Playa del Carmen has a sub-tropical climate, which means it's almost always warm. Or hot. The annual average temperature is about 27C or 80F. Temperature is not the only consideration when in a tropical climate. All year around the humidity level is very high, often around 90 per cent. Weather here is pretty reliable, but there can be exceptions, as always the case when it comes to weather. Regardless of what time of year you get here, you will have great beach days and the ocean is always warm enough to swim in. Here are the guidelines for Playa during the year.
Spring is a beautiful time of year here, with very little rain and flowers everywhere. The ocean gets calmer and warmer, as temperature rises. Nights can still be a little cooler, but sweaters are rarely called for.
The summer in Playa is hot. This is also when the sea is the calmest, and has the best crystal clear turquoise look to it. The water is so warm you can stay in for hours. Blue skies prevail. Rainfall is seen, usually as short heavy afternoon showers after a hot day. There can be some wicked thunder storms this time of year, but they only last for an hour or so. Nights do not get cooler. Thin cotton clothes and a hat are your best friends this time of year. Along with your beach wear.
September and October is the time for tropical storms and hurricanes. That doesn't mean there are hurricanes every week, or even every year, but it can be rainy and windy this time of year. It doesn't rain every day for two months, but there may be a period of more persistent rain. It's still warm.
November, December and January are the coolest months here, which means it's very comfortable. There might be some rain, but not on a daily basis. This time of year nights can be chilly (we have seen temperatures drop down as far as 12C!). Cooler winds from the US often finds their way to Playa, but please remember that the sun is still powerful.
Logically the next subject is what to wear. Cotton and other natural fibers are the most comfortable in a hot and humid climate. Especially in the summer, you don't want to have anything to do with polyester or nylon. A cap or a hat is crucial and will greatly increase your comfort in the strong Caribbean sun. A sweater/jacket and jeans/slacks will come in handy if you're planning your trip for the winter. Most of the year shorts and a t-shirt/top (or a little dress for the ladies) is all you want. Only on a cool winter night, you will want shoes that cover your feet, but most of the year you'll want to wiggle your toes in a pair of sandals. Don't forget some comfortable footwear for those ruin visits. A rain jacket is a handy item most of the year.
Furthermore, Playa is very casual. You'll have no use for a suit and tie, nor for that YSL cocktail dress. Although a lot less so than a few years ago, Playa still has a certain hippie flair. Now it's more modern and chic, but still very laid back. When there are lots of Italians and Argentineans in town (in August) the average beauty factor increases significantly. But in general - anything goes!
Playa del Carmen attracts people from the States, Europe and South America, all with different beach cultures. So, whatever your preference, you'll be comfortable on the playa of Playa. There are topless women here and there, but not everywhere. Basically you can say that the further north from the ferry dock you get, the less clothing you'll see. But you don't have to take anything off unless you want to. Whatever way you go, do it with respect. On Saturdays and Sundays there are more Mexicans on the beach, which calls for more coverage. As you leave the beach and get on to 5th Avenue, it's advisable to cover up somewhat. You are, after all, visitors in a different culture.