Climate and Environment

Hot Coasts, Cool Colonial Cities

A colorful colonial house in Mexico

When you’re scouting for a place to live or retire to in Mexico — or even if it’s only for a visit — it’s wise to short-list locations which offer climate types you know you feel comfortable living in.

There’s a significant difference between going somewhere very hot for a short vacation, and living in a hot climate all year-round.  Some places that are warm in the summer can get quite cool or cold in the winter. Mexico’s varied landscape offers you choice in climates, and whether you envision yourself living in a hot and humid place, or somewhere more temperate, at higher altitude with fresh mountain air, Mexico has options for you.

Most of Mexico’s principal towns and cities away from the coasts are situated at altitude: Mexico City is situated at over 7,000 feet above sea level, and many of the places in Mexico’s colonial heartland are situated at altitudes of at least 5,000 feet above the sea.  The altitude keeps the local climate in these areas quite temperate, in stark contrast to most of Mexico’s sea-level towns and cities which are hot and, for at least a few months of the year, very humid, too.

Colonial cities can get chilly during some winter months, especially overnight; although it’s very rare for temperatures to plummet and, in any event, fireplaces and electric or gas-fired heaters can take away any cold-edges you may experience.  Homes in colonial cities don’t tend to have air conditioners installed as they are simply not needed here: on hotter summer days, opening a window or using a small fan provides enough ventilation to stay comfortable.

Coastal areas south of the Tropic of Cancer, and the low-lying areas of the Yucatan peninsula, tend to have warm and comfortable climates between November and March, which many people find agreeable and ideal.  However, from April onward, temperatures in these places rise steeply and the humidity levels pick-up, too.  Most people in these areas need to use air conditioning to keep cool during the summer, and as these consume a lot of energy, you can expect your summer electricity bills to be higher if you make extensive use of them to stay comfortable.  Some people in hot regions use their swimming pool as means to cool down and save on cooling costs.

The type of climate you live influences your lifestyle situations, so it’s worth taking this into consideration when you’re scouting places to live in Mexico. By taking some time to consider the climate zones you naturally feel comfortable living in, you’ll be able to short list places which match those and thus help you to settle more easily when you move here.

To get better acquainted with the different climates throughout the year in Mexico see climates and weather in Mexico, and read our article Land of Three Lands to get further insights.

See Also: Guides to Living and Lifestyle in Mexico

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