The best time to go to Isla Mujeres depends on the traveler. What one person thinks is the best time is not necessarily the best for another person. Much depends on your budget, how much heat and humidity you are comforatble with and what activities (if any) you want to do.
In general the businesses on Isla set their prices according to the dates below with Holiday season being the most expensive and Low season the least expensive.
High Season: January 4th through April
Summer Season: May through August
Low Season: September to Mid-December
Holiday Season: Mid-December to January 3rd
The holiday season as well as “spring break” (the week before and the week after Easter Sunday) are always the busiest time of year and accommodations fill up months in advance.
If you’re traveling by budget or like a quiet island, the best time to go is during the off season, which runs from May to December with peek low season and the best deals September through November.
There are no guarantees it won’t rain while you’re here, a storm can come at any time but they tend to pass through quickly, unless there is a tropical depression which can last for days. There have been many many times when it was raining for hours in Cancun and on Isla it only rained for 30 minutes or so. Isla Mujeres does not have a “weather station” so all reports on weather websites are taken from the station in downtown Cancun.
January through April is considered the best weather with little to no rain and an average high of 84 degrees.
May through September are the rainiest months with the highest humidity, most visitors need A/C at night.
Official hurricane season runs from June to November but the most active months for hurricanes are September and October.
November is the beginning of “Norte” season, cold fronts with strong winds from the north hit Isla and generally last for three days. In the middle of the night it can drop down to a “freezing” 65 degrees though generally warms up in the day to the high 70’s or low 80’s. You'll see locals on their motos in the early morning wearing sweaters, coats and even scarfs while the tourists happily run around in shorts and a tank top.
Many long time visitors to Isla love coming to celebrate Carnaval which takes place for 5 days preceding Ash Wednesday (46 days before Easter). In the next years Ash Wednesday will fall on these dates:
2016 – February 10
2017 – March 1
2018 – February 14
2019 – March 6
2020 – February 26
Carnaval starts off on Thursday and ends with a huge "Fat Tuesday" party in the town square with music and dancing in the streets almost 24 hours a day. Local island women (and a few men), from pre-schoolers to ”abuelitas" (grandmothers) and all ages in between, form groups and practice for months. During Carnaval they dance in the streets in their elaborate costumes. There are parades, competitions of different types, and the coronation of Carnaval kings and queens.
Carnaval is an Isla tradition going back generations.
Whale Shark Season
From mid-May through September hundreds of whale sharks gather in the waters near Isla Mujeres, with peak season in July and August. The annual Whale Shark Festival occurs mid-July. The Whale Shark Festival kicks off with a parade followed by activities for children such as sand sculpting events and crafting fun. Exhibitions showcasing the beauty of the island will feature whale shark murals, photography and local handcrafted works of art.
Sport Fishing Season
Fishing is great any time of the year but if you are a dedicated sport fisherman the peek season is from mid-December to the end of July with April to August being the best time for Sail Fish and Marlin.
Sail Fish Encounters
From the end of December to April sometimes over fifty or even hundred Sailfish are chasing big baitballs of sardines. Sailfish encounters are recommended for intermediate to expert swimmers/divers.
Turtle Release Season
During the summer months sea turtles come to Isla late at night to lay their eggs in the soft sand beaches. Trained volunteers from the Tortugranja, (Turtle Farm), a government sponsored organization for the protection of endangered sea turtles, collect the eggs in the early mornings and transfer them to the Turtle Farm for a 60-day incubation period. Once hatched, the baby turtles are put in ponds until released.
Beginning in late August through early October, the baby turtles are released into the sea. Two of the most frequently used locations are Playa la Media Luna in Centro and Playa Guadalupana towards the south end. The release is held at sunset and is wonderful experience.