December is one of the busiest travel months of the year in Mexico with no less than three major events taking place nationally, and dozens of regional events happening throughout the country.
December 12 is Dia de Guadalupe: coupled with Easter, this date marks the most important religious event on Mexico’s annual calendar.
Posadas Navideñas lead up to Christmas, and the New Year festivities. If you’re traveling in Mexico, the period between December 20th and January 6th is the busiest time of year on roads in and out of major cities, and at bus stations and airports as people away for the holidays.
If you plan to take a leisure break in Mexico over Christmas and/or New Year, you’ll need to book early to get the best choice of places to stay. As of December 15th, flight prices increase and availability of seats on internal domestic flights as well as international flights out of Mexico diminishes as Mexicans and foreign residents living here leave to holiday or visit their families abroad. It’s wise to build-in some extra time for your journey to and through the airport, as the seasonal swell in passenger numbers slows everything down.
Buses and bus stations across Mexico also fill-up as local families travel to be with their loved ones and share time together during the festive period. Throughout most of the year, you can usually show up and buy a bus ticket on the day you are traveling and be assured of a seat on the next bus out; but if you plan to travel by bus during the days around Christmas and New Year, we recommend you buy your tickets in advance as demand for seats is high at this time of year.
Mexico City tends to empty-out during the week between Christmas and New Year as it does during Easter week, as capitalinos leave the metropolis to holiday abroad, visit family in the provinces, or take a well-earned break at one of Mexico’s many beach resorts or picturesque colonial cities.
If you’re planning to drive in Mexico over the Christmas period, be aware that the principal arterial roads out of Mexico City (towards Cuernavaca, Puebla, Toluca, and Querétaro) become jam-packed in the week leading up to Christmas, and those same roads leading back in to Mexico City can become jammed on any days between December 30th and January 6th as holiday-makers in the provinces return to the capital.