Cancun in Mexico elicits thoughts of sipping margaritas on white sandy beaches, taking family trips to nearby ruins, and perhaps, hiring a sitter so you can enjoy a bit of nightlife.
But let’s face it—no destination is perfect all the time. Hot weather, rain, and the presence of mosquitos are some of the many factors worth considering before you travel to Cancun.
So, is August a good time to go to Cancun?
August is a good time to go to Cancun if you’re in the market for lower prices, want fewer tourists around, don’t mind some rain and hot weather, and know that the ocean could contain lots of seaweed.
We’ll walk you through each of these points and more so that you can be on your way to planning your Cancun vacation.
- First Things First: Low Season in Cancun
- The Must-knows About Cancun’s Weather in August
- Preparing for a Hurricane
- The Seaweed Issue in Cancun
- Are There Lots of Mosquitos in Cancun in August?
- August Special Events in Cancun
- How To Prepare for Visiting Cancun in August
- Ideal Time for Visiting Cancun as a Family
- So, Is August a Good Time To Go to Cancun?
First Things First: Low Season in Cancun
August falls during the heart of Cancun’s low tourist season, given that the low season runs from May to October. Fewer travelers visit Cancun during these months because the weather is hotter, hurricanes can happen, rain falls more frequently, and it’s seaweed season.
Nevertheless, some people intentionally travel to Cancun during the low season because it’s possible to snag great deals on hotels and tours. You also might be able to find discounted airfare for arriving at the Cancun International Airport.
Furthermore, just because it rains more during the low season doesn’t mean you won’t experience sunny days. On the contrary, it’s rare for there to be days upon days of washout weather. A combination of rain and sun on the same day is more common.
So, if August falls during Cancun’s low season, you might be wondering—when’s the high season?
The high season in Cancun is from December to April. You guessed it: During these months, you don’t have to worry about hurricanes, and rain is less frequent. You also won’t have to battle with the dreaded seaweed situation.
But all these perks come with a higher price tag, which can make a difference to your vacation bottom line when traveling with a family.
The Must-knows About Cancun’s Weather in August
If you’re wondering, “Is August a good time to go to Cancun in terms of weather?” it is if you love the heat, humidity, and some tropical thunderstorms.
Below is a rundown of the things to expect weather-wise if you travel to Cancun in August.
The average high temperature in Cancun in August is 82 °F, with temperatures slightly higher in the early part of the month (84 °F) and dropping as September approaches (81 °F).
If you’re thinking in your head, “that doesn’t sound too hot,” it sometimes gets into the low 90s for highs. And even when it doesn’t, a high humidity level can make it feel that way.
You can expect low temperatures at an average of around 77 °F. So, the only reason why you should need to pack a sweater is to keep yourself warm when you go into ice-cold air-conditioned buildings.
The ocean temperature is like a bath during August, reaching one of its warmest points at an average temperature of 84 °F.
Cancun averages 11 hours of sunshine a day in August and a 16% chance of clouds. That said, it’s worth breaking down these numbers further because they don’t offer the whole picture—a lot can happen in 30 days.
Cancun has mostly sunny weather in the first part of August. Then, as you move farther into the month, the cloud cover and chance of rain tend to increase.
Nevertheless, we wouldn’t recommend doing any major overhauls to your dates if you plan to adjust your trip from later to earlier in August. Weather is fickle, and a hurricane can sweep through anytime during the month.
There’s an average of six rainy days in Cancun for the month of August, barring a hurricane. As mentioned earlier, while washout rainy days can happen, it’s more common for rain showers and thunderstorms—both of which can come in light or intense bursts—to occur.
Nevertheless, we recommend having indoor backup plans if you’re traveling with small children. The good news is that Cancun is a large city, so there are several fun indoor activities you can do with kids (and older kids can enjoy the upscale malls).
Visiting Cancun in August means you can count on feeling hot and sticky if you plan to leave your air-conditioned accommodation.
The humidity levels range from 70% – 84%, which is why even the low 80s can feel so hot if you’re used to the heat in dry, desert climates.
Preparing for a Hurricane
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the official hurricane season in Cancun is from June 1st to November 30th. Since August falls in the heart of this range, there’s a decent chance a hurricane could disrupt your trip.
Whether you’re willing to put up with a hurricane risk is entirely up to you and your family.
What we can say is that although August is the low season in Cancun, plenty of people still choose to make it their vacation spot.
Nevertheless, purchasing travel insurance to protect your trip is more important than ever if you decide to visit Cancun in August. You should also keep an eye on the weather and consider booking with an airline like Southwest that offers no fees for flight changes regardless of ticket class.
The Seaweed Issue in Cancun
If you travel to Cancun in August, there will be a lot of talk, sights, and smells of sargassum, a type of seaweed that graces Cancun’s shores from May to October.
Sargassum, which is a microalga, never used to be such an issue in the Yucatan Peninsula. However, it’s recently become such a significant problem that National Geographic even covered it.
Although sargassum is naturally occurring, the amount of sargassum that dumps onto Cancun’s beaches isn’t normal. Sadly, the combination of nutrient-rich agricultural runoff and rising sea temperatures are causing this seaweed to bloom in nearly unmanageable amounts.
Should you choose to visit Cancun in August, don’t expect to swim in the ocean. Although many hotels do an excellent job cleaning up the sargassum that piles up on the shore, it’s harder to control sargassum in the water.
Nevertheless, the Sargassum Attention Strategy (yes, they even have an organization for it) has installed physical sea barriers in the water to help reduce the amount of sargassum that arrives on the shore.
You can also expect a rotten egg smell emanating from the seaweed as it rots due to its hydrogen sulfide concentration.
To be fair, you might not find much respite from sargassum in August by heading to northern destinations like Florida; this is a widespread issue in the Atlantic and Caribbean region. So, if you want a beach destination in that area in August, you might as well head to Cancun.
Are There Lots of Mosquitos in Cancun in August?
Yes, you can expect to encounter a lot of mosquitos in Cancun if you travel in August. That’s especially the case if you’re away from the beach and meandering around a lot of vegetation.
The reason is that there’s a relatively high amount of rain in August, making it a great breeding ground for mosquitoes.
So, make sure to pack some insect repellent before you travel.
August Special Events in Cancun
If you and your family love soaking in some culture, consider planning your trip around an event that takes place in Cancun in August. Below are some yearly events you can encounter.
Assumption of the Virgin Mary
Mexicans are primarily Catholic, so the Assumption of the Virgin Mary is a religious event typically held on August 15th. You can expect to see churches adorned with flowers, all of which are offerings for the Virgin Mary.
Catholics celebrate the Assumption of the Virgin Mary because they believe it’s the day that the Virgin Mary died. Since Cancun is such a modern city, you may not see many outdoor church processions to celebrate this day. However, you’ll likely have better luck by heading to other areas in the Yucatan, such as Merida.
Fiesta de la Playa en Cancun
Fiesta de la Playa en Cancun—a festival to celebrate Cancun’s beaches—is the opposite experience of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary.
You can expect extra beach parties and nightlife festivities during this celebration, which lasts from August 11th – 13th. It’s equally important to know these dates if staying away from the party scene is what you’re trying to do, especially if you’re traveling with young children.
Isla Mujeres Founding Day
Admittedly, Isla Mujeres isn’t in Cancun per se. Instead, it’s a 30-minute ferry ride to get to this small island from Cancun. Even if you don’t visit Isla Mujeres on August 17th, which is the day of its founding, we still recommend you head there on a day trip.
If you happen to be in Isla Mujeres on August 17th, you’ll encounter parades, dancing, and countless beach parties.
How To Prepare for Visiting Cancun in August
Between high temperatures and humidity, Cancun can feel hot around the clock in August. So, below are some tips to help you and your family prepare.
- Carry plenty of bottled water
- Take tours early in the day
- Splurge on an umbrella rental
- Ensure your accommodation has air conditioning
Most accommodation in Cancun comes with air conditioning. However, some budget places may skip on this, or you may read reviews where the air conditioning wasn’t as strong. Trust us—it’s not fun to be in a hotel room with little more than a ceiling fan to keep your family cool if you’re traveling to Cancun in August.
Since the already hot temperatures get even hotter as the day goes on, it’s also wise to plan your activities around the heat. Booking tours that start in the morning and end around noon are an excellent choice.
Then, by the time you have lunch and take a cat nap, you’ll be ready to hit the beach in the late afternoon or shop at the many tourist and high-end places in Cancun.
Ideal Time for Visiting Cancun as a Family
If you’re traveling to Cancun with your kids, we recommend aiming for the months of April to June. That way, you can sweep your kids away on a family vacation as a treat right when they finish school.
You’ll also have a higher chance of avoiding the worst part of sargassum season during these months, especially if you travel in April. Therefore, your kids can have fun swimming in the ocean.
Furthermore, the temperatures will still be relatively moderate, making it easier to spend more time outdoors without having to plan as much for the wave of the afternoon heat.
Another reason why we believe that April to June are good months for visiting Cancun as a family is because there aren’t as many people around. So, it reduces the time you might have to wait in line for entrance tickets, restaurants, and other activities.
As family travelers, we understand how these seemingly small details can truly make or break a trip.
The good news is that Cancun is a large city, so you’ll have access to many kid-friendly activities regardless of the time of year you travel.
So, Is August a Good Time To Go to Cancun?
August can be a very good time to go to Cancun as long as you know what to expect. You’ll have more space to spread out your beach towel, you can encounter better hotel prices, and it’ll be easier to explore nearby ruins without pushing your way through extra-massive crowds.
Nevertheless, it’s essential to know that some people don’t go to Cancun in August because of the risk of hurricanes, rainier days, and sargassum.
So, we’ll let you be the judge. Regardless of when you decide to take your Cancun trip, there will be many beaches, ruins, cenotes (freshwater sinkholes you can swim in), and water activities awaiting you.