Most people visit Cancun for its wonderful beaches, sunny weather and party atmosphere but year-round sun is not always guaranteed in this part of the world, so it is worth knowing what to do when it rains and the tanning has to be put on hold.
The rainiest month in Cancun is usually October, although the ‘rainy season’ lasts from May-to-October when you can expect humidity as high as 80% and short bursts of very heavy downpour. Luckily, Cancun’s tropical climate means these spells of heavy showers are usually followed by clear skies and sunshine.
December-to-February is said to be the best time to visit the city in order to enjoy the sun, while it is also worth noting that the hurricane season is August-to-October.
So you can be fully prepared for when the skies darken, the Heaven’s open and it is time to vacate the beach, this article provides 7 things to do in Cancun when it rains, helping you make the most of your holiday, whatever the weather.
Go on a Cancun Shopping Spree
Cancun offers a great shopping experience, whether it be high-end clothing malls, or busy markets with great souvenirs. The markets offer many hand-crafted items at great prices and provide a fun, sheltered experience to kill a couple of hours on a rainy day.
If you’re looking to add to your wardrobe then you may want to head to Luxury Avenue to pick up some designer clothing and accessories, with the shops including top of the range brands such as; Cartier, Burberry, Hugo Boss & Mont Blanc. This boutique mall also organises many events throughout the year, including fashion shows which can be enjoyed with a glass of wine.
Plaza Las Americas offers a slightly lower end shopping experience but can still boast a lot of well-known brands. If the weather is particularly bad outside then you can even catch a movie here at the Cinepolis Movie Theatre, or stuff your face in the food court.
In downtown Cancun you can progress your haggling skills with a visit to Mercado 23, the oldest market in the city with decades of tradition, so you can go shopping like a Mexican.
As well as selling meat, vegetables and fruit, you can find an array of items and souvenirs like Pinatas, hand crafted ornaments, tequila and textiles. In Mercado 23 you can also find a barber, or herbal remedies to cure an upset stomach after too many tacos, making this market one of the best one-stop shops in the area. So if you are looking for a more local experience and an opportunity to practice your Spanish then a typical, Mexican market is a good opportunity to start. It is advised to bring cash as many of the stalls here do not accept card.
A great place to pick up a gift is also Coral Negro Flea Market, situated close to the Party Zone. This market has a wide variety of wares such as hats and scarves. Aside from shopping, it is also a good place to get your hair braided, or if you are feeling a bit wild, maybe even a tattoo.
Visit one of the many museums in Cancun
Cancun has a wide variety of museums to visit on a rainy day, from the Mayan civilisation, to art – here are our Top 5 Museums in Cancun:
3D Museum of Wonders – The interactive exhibits allows visitors to take photographs and morph into the paintings in clever illusions – in some cases, patrons can literally ‘jump into the art’. The 3D Museum of Wonders is an excellent way to entertain the kids.
Mayan Museum of Cancun – In the Mayan Museum you can find Yucatan’s most important collection of Mayan artifacts, with 400 pieces discovered at various sites in the region (many from Chichen Itza), including; sculptures, ceramics and jewellery.
National Museum of Underwater Archeology – Cedam -Displaying findings from 18th Century sunken ships which have been recovered by the Mexican Underwater Expeditions Club, in this museum you can find items such as nautical devices, cannons, coins and pottery.
Mexican Folk Art Museum – Representing folk artists from all over Mexico, this collection showcases the creativity and imagination of Mexican craftsmen, exhibiting a range of different techniques and styles in beautiful colours.
Cancun Wax Museum – This museum contains wax sculptures of more than a hundred characters from film, music, TV, horror & politics – here you can find celebrities such as; Elvis Presley, Mother Theresa, Abraham Lincoln & Lionel Messi.
Visit the Interactive Aquarium in Cancun
Cancun’s Interactive Aquarium is a must-see attraction in the city and has a range of activities for all the family, perfect for keeping the holiday fun going on a rainy day.
This state of the art complex lets you plunge into the tanks and swim alongside a range of species, even giving you the chance to feed them in its supervised Aquarium Trek. However, the aquarium’s star attraction is without doubt the chance to swim with lovable dolphins, available in group and two-person bookings.
You can get up close and personal with rays and starfish in the interaction tanks, or learn more about marine life with the educational videos in the facility’s auditorium. Children can also engage with fun activities to teach them how they can protect marine life in years to come.
If you’re looking for a more traditional experience, then of course you can just take a leisurely stroll and view the 1,500 tropical species who call the aquarium home.
Cheer on one of Cancun’s Sports Teams
If you enjoy sports, then even in the rain, you can cheer on any of the city’s teams from the shelter of one of the stands, or if there isn’t a roof… an umbrella.
Cancun FC is the city’s local football/ soccer team, playing in the second tier of the Mexican league structure. The stadium holds over 17,000 spectators and the club was formed in June 2020 following the relocation of the Cafetaleros de Chiapas franchise. The city’s other football team is Deportivo Pioneros de Cancún F.C who play in the league below.
If you are more of a baseball fan then you can lend your support to the Tigres de Quintana Roo, formerly the Mexico Tigers. Founded in 1955, the Tigers won the Mexican League Championship in their inaugural season, winning a further 18 division and 12 league championships since, as one of the ‘powerhouses’ of Mexican baseball.
Cancun also has a professional basketball team, the Pioneros de Quintana Roo (The Quintana Roo Pioneers) who play in the top league of Mexican basketball – they play in the 5,800 seater, Polifórum Benito Juárez.
Enjoy some pampering with a Cancun Spa Day
You are never far away from a spot of luxury in Cancun so when the rain hits, a good idea to stay relaxed is a spa day with your partner or friends. The city’s Hotel Zone and downtown area is home to hundreds of professional spas where you can get a massage, a facial, a wrap, or even experience some traditional Mayan rituals.
You can refresh and rejuvenate in spas such as; BlancSpa, YHI Spa & Seadust Elegance Spa, or if you are looking for a traditional experience like the Maya would have had thousands of years ago then you can pay a visit to Nizuc or Zen Spa.
Fine Dining in Cancun
As you would expect, Cancun is home to some fantastic sea food, with a spicy Mexican twist, so make the most of your vacation by visiting some of the city’s outstanding restaurants.
You won’t have to search very far to find fresh and generous portions of sea food in Cancun, with top restaurants like El Fish Fritanga, Navios and Captain’s Cove serving up mouth watering dishes, including sea bass carpaccio, fish tacos with ceviche and perfectly cooked catch-of the-days. Lorenzillo’s is also famous in the region for its lobster, serving it up for over thirty years.
If sea food isn’t really your thing then you can also enjoy traditional Mexican food at Marakame Cafe, in a chilled-out, tree house style atmosphere. Meanwhile, La Destileria gives foodies the chance to try a modern take on Mexican cooking, while other cuisines are also catered for; Irori (Japanese), Elefanta (Indian) and Thai Lounge to name a few.
Win Big in one of Cancun’s Casinos
When the rain hits another option in Cancun is to try and win big in one of its extravagant casinos.
Casinos were prohibited for a long time in Cancun until around 2010 when the legislation changed and gambling establishments started to appear in the top resorts, with each new casino being bigger and better than the last. Below you can find details of four of the best casinos in Cancun.
Red Casino, located in the Grand Oasis Resort is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with English speaking staff and all the classic games such as: Texas Holdem, Roulette, Craps, Baccarat and you can even place bets on live horse & greyhound racing. In addition, there is a wide range of slot machines with complimentary drinks and food!
Dubai Palace is also open 24/7 and is located on Tulum Avenue, just outside the city. Staff are less likely to speak fluent English in this casino but the buffet served for breakfast, lunch and dinner comes recommended if you’re looking for a substantial meal before gambling.
Dubai Palace is the largest casino in Cancun, spanning over 100,000 square feet, with over 450 slot machines.
Casino Palace was the first real casino in the city, just north of Plaza Las Americas – as well as the usual games, this casino is also popular for live sporting events.
Last on the list is Royal Yak which is located within Plaza Las Americas, it is smaller than the aforementioned casinos but has been recently refurbished and offers a good gambling experience when the rain scuppers any outdoor plans.
Just because the sun has gone into hiding, it doesn’t mean the fun has to be put on hold, while you hide away in the hotel. We hope this article has provided enough activities to keep you occupied and upbeat during Cancun’s rainy days and helps you have a memorable vacation in this wonderful destination.