When Is Hurricane Season in Cancun? A Visitor’s Guide

Spending hurricane season on the gleaming white beaches of Cancun might seem like a contradiction. During a hurricane, the beach is the last place you’ll want to be. But hardy Cancun is known as a tropical haven and hurricane season does little to dull its alluring shine. Why you may ask? Well, that’s thanks to Cancun’s scarce history of hurricanes and its seemingly eternal status as one of the top getaway destinations in the world. So barring the presence of an actual hurricane, nothing has to keep you from the sandy shores of paradise this summer. And nothing should. Here’s your visitor’s guide to hurricane season in Cancun.

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Why You Should Visit Cancun During Hurricane Season

Before we get into the nitty gritty of hurricane season in Cancun—and how to survive it—let’s talk about why you should even consider visiting during hurricane season. Make no mistake, hurricane season isn’t lauded as the best time to visit Cancun—but traveling in the off-season has its perks. The rain and storms tend to drive away crowds while simultaneously driving down prices for everything from flights to tours. So, visitors not only enjoy a more laidback experience at one of the hottest tourist destinations around, but they also get access to incredible deals you don’t see during the winter months. 

And while the hurricane season might have a reputation for stormy skies and rain, beautiful days of sun and sand are still the norm—it is Cancun, after all. So if you’re looking for a great deal or looking to spend the days of extreme heat laid out by the ocean instead of hiding inside in the air conditioning, then Cancun might just be the place to escape for a fun and relaxing getaway.

When Is Hurricane Season in Cancun?

So, when exactly is hurricane season in Cancun? Like a summer fling, hurricane season lasts for the summer and is gone before winter sets in. Situated within the Atlantic hurricane region, hurricane season in Cancun technically stretches from June to November, but the worst threat of tropical storms comes between August and October, when sea temperatures rise and things get hot—literally. And while hurricanes are a rare event in Cancun and along the Riviera Maya, that doesn’t mean travelers shouldn’t keep an eye on the weather forecasts and make plans for when storms roll in to darken the sunny blue skies over Cancun. 

Is It Safe to Visit Cancun During Hurricane Season?

So, how bad is hurricane season really? Enough to cancel your travel plans entirely? Fear not—if safety is your main concern for traveling to Cancun during hurricane season, you have little to worry about.

How Often Is Cancun Hit with a Hurricane?

Hurricanes are extremely rare in Cancun. How rare? In the past 40 years, only two hurricanes have hit the city directly: Hurricane Gilbert on September 5, 1988, and Hurricane Wilma on October 21, 2005. While it’s true that Cancun has dealt with some close calls from tropical storms in the years since, the odds of a hurricane sweeping in while you’re lounging on the beach or by the resort pool are fairly low. 

What Are the Worst Hurricanes in Cancun History?

The worst hurricanes in Cancun’s history are those that made direct landfall. Hurricane Wilma (2005) was the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic Basin—it even holds a Guinness World Record. So, it’s no surprise its impact was equally destructive. Hurricane Wilma contributed to eight deaths and caused roughly $442 million worth of damage. However, that number doesn’t hold a candle to the lost tourism revenue over the next six months, estimated at around $1.3 billion. Similarly destructive, Hurricane Gilbert (1988) wreaked havoc on the Yucatán Peninsula, damaging Cancun’s infrastructure and tourism industry to the tune of $500 million.

Outside of these hurricanes, Cancun has experienced some near misses that resulted in a lot of worry but little in the way of actual damage. This happened in 2007 with Hurricane Dean, which changed course before hitting Cancun and made landfall some 200 miles south. It was a similar story again in 2008 when Hurricane Gustav hit the Caribbean but ended up dodging Cancun entirely.

Cancun Weather: What to Expect During Hurricane Season

Hurricane season is summer in Cancun, and whether there are hurricanes or not, one thing you can always count on is that it will be hot. Beginning in May, the temperature climbs to the high 80s and low 90s and stays there throughout the summer months. And, of course, it is the rainy season, too, so accompanying the heat is the most rain Cancun sees all year. The Caribbean oasis averages around 40 inches of rainfall from June to November. 

But even with all that rain, the sun still shines, with mornings and afternoons remaining mild and sunny. The rain primarily comes in the evening, in light sprinkles or intense rainstorms that pass quickly. So you can still get in your hours tanning under the summer sun. During the day, you may even forget it’s hurricane season entirely!

What Month Has the Worst Weather in Cancun?

September takes the crown for having Cancun’s worst weather, but keep in mind this is a tropical paradise we’re talking about, so even the worst weather in Cancun is better than your typical day at home. Temperatures reach a blazing 92ºF and don’t drop much in the evenings, only falling to the low 70s, making it one of the hottest months of the year. But in regards to the wettest, few come close. September experiences an average of 14 days of rain, totaling nine inches a year. But don’t leave your sunscreen at home just yet—because the rain comes in bursts and sprinkles, there is still plenty of sunshine to go around. 

What Month Has the Most Hurricanes in Cancun?

Hurricanes don’t often hit Cancun, but the two that made landfall in the last 40 years came in September (Gilbert) and October (Wilma). So, it should be no surprise that the months of highest concern for hurricanes in Cancun are September and October. These two months see significantly higher risk than the rest of the hurricane season due to warmer ocean temperatures.

That said, almost 20 years have passed since the last severe hurricane, meaning there’s minimal risk of one occurring during your vacation. But, if you want to avoid even that small risk, consider a trip in the summer months or in November for a (mostly) worry-free trip to paradise.

How to Stay Safe During the Cancun Hurricane Season

History will tell you that you shouldn’t stress about hurricane season in Cancun. But if nothing else, travel will teach you that it’s better to be safe than sorry, and having a backup plan is key. So, while you don’t need to avoid hurricane season in Cancun, there are some things you can do to mitigate your risk and better enjoy your summer getaway to the tropics.

1. Get Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is the single best way to prepare for unexpected storms during Cancun’s hurricane season. While they may be sporadic, history has shown hurricanes are not impossible for the tropical paradise. And when dealing with Mother Nature, it’s always better to be overprepared than underprepared.

The good news is that you may not even need to buy travel insurance separately. Some travel cards come with coverage for your trip, so you don’t have to do anything other than make your bookings with the right card in your wallet. The other option is to buy insurance coverage through a travel insurance company. Either way, the goal is to cover any delays, cancellations, or lost time due to unexpected storms, so you can have peace of mind while traveling.

You can’t necessarily stop the weather from ruining your tropical getaway. But, you can insure your trip to guarantee that no matter what Mother Nature throws your way, you’re prepared to come out with the sun on the other side. 

Next Vacay Pro-tip: Purchase your travel insurance before a hurricane is named to ensure coverage.

2. Know Your Evacuation Areas

Evacuations only happen in the most serious of cases. And since Cancun has dodged all but two hurricanes over the last several decades, they’re pretty rare. But just in case you find yourself facing one such rare occurrence, knowing what to do in advance will help keep you from panicking, getting lost, injuring yourself, or worse. 

When you arrive at your hotel, ask the staff about the resort’s hurricane procedures and evacuation areas. Knowing how they respond to different advisories and what actionable steps you can take in advance will help ease your worry, especially if you’re an anxious traveler. If you know your evacuation area ahead of time, you’ll know exactly where to go should you get lost or separated from your fellow travelers.  

3. Sign Up for Alerts

Storms can form at a moment’s notice and gather strength quickly. When that happens, you want to know what’s going on in real time. Thankfully, in this day and age of constantly improving technology, you don’t have to watch the skies to find that out. Instead, you have the power to storm watch directly from your smartphone. Websites like NOAA and Weather Underground allow you to access advisories and storm details. Similarly, helpful weather apps can offer storm tracking, timely alerts for inclement weather, and tips for staying safe during severe weather.

  • Accuweather (IOS | Android) tracks multiple threats, including hurricanes, with forecasts that range from hourly to a month out.
  • First Aid (IOS | Android) by the Red Cross offers a treasure trove of information on preparing for disasters and treating health emergencies if you can’t access medical care immediately.
  • Storm Radar: Weather Tracker (IOS) gives a clean and detailed look at forecasted weather, letting you know precisely where and when a hurricane is projected to hit.
  • Emergency: Severe Weather App (IOS | Android) provides preparedness tips for dangerous storms, tracks forecasts, and alerts you if anyone in your contact list is in the path of a storm.

Rain or Shine—Enjoy Cancun in Every Season with Next Vacay Flight Deals

Ready for a summer sojourn on a sandy beach? What about escaping the winter blues with a sunny getaway to paradise? Cancun awaits in every season, and you don’t need to travel during hurricane season to score the best deal on your flight out. All you need is Next Vacay.

Next Vacay offers a dedicated team of deal hunters scouring the web for the best prices to destinations all over the world. If you’re hoping to kick back and soak up some sun or play in the sand, then set your airport, sit back, and say hello to deals delivered right to your inbox. 

Travel the easy way and save big on your next trip with Next Vacay.

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