Climate and Environment, Mexico Essentials

Mexico’s Long Daylight Hours and its Extraordinary Light

Mexico's geography offers the whole country plenty of year-round daylight, and the quality of the light here is also outstanding

Sunrise over Mexican mountains

The decision in 2022 by Mexico’s congressional representatives to eliminate seasonal clock changes ended a practice that was never very popular here—a country that enjoys a good amount of daylight all year round.

Mexico enjoys long daylight throughout the year

Mexico’s geographical location gives the country a privileged mix of daylight and dark, regardless of the season.  This is in contrast to countries situated further away from the equator, where daylight hours can be substantially curtailed during the winter months.

One of the reasons why so many people enjoy overwintering in Mexico is because the country offers pleasantry warm or temperate climates, and also because the daylight here remains fairly constant —thus by living here during the winter you can avoid the ‘long nights’ —and enjoy plenty of sunshine, too.

How Mexico’s daylight hours vary during the year

Mexico’s privileged daylight hours can be well illustrated by way of an example.

The table below shows the hours for sunrise and sunset on the longest and shortest days of the year —and the total daylight hours on those days— for three locations in Mexico:

  • Tijuana (one of Mexico’s northernmost cities, situated on the border with the US), and
  • Mexico City (on a similar latitude to Mérida, in the Yucatán), and
  • Tapachula (Mexico’s southernmost city on the border with Guatemala).

Times shown take into account Mexico’s abandonment of annual clock changes.

Location Winter Low Summer High
Tijuana Sunrise: 6:45 a.m.
Sunset: 4:46 p.m.
Daylight hours: 10h 01m
Sunrise: 5:41 a.m.
Sunset: 7:58 p.m.
Daylight hours: 14h 17m
Mexico City Sunrise: 7:05 a.m.
Sunset: 6:03 p.m.
Daylight hours: 10h 58m
Sunrise: 5:59 a.m.
Sunset: 7:17 p.m.
Daylight hours: 13h 18m
Tapachula Sunrise: 6:29 a.m.
Sunset: 5:44 p.m.
Daylight hours: 11h 14m
Sunrise: 5:41 a.m.
Sunset: 6:41 p.m.
Daylight hours: 13h 0m

Enjoying long daylight on the shortest day of the year

The hours recorded in the table above for the ‘winter low’ are for December 21—the shortest day of the year in Mexico. These show that:

  • In the northern-most areas of Mexico, even the shortest days of the year give more than 10 hours of daylight.
  • In the southern-most areas (nearer to the equator) you can enjoy over eleven-and-a-quarter hours of daylight on the shortest day of the year.
  • Mexico City (and Mérida) enjoy virtually eleven hours of daylight, even on the year’s shortest day.

A good balance on the longest days of the year

On June 21 —the longest day of the year in Mexico— you’ll enjoy between 13 and 14 hours of daylight in the peak of summer, regardless of where you’re situated in the country.

Mexico’s geographical location in relation to the equator offers an equitable  balance of night and day all year long, with each month and season offering plenty of daylight every day of the year—which can be supportive to one’s moods, general health, and well-being.

Mexico’s light is also extraordinary

As well as offering an equitable balance of daylight and dark, when you pause to consider the quality of the light here, you come to realize that Mexico’s light is truly extraordinary.

Its quality is especially noticeable in the mountain highlands, although it’s exceptional even at lower elevations, and along the coasts.

Mexico is said to be one of the most ‘colorful countries in the world’ and the quality of the light undoubtably contributes to the sparkling tapestry of colors that may be appreciate here.

Writers describing Mexico often remark, for example, on the sharp and crisp ‘azure blue’ skies, especially in the central highlands.  They’ve noticed how the subtleties and hues of the light in Mexico are quite special.

The exceptional light is complemented by sensational fragrances during the rainy season as the groundwater swells and the flora blossom and bloom.

When the ground becomes parched during the dry season, dust particles rise high up into the atmosphere and contribute to the composition of the most magnificent sunsets you’ll experience anywhere.

Mexico for living and leisure

Mexico is one of the most visited countries in the world, offering beautiful beach locations, picturesque colonial mountain towns, fascinating archaeology, and an abundance of wild, natural habitats to traverse and enjoy. It also offers opportunities for living and lifestyle, that you can also discover and explore here on Mexperience.

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