Someone asked me recently what city in Mexico has the best climate. Questions like this are subjective, so at the time I said, “It depends.” It depends, of course, on your own tastes and temperament.
But the question made me think about climate a bit… and some places do stand out. So here are my picks for the best climate in Mexico:
If you want a year-round, spring-like climate in the 60s F to 80s F, consider Cuernavaca. Its mild climate has long made it a popular weekend getaway for busy folks from Mexico City. In fact, with so many visitors, Cuernavaca can get downright hectic.
So if that’s not your style, then consider the Lake Chapala area, near Guadalajara, instead, where the weather is nearly as mild and constant as Cuernavaca. Lake Chapala is home to arguably the largest—and one of the longest-established—expat communities in the world, and its climate is one of the reasons why.
If you like to enjoy four seasons but don’t want extremes, then check out Mexico’s Colonial Highlands. Thanks to the high elevation, many cities here have sunny, relatively cool summers and cool off at night. Winters are chilly enough for a jacket or light coat… but temperatures seldom get down to freezing. Because the climate is a “light” version of what many people are used to in the U.S., this area is also popular with expats. You may want to check out cities in this region such as Morelia, Guanajuato, and San Miguel de Allende.
If you’re among those who love the beach but can’t take humid heat, then your options in Mexico are limited: You need to check out Sonora or the Baja Peninsula. In these areas you’ll find a desert-like climate that’s generally hot and dry, cooled along the coast by sea breezes. Most people tolerate dry heat better than humid heat—and that’s why you’ll find them in places like Todos Santos or La Paz, in Baja California Sur.
If you do tolerate humid heat and are looking for a beach to hang out on, you can find this climate pretty much everyplace else on Mexico’s coast. But here are two recommendations. For those seeking sophistication, there’s no place like Puerto Vallarta, on the Pacific coast.
It’s the ultimate international resort, with high-end restaurants, romantic hotels, and one of the most beautiful bays in the world. On the other hand, if you want to get away from it all—but with some amenities—then head to the Yucatán Gulf coast. Here, just a short drive from Mérida, you’ll find authentic fishing villages and a low-key vibe. In these destinations it’s very hot and humid in summer—but winters are glorious.
But for all-around best climate in Mexico, my own personal pick is none of these. It’s Ensenada, in Baja California. This port city has sunny days year-round, cool nights, and views of the blue Pacific. Winters are mild and summers seldom blistering. In fact, it has the same superb climate as San Diego. And no wonder… Ensenada is only about an hour’s drive from the U.S. border.
Editor’s Note: Click here to get your free report on the World’s Best Climates.