hours of sunshine per day.

The lack of rain makes April a great month for exploring the island and spending time outdoors. Ziplining is a popular activity in Cozumel, as are ATV adventures and Jeep tours. This is also a great time to visit the Mayan ruins at San Gervasio, but beware of the high temperatures and strong sun.

What to Pack for a Cozumel Cruise in April: This is the first month of the year that experiences temperatures consistently above 85ºF, so make sure to bring short sleeves and tank tops, as well as shorts and sandals.

Cozumel Weather in May: More Humidity and Rising Temperatures

The Cozumel Coast, Mexico (Photo: Darryl Brooks/Shutterstock)
The Cozumel Coast, Mexico (Photo: Darryl Brooks/Shutterstock)

In May, humidity levels increase in Cozumel, and temperatures soar as the month progresses. Expect warm, humid days with plenty of sunshine and mild evenings. Although the rainy season is just a few weeks away, there is still relatively low rainfall, which makes May an ideal month to visit for those who want to make the most of the outdoors.

This is the beginning of the shoulder season, but it’s a great time to do some wildlife-watching both on land and in the water. Sea turtles will be nesting, providing excellent opportunities to see them walking on the beach and swimming close to the shore. This is also when whale sharks come to Cozumel, so make sure you plan ahead and book a snorkeling or diving excursion.

What to Pack for a Cozumel Cruise in May: Sea temperatures remain at an inviting 80ºF, so bring your swimsuit and beach gear. As always, don’t forget the sunscreen and drink plenty of water.

Cozumel Weather in June: Wet, Hot Days and Warm Evenings

Cruise ships docked at the Puerto Maya piers in Cozumel (Photo: Aaron Saunders)
Cruise ships docked at the Puerto Maya piers in Cozumel (Photo: Aaron Saunders)

With the onset of the rainy season, the weather in Cozumel in June is typically hot and humid. You can expect sharp downpours or brief showers, but the rain rarely lasts for hours and you’ll likely still be able to enjoy the beach and some outdoor activities. Average temperatures are very similar to May’s with daily highs hovering around 88ºF.

This is technically when hurricane season begins, but the island is rarely affected by them.

Shopping is one of the activities that will help you stay dry when it rains and cool when the sun is out. You’ll find plenty of stores offering everything from leather purses to beach wear and souvenirs.

Swimming is also pleasant due to the warm sea temperatures. When the occasional storm arrives, take the opportunity to relax at a beach bar or grab a bite in one of the many beachfront restaurants you’ll find in all beach areas in Cozumel. Beware of rough waters when the wind picks up.

What to Pack for a Cozumel Cruise in June: Since weather conditions can be somewhat unpredictable, an umbrella or light rain jacket will come in handy to protect you from both the rain and the sun. Aside from the jacket serving as an extra layer in case the wind picks up, it will also save you from mosquito bites.

Cozumel Weather in July: High Temperatures and Humidity but Less Rain

Cozumel Island in Riviera Maya of Mayan Mexico (Photo: Tono Balaguer/Shutterstock)
Cozumel Island in Riviera Maya of Mayan Mexico (Photo: Tono Balaguer/Shutterstock)

While it is still very much the rainy season, rain doesn’t come as often in the month of July in Cozumel. You should expect showers or sharp downpours, but they will not be as heavy or frequent as in June or August. Highs of 88ºF combined with high humidity levels may be a bit overwhelming for some, which is why summer is considered the low season in Cozumel. Even taking a dip in the ocean won’t help much, since sea temperatures typically reach 83ºF.

July is a slow month in Cozumel. You’ll find more locals than international visitors, and it’s a good time to learn more about regional culture. Take advantage of the smaller crowds to peruse the ceramics, pottery and arts shops around the piers before heading to a beach club with a pool.

The Mayan Cacao Company offers an immersive experience into the sacred drink of the Maya, with an exhibition and various workshops that include margarita- and tortilla-making classes, and tastings.

What to Pack for a Cozumel Cruise in July: Even though you might not get caught in the rain as often as in the rest of the summer months, you will still need an umbrella. The high humidity levels will make wearing a raincoat unbearable, so leave it onboard. Other than that, beachwear is perfectly acceptable anywhere you go in Cozumel.

Cozumel Weather in August: Frequent Downpours and Cloudy Skies with Warm Temperatures

Chankanaab Park, Cozumel, Mexico (Photo: Nenad Basic/Shutterstock)
Chankanaab Park, Cozumel, Mexico (Photo: Nenad Basic/Shutterstock)

Cozumel weather in August is characterized by heat and rain -- and sometimes even heavy downpours. You won’t have many chances to see the clear blue skies that the island is known for in other seasons, but you’ll have more space at the beach and you’ll see Cozumel at its lushest. Temperatures will remain consistently around 90ºF, and humidity will be high.

Although a direct hurricane hit is not likely, chances are heavy downpours will impact your plans. Indoor activities are the safest bet in August, including participating in tastings and cooking classes. You’ll be vying for a spot with many other cruisers and booking ahead of time is advisable. If you don’t feel like cooking yourself, you can also indulge in a Caribbean feast at any of the restaurants on Cozumel before moving on to your next plan.

What to Pack for a Cozumel Cruise in August: If there is one thing you need to pack if you’re visiting Cozumel in August, that is waterproof clothing. It won’t be raining the whole time you’re there, but you’ll likely experience a shower or two. Once the rain stops you will probably be sweating due to the heat and humidity, so make sure you wear breathable and/or quick-dry clothing.

Cozumel Weather in September: The Height of the Rainy Season but Still Warm

Golden Fans sailing in Cozumel (Photo: Marilyn Borth)
Golden Fans sailing in Cozumel (Photo: Marilyn Borth)

Rainy conditions will continue through the month, though with somewhat lower temperatures. Cozumel weather in September will be more comfortable than in previous weeks. Don’t expect to have a nice breeze, though, as there’s typically little wind this time of the year. Sea temperatures remain high at an average of 84ºF.

Although September is the height of the rainy season, occasional showers don’t stop Independence Day celebrations from taking place. Every September 15th, hundreds of people take to the streets to mark the day in which the country became independent from Spain back in 1810. There will be parades, dancing and food stalls everywhere.

The heart of the celebrations is at the Municipal Palace, where everyone gathers at 11 p.m. to join in on the “grito” (or scream), delivered by the head of the local government. Most cruises only spend a few hours in ports and sail at night, but if your cruise ship offers an overnight stay in Cozumel, or your cruise starts or ends there, we recommend attending the ceremony.

What to Pack for a Cozumel Cruise in September: You’re very likely to get caught in heavy rain in September, so make sure to disembark with your umbrella or raincoat. It’s also a good idea to have a waterproof backpack or purse, and waterproof or closed shoes.

Cozumel Weather in October: High Temperatures and More Clouds than Sunshine

Port of Cozumel (Photo: Jorge Oliver)
Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas and Celebrity Beyond docked in Cozumel (Photo: Jorge Oliver)

Cozumel weather in October is typically hot and humid. It’s the end of the rainy season and skies will most probably have heavy cloud cover. However, at around 84ºF, the sea temperature will be pleasant enough for a swim. Cooler daily temperatures should be expected at the end of the month.

Even when it rains, there’s still good visibility underwater, and diving and snorkeling excursions are popular activities in October. You might want to keep an eye out on weather advisories, though, as rough seas can impact your plans. The Museum of Cozumel is a good alternative if your excursion gets canceled.

What to Pack for a Cozumel Cruise in October: Aside from an umbrella, you’ll need a thin layer, especially at the end of the month. You probably won’t need it during the central hours of the day, but the weather can turn rather quickly if there is wind.

Cozumel Weather in November: Partly Cloudy and Warm

Playa Mia in Cozumel Mexico (Photo: Marilyn Borth)
Playa Mia in Cozumel Mexico (Photo: Marilyn Borth)

With the rainy season finally over, Cozumel weather in November becomes increasingly pleasant as the month progresses. Although there may still be scattered showers from time to time, you’re more likely to have partly sunny days than full cloud cover this month. Evenings are balmy, with temperatures in the low 70s.

Although November is considered low season, it is a great time to cruise to Cozumel, as there will be fewer crowds. This also means that some businesses may be closed or have reduced hours, so plan accordingly.

Día de Muertos (or Day of the Dead) is the festival you should plan to attend if you’re cruising to Cozumel in September. It’s not only one of Mexico’s most famous celebrations but also the one in which the whole island (and country) goes all-out with decorations and events. There will be parades, music and outdoor markets selling traditional Día de Muertos ornaments.

What to Pack for a Cozumel Cruise in November: Even if temperatures are starting to drop ever so slightly, you’ll be able to enjoy outdoor activities now that the rain is mostly over. Pack sports and beach gear and a hat and sunscreen for those long days at the beach.

Cozumel Weather in December: Tolerable Humidity with Fewer Chances of Rain

Beach in Chankanaab Park, Cozumel, Mexico (Photo: Nenad Basic/Shutterstock)
Beach in Chankanaab Park, Cozumel, Mexico (Photo: Nenad Basic/Shutterstock)

The biggest change this month is the lower humidity levels. There are still plenty of clouds in the sky some days, but only five days of rain on average in December. The temperature range this month is small, with daytime temperatures in the high 70s and evenings in the low 70s.

Cozumel weather in December may deter those expecting summer temperatures and clear skies, but this is one of the most tolerable months temperature-wise.

December is the beginning of peak season in Cozumel, so you can expect crowds. This means you’ll need to book in advance if you have very specific plans for your time on the island. This is especially true during the holidays.

This time of year is great for outdoor activities, Jeep excursions and water-based sports, as it will not be too hot, too cold or rainy. Sunbathing will also be more tolerable than in the hotter months. This is also one of the best times to visit the Punta Sur Eco Beach Park, where you’ll find exotic birds and other wildlife, as well as a lighthouse with a small maritime museum, and a lagoon.

What to Pack for a Cozumel Cruise in December: You’ll want to pack a light jacket if your ship departs in the late afternoon. Even if you’re sitting on your cabin balcony or on the lido deck, you will likely need that extra layer. Same goes for ships docking in the early morning.

If you’re cruising during the holidays, make sure to have something festive in your suitcase, as every cruise line will offer special celebrations, galas and dinners.

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