Will my hair look like Monica's?!
March 11, 2012 9:19 AM   Subscribe

What is the weather really like in Mexico in mid August? And will I be able to stand the humidity?!

My boyfriend and I are getting married in early August. For a long time we've wanted to go to Mexico for our honeymoon, but because I am a teacher I can only go on holiday during the school holidays. So we have booked our two week honeymoon in Mexico (Riviera Maya) in mid August, despite knowing it's not the best time of the year to travel there.

I have googled extensively to find out about what weather we can expect and have learnt that a) it's their rainy season (although I'm not quite sure what that means in terms of how much it is likely to rain) and b) it will be very humid. I suppose I am looking for first-hand experiences to get a better idea of what I should expect.

I have two main questions:

If you have been to this area of Mexico at this time of year, what was the weather like for you? Did it rain much? How hot was it? Was it mostly blue skies or cloudy sometimes?

How humid is it? While I have been to very hot places they've been more dry-hot rather than humid hot, so I haven't really any experience with humidity. Will I cope?! (I am especially worried because at the spa I much prefer being in the sauna to the steam room. Does this mean I won't cope with humid heat?!!) Is it so hot that you can't walk from one place to another without dripping with sweat? Will hair straighteners be useless the minute I step out of the room? Am I going to be uncomfortable in anything other than thin, loose clothing? I am worried I am going to spend the two weeks an uncomfortable, sweaty mess!

Thanks for your insight!
posted by schmoo to Travel & Transportation around Mexico, Mexico (12 answers total)
Mexico is jungle, desert beach..where are you going?
posted by atomicmedia at 9:25 AM on March 11, 2012

Mexico is jungle, desert beach..where are you going?

The question specifies the Riviera Maya.
posted by Forktine at 9:30 AM on March 11, 2012

Response by poster: Yep - Riviera Maya - although, to be more specific, beach. Excellence Riviera Maya hotel near to Puerto Morelos.
posted by schmoo at 9:45 AM on March 11, 2012

I was in the Yucatan twice (not far from where you are going) in mid October and mid March and it was extraordinarily humid and my hair was a hot, frizzy mess. I do not recall the heat being an issue, but the temperatures were likely cooler in October and March than August. I also live in Austin, Texas, so I am used to the heat.

Because of the extreme humidity, 90 degrees in August will feel very hot and yes, you will sweat-- a lot. But you can enjoy yourself if you let go of the idea of having pin straight hair (don't even try), stay near (or in) the water and wear very lightweight clothing.

Or if you can cancel your booking, you might want to look into San Miguel de Allende or Guanajuato, Mexico. They are small colonial cities in the mountains and are quite arid. I have been to both places many times and the weather is always outstanding.
posted by murrey at 10:12 AM on March 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

My friend owns a home in Puerto Morales and she and her sister, who is a school teacher, go for a trip there every August. It's really, really, overwhelmingly hot, even though her house is right on the beach. The typical schedule is to get up at sun rise for a swim and then hole up inside with the AC on high reading, playing Scrabble and hanging out. Then at dusk they go outside again for another swim or maybe walk to town. They are both thin, heat-loving creatures, and it's still pretty hot for them.

Having said that, I love Puerto Morales so much -- it's one of my favorite places on earth.
posted by kate blank at 11:07 AM on March 11, 2012

An unpleasant thing I learned about in the Riviera Maya: during rainy season (and yes, it rains, jungle rain, often daily though it tends to come in bursts rather than just raining at length), right before it rains and just as it's starting to rain, the mosquitoes just lose their shit. Chomptown, and you're sweaty and humid and bug spray does nothing. It is an awkward time to be wearing pants, but it's the only thing that slows them down.

Yes, your hair will look like Monica's. Leave a little conditioner in it and put it up, if it's long enough. Otherwise, you may want to consider hats and learn to wear fetching bandanas. Do not spend your entire honeymoon - because that's how long it would take - trying to dry and iron your hair.

There's something to be said for being forced to slow way down, which the heat and humidity will do. Your resort looks lovely, and probably has things to do indoors. You'll need books, and you might want to bring some cards or games. You should take plenty of light, loose clothing (tip: Target is putting out their sundresses right now, they are very light and loose), and a couple of small umbrellas - not just for the rain but for the sun. Do not plan frantic itineraries, remember that siesta exists for a reason, and make liberal use of any resort amenities that will help you stay cool and comfortable.
posted by Lyn Never at 11:57 AM on March 11, 2012

The good news is, the weather will pretty much follow a schedule. Usually the sky will be clear in the morning, cloud up over the course of the day, and let it all down at once in the afternoon or early evening. If you're terribly unlucky and a tropical storm comes through, you might get several straight days of rain; if you're lucky, you might get a day that's completely dry. Temperatures are mildest at dawn, and in the evening after it rains.

So the main thing is to adapt your schedule to to weather. Three in the afternoon is the wrong time to head out for a two-hour hike — it will either be sweltering hot or pouring down rain — but it's a great time to be sitting by a window with something sippable. If you're going to do rugged outdoorsy things, early morning is a good time for it, since it maximizes the odds of getting cool, clear weather.
posted by nebulawindphone at 12:15 PM on March 11, 2012

Were I you, I would change either the timing or the location. I haven't been to the east coast in August, but I've been to the west coast in June and I found it unbearable. The thing about humid heat is you do literally sweat while standing still. The moisture in the air makes it impossible for the moisture on your body to evaporate. I loathe it, personally.

Something else to keep in mind is that August is smack in the middle of hurricane season. I wouldn't worry about a hurricane, so much, as just crummy rainy, windy weather in general.

There are plenty of great places in Mexico to visit inland that won't be as uncomfortable. Or, maybe you want to spend your first Christmas as a married couple on the beach.

If you can't change your plans, though, just roll with it. Plan ahead for frizzy hair. Pack loose light clothing. In my experience, even a "bad" time in Mexico is pretty sweet.
posted by looli at 11:48 PM on March 11, 2012

we have been to the area several times at the end of july. it is very hot and humid but not any hotter than oklahoma, where we live. The temperature is actually probably less but the sun is more intense and it is more humid so it feels hotter. However, we spend most of the day in swim suits in the pool or ocean or cenote. It is awesome. If you plan on sightseeing alot, it might be really uncomfortable, but if your activities center around water, you will be fine. Even a nap in the shade on the beach is pretty pleasant with the wind coming off the water. There is great snorkeling on the reef right off the beach from Puerto Morales.

Get hurricane insurance on your trip just in case.
posted by domino at 6:20 AM on March 12, 2012

2nd'ing murrey on the idea of letting go of fancy hair. It rains 10 inches in August. Rather than staying inside, I'd suggest snorkelling, hitting some cenotes, swimming, and doing other honeymooning things where you don't mind sweating. Might try some hair management like this:

There's plenty of time to get your scuba cert.

Bring plenty of sunscreen, and shirts or wraps you can wear wet. The overnight low will be mid'70's; and even during the rain, it's warm out. People who aren't used to the heat just want it to stop, but if you get used to it, accept it, your body adjusts. You might go read a book for 3 hrs in the steam room you mentioned to practice for your trip. Your main strategy should be: if you get too hot, jump in the water.
posted by at at 7:49 AM on March 12, 2012

Erm. I've done this. Not getting married- going to the Riviera Maya during July. It was not a good idea, and I'm from Phoenix, Arizona, where I was acclimated to 100-115 days. Of course, I tended to do more inland exploring than staying on the beach, but I would not do it again. This was not a matter of "frizzy hair," it was physically uncomfortable and draining for many hours of the day, the mosquitoes were insane, and most places (other than fancy tourist resorts) do not have A/C, so there is never any respite. May is about the latest I'll go now, and I probably wouldn't go back until September. We had to evacuate from a hurricane during the July trip, too, but that was much less memorable than the sheer uncomfortableness of the heat. I thought being from Phoenix would mean I could "pshaw" at all the people saying 95 was hot, but, um, no.

But I guess if you went to a beachside resort and pretty much stuck to the air-conditioned resort and water activities, it could be okay. I would still HIGHLY recommend going somewhere else if you're stuck on August. (Oops. I see you've already booked it. Good luck.)
posted by wending my way at 2:39 PM on March 14, 2012

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