December in Mexico brings big holiday celebrations, excellent wildlife viewing, and high-season crowds. In Mexico City, traditional Christmas festivals and events abound. Head to Bahia Magdalena for seasonal whale watching. And it's a great time for watersport activities such as kiteboarding and windsurfing in Los Cabo, along with snorkeling and diving.

Weather

December in Mexico is warm in the south and cold in the north. You can enjoy warm beach weather in the Yucatán Peninsula and even see some snow in the far north. In Mexico City and San Cristobal, it is mainly cold during the night and in the evenings, with sunshine and warmer weather during the day. Temperatures in Mexico City are around 70-75 °F during the day and drop to approximately 40 °F during the night.

In Yucatán, the temperatures are around 80-85 °F and in Baja California, the days are pleasant with 85, and sometimes up to 90 °F. In the evenings and nights, it drops, and you can expect approximately 60 °F. The days on the Pacific Coast are some of the warmest in December, with daily temperatures around 85-90 °F. There is a lot of sunshine and practically no rain at all. At night, the temperatures drop to 60 °F, which makes the coast a perfect place to enjoy beach activities during the day, and lovely walks in the evening. 

Crowds & Costs

December gets busier in Mexico as the Christmas season starts approaching. If you are looking for better deals on accommodation and flights, travel at the beginning of the month. In the Yucatán Peninsula and Mexico City especially, beaches and major attractions see more tourists during this time.

The rest of the country is usually quieter, however, due to the lower temperatures. The week between Christmas and New Year's Eve sees a dip in popularity with domestic travelers. You will see mainly tourists, relaxing on the beaches, cenote diving, and visiting different sights, 

Where to Go

In Baja California, you will find fantastic sea life in December, which is why it is one of the best places to visit in December. The gray whales start arriving at Baja's Pacific Coast and will stay here for a few months. This means plenty of opportunities to see these fantastic creatures and even dive with them.

Some of the best places to go whale watching are the shores of Scammon's Lagoon or San Ignacio Lagoon and Bahia Magdalena further south. You can also go on whale-watching excursions in Los Cabos. In Los Cabo's East Cape, it is the peak season for adventurous watersports. Go kiteboarding, windsurfing, or try kitesurfing. Then relax on the beach and enjoy the warm weather while sipping on a drink or reading a book.

Go on a humpback whale-watching safari or swim with whale sharks in the sea. If you want to take the adventure further, go ziplining and feel the adrenaline while you are soaring above the mountain hills. In the Chiapas state, Christmas celebrations begin on December 12 and continue until January 6.

These famous Posadas (processions) with beautiful parades and big parties all over the region. Mexico City is also amazing during Christmas, and the main center square, Zocalo, is gorgeous. More than 35,000 lights are displayed around the Aztec square, and the buildings are decorated with colorful patterns. If you can, stay until sunset and enjoy a drink or a dinner since this is one of the best sights in Mexico during this time. 

Visit the beaches of the Yucatán Peninsula where you can swim, snorkel, and go fishing in the calm December waters. Visit some of the 200 ruins that are spread across the peninsula, such as Chichén Itzá, Tulum ruins, Uxmal, Coba, and Ek Balam - the black Jaguar. Coba is the tallest Mayan pyramid, and you can climb to the top to get a spectacular view over the Mayan Jungle. 

In Cancún, December is peak season, with a lot of visitors traveling from every part of the world. Try swimming with bull sharks that arrive during this time, go swimming, and enjoy the warm weather. Go on a diving tour here and experience the fantastic underwater museum—MUSA. There are also a lot of shows and parties throughout the month, particularly toward Christmas and New Year's. 

What to Do

December in Mexico brings a lot of fun activities. It is the perfect time to experience traditional Mexican festivals as well as enjoying the beach and see amazing marine life. Whale watching, beach time, and parties are the highlights of December in Mexico. If you want to experience a lot of wildlife watching, head to the south where many species arrive during the month. You will see a lot of different birds, whales, 

In La Paz, you will witness sea turtles, dolphins, and manta rays and even orca whales passing through from now and then. You can go on a tour where you will learn about sustainable marine life and how you can help protect the animals while you are enjoying their company.

In Sea of Cortez, there is an abundance of sea lions and whale sharks in December, and you can see a lot of sea lions being lazy on the cliffs off Isla Espiritu Santo. You might also spot the rare Blue-footed Booby from a boat, a bird that is usually only seen on the Galapágos Islands. 

In Magdalena Bay, you will witness a lot of gray whales as there are more than 400 of them here. The whales return to mate and give birth in December. You will most likely spot both males and females, as well as newborns and calves. 

If you are in Mexico City, you can go on an exclusive tour around Christmas throughout the city. You will get great sightseeing, and the tour is adapted to the holiday festivities, so there is some partying as well. You can take this tour during the night if you want to experience Mexico City differently.

In Zoláco—the main square, there is an ice skating ring, large enough for 1,500 people to have fun. It has an open-air space, and it is a perfect way to get an authentic Christmas feeling in Mexico. 

Events in December

Tropico Music Festival in Acapulco, the end of the first week in December. This three-day beachfront festival takes place in the Hotel Pierre Mundo Imperial in Acapulco, Guerrero. There is a lot of music and dancing, but also fashion events, pool parties, and art displays. 

Feria de la Posada y Piñata (Posada and Piñata Fair) in Acolman, mid-December. This event near Mexico City is a traditional event that takes place every Christmas season. It is held next to the Teotihuacan archaeological, and you can attend workshops in piñata-making, horse races, and music shows. The most popular show is the "Pastorelas," which is a play based on a Christmas story. 

Posadas (Processions), throughout Mexico, December 16-24. This is one of the most significant and most beautiful events in Mexico, with amazing processions held across the country. There is a lot of music, parades, and it is one of the most important events during Christmas. 

Christmas Eve, December 24. Christmas is celebrated on December 24 in Mexico, and the last posada is held on this day. In Spanish, the day is called Nochebuena. Most people celebrate with families with a late-night dinner. Around the cities, there are public celebrations and festive processions, and you can enjoy a lot of traditional Mexican cuisine. 

New Year's Eve, December 31. Most people in Mexico celebrate New Year's Eve with late-night dinner with friends and families. It is the biggest celebration in Mexico City of the year with huge street festivals, centering around the Zócalo square and the monument Angel de la Independencia. In the hotels and tourist areas, unique festivals and parties are usually arranged for the visitors. 

Traveling to Mexico in December? Check out these great itineraries.

Mexico City & Riviera Maya - 10 Days. On this 10-day tour, you will go on an amazing cultural and historical adventure. On this off-the-beaten-track trip, you will learn Mexico City's pre-Colombian history and visit mysterious temples built by the Aztecs and Mayans. You will continue to the Riviera Maya, where you will stroll around the colonial streets of Valladolid and Mérida, dine on fresh cuisine, and relax on the Caribbean Sea.

Highlights of Mexico: From Mexico City to the Mayan Riviera - 14 Days. On this two-week trip, you will explore the colonial towns of Valladolid and Mérida and visit ancient Mayan and Aztec ruins in the Yucatán Peninsula. You will have the chance to meet with indigenous locals and learn about the history, as well as snorkel in freshwater cenotes. There will be quality beach time in Tulum, and you will even learn how to make tortillas the Mexican way from the Mayan family. 

More Helpful Information

Mexico in January
Mexico in November
Mexico Tours & Itineraries