Averages for Playa del Carmen in December
December marks the start of winter in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Though temperatures are lower than the previous months, the weather is still considerably warm with plenty of sunshine. December falls in the dry season, thanks to the resort's tropical climate, which means that there is barely any rainfall throughout the month. If you are looking for somewhere to soak up the warm Caribbean weather over the winter period, then P...
December marks the start of winter in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Though temperatures are lower than the previous months, the weather is still considerably warm with plenty of sunshine. December falls in the dry season, thanks to the resort's tropical climate, which means that there is barely any rainfall throughout the month. If you are looking for somewhere to soak up the warm Caribbean weather over the winter period, then Playa del Carmen is the place to go.
Despite it being winter, high temperatures in December sit at a very pleasant 28°C, often rising even higher during the hottest parts of the day. Usually, though, you can expect average temperatures to hover around 24°C. Even the nights are extremely mild in December, with temperatures hardly ever dropping below 19°C. Pack layers if you are planning a trip to Playa del Carmen at this time of year – shorts, t-shirts, and light layers are perfect for the day time, but you will probably want a thicker jumper or two to keep the evening chill at bay. It is worth packing some sun cream, too, as the tropical sun is still very fierce in winter.
Thanks to its central positioning so close to the equator, Playa del Carmen has a tropical climate consisting of a dry season and a rainy season. December falls in the dry season, meaning there is not much rainfall at all throughout the month. On average, around 21mm falls across a 2 day period, so it is unlikely you'll encounter any showers on your trip. With only an 18% chance of rain, you probably won't need any waterproofs or an umbrella – just duck inside a café if the heaves open – but you might want to pack one just in case.
The hours of sunshine are very similar in Playa del Carmen throughout the year, and December sees just as much sunshine as the previous months. There are around 8 hours of sunshine per day, leaving you plenty of time to get out and about and explore all that the resort has to offer.
Beach-goers still flock to the shores of Playa del Carmen in winter, thanks to the year-round warm sea temperatures. In December, the Caribbean waters bask at a very pleasant 27°C, providing the perfect backdrop for swimming, splashing around in the shallows, and exploring the colourful underwater world.
December is one of the best times to visit Playa del Carmen because the temperatures are gloriously high, there is a lot of sunshine, barely any rain, and the sea is lovely and warm – the perfect place to escape the cold winters in the Northern hemisphere.
Where to Stay
Secrets Resort and Spa is a sumptuous accommodation choice with views out across the shimmering Caribbean Sea. Rooms are spacious and elegant with huge four-poster beds draped in crisp white bedding and flecks of gold, marble floors, and large private balconies with dining areas and spectacular views over the surrounding scenery. There is an in-house relaxing spa for guests to enjoy which bursts with Oriental design, and there are seven on-site eateries, including a café and patisserie, a beachside grill, an upmarket, sophisticated restaurant overlooking the sea, and a ceviche and taco restaurant set right on the sand. There is also a swimming pool, golf course, and a number of boutique stores on site.
The Banyan Tree Mayakoba is a quirky hotel situated right on the edge of the Caribbean Sea. It is surrounded by lush mangrove forests, peaceful lagoons, and the pristine white sands of the Mexican coast. It comprises a number of sophisticated villas, all of which are luxuriously decorated in contemporary whites and splashes of deep reds, oranges, and terracotta. Each villa has its own lounge, dining, and kitchen area, as well as desk space, a large patio area and balcony with outdoor seating, and a swimming pool with views over the surrounding scenery. Guests can also enjoy the large, free-form communal swimming pool, the in-house spa with a range of facilities, yoga classes, the beautiful Banyan Tree Gallery, the golf course, and the elaborate ballroom. There are eight on-site restaurants, serving everything from seafood grills to Mexican cuisine and Oriental dishes, plus there is also the option to have the chefs whip up a delicious meal that you can eat in the privacy and comfort of your own villa.
Royal Haciendas offers a fun-filled stay in an action-packed resort right on the beach of Playa del Carmen. Rooms are spacious and comfortable, with luxurious earth toned décor, typical Mexican-style tiled floors, and private balconies with spectacular views. Some of the suites also boast individual kitchen, dining, and living spaces, perfect for an independent holiday or a family break. Guests can enjoy the selection of five on-site restaurants, the evening entertainment, the spa and wellness centre, the massage facilities, the beauty salon, arts and crafts workshops, and the dive centre that provides a range of snorkelling and diving trips for various levels.
Viva Wyndham Maya is a colourful, lively resort set right beside the Caribbean Sea, surrounded by palm trees and pristine white sands. Rooms are modern and spacious, with whitewashed walls and splashes of blues and yellows. The walls are adorned with vibrant artworks, and each room has a private balcony that overlooks the beach. The hotel offers a variety of outdoor activities, including a large, free-form swimming pool, golf, tennis, sailing, horseback riding, snorkelling, and kayaking. There are also six on-site restaurants for guests to enjoy, including a bright, Mexican eatery, and a poolside bar.
Viva Wyndham Maya, Mexico. Photo courtesy of Andrewarchy.
Things to do
Cozumel is a small island just off the coast of Mexico and just under an hour's ferry ride from Playa del Carmen. It is surrounded by spectacular beaches and boasts a colourful underwater world, but there is also a fine selection of authentic Mexican restaurants, bars, and a collection of boutique shops and art galleries that offer a bit of variety from those in Playa del Carmen.
Cozumel Island, an hour away from Playa del Carmen, Mexico.
Flea markets are a great way to get to know the local life of a place, and Playa del Carmen hosts its very own on Sundays on Calle 54. The street is filled with stalls piled high with traditional Mexican trinkets, local artwork, rustic furniture, vintage knickknacks, and more. There are also a number of food vendors serving street side Mexican food – grab a bite to eat and watch scenes from the flea market unfold.
Animal lovers will enjoy spending time at the Playa Animal Rescue's Spa, which looks after rescued puppies, kittens, and other cute critters. On Saturdays the Spa runs a Play day, where visitors can turn up and play with the rescued animals, providing them with much needed TLC and human attention. It is a great way to learn about the animal life in Playa del Carmen, whilst getting up close and personal with some amazing animals.
Hit the Beach
Cozumel is under an hour from Playa del Carmen by ferry and boasts an array of beautiful beaches. Paradise Beach is one of the more popular offerings, featuring typical white-sand shores and sparkling blue waters. There are rows of sun loungers laid out across the sands and a number of restaurants and beach bars dotted along its length. In addition, Paradise Beach is known for its watersports, and visitors can sign up for the banana boats, paragliding, and kayaking, and they can explore the underwater world through snorkelling and diving tours.
Playa Corona is another beach situated on the island of Cozumel. It is a little more secluded than Paradise Beach and boasts a rockier landscape. The beach itself is much smaller, too, with an off-the-beaten track feel to it. The water is still crystal clear, though, and it is one of the best places to explore the colourful underwater world. There are also a couple of beachside restaurants and bars for visitors to refuel in.
Where to Drink & Eat
If you are craving Sushi in Playa del Carmen, head to Sushi Club, a contemporary, sophisticated Japanese haunt that boasts a luxurious atmosphere and a delicious collection of classic sushi dishes as well as some more experimental ones. As well as a modern, decorated interior, Sushi Club also has an intimate outdoor terrace for diners to enjoy the mild Mexican weather on. If you fancy sushi but don't want to go out, they also deliver to most places in the vicinity.
Dona Aurelia is a colourful, laidback café restaurant in the heart of Playa del Carmen. The décor is bright with splashes of colour, and there is a cosy outdoor patio area where guests can enjoy their food. It is open throughout the day, serving a delicious range of breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. Diners can enjoy traditional dishes such as fish ceviche, tacos and taquitos, rib-eye steak, and chipotle tuna.
Bad Boys Beach Bar is a popular, lively venue set right on the beachfront. It is liked by locals as well as expats and tourists, and provides a laidback, fun atmosphere, including live music most nights, plenty of dancing, and a selection of classic cocktails, local wines, and other refreshing drinks. The bar also serves up a range of hearty international and local dishes, including Mexican-inspired beef stroganoff, and a variety of beef burgers, fish dishes, and bar snacks.