time in Mexico Cancun
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What is the time in Mexico

So when I wrote this article for my Dutch website Leaving Holland, I realized that buying a watch for my MC trips might not be such a good idea. In my black and white operating mind, I picture myself constantly changing time with every mile I proceed.

That is an exaggeration of course but, time in Mexico is complex. For me it is. Maybe for you, it makes sense, but me being lost internationally with many friends all over the world, I am constantly wondering who goes to bed and who gets up. And add to that 32 states of which 4 have multiple time zones and border exceptions to the regular time rules in Mexico. Man, I might decide to ditch time altogether.

Corona virus in Playa del Carmen Mexico

Mexico has summer and wintertime, but not everywhere

I live in Quintana Roo, at the moment, one of the two states that do not have summertime. Sonora is the other state. These two states decided to abandon daylight saving time because out of courtesy to the US visitors and trade routes. Economically and hospitality wise they thought it might be a good idea to not participate in the Federal agreement.
I guess that kind of decisions comes from living in a Federal State, where agreements and rules may change from state to state.

In the US border are there are more individual cities that agreed on following the US time schedule.

Mexico street safety

Mexico knows 7 timezones but roughly uses three

Mexico is huge. So it is normal for a country this size to have different timezones. In Mexico, they agreed upon roughly 3 and within those 3 Daylight Saving Time may or may not apply.

  • Central Time (Universal Coordinated Time of UTC – 6.00/-5.00),
  • Pacific Time (UTC -8.00/-7.00)
  • Mountain Time (UTC -7.00/-6.00).

The bigger art of Mexico lives in Central Time. (Zona Centro)

To make it a little more confusing there are 5 States that have multiple timezones.

  • Mexico (Federal District)
  • Chihuahua,
  • Coahulla de Zaragoza,
  • Nueva Leon,
  • Tamaulipas

Mexico Photos

What areas live in what timezone?

Zona Centro

The biggest part of Mexico including Mexico City and the larger part of the East live in CST (Central Standard Time)

Zona Pacifico

The larger part of the Western States including Baja California Sur, Chihuahua, Nayarit, Sinaloa en Sonora use MST (Mountain Standard Time)

Zona Noroeste

Baja California lives in Pacific Standard Time

Zona Sureste

Quintana Roo lives in Eastern Standard Time

And within those time zones, DST (Daylight Saving Time) applies or not.

visit Chetumal

When to set the clock when you are in DST States?

Every Spring, 2 AM the clock changes to DST on the first Sunday of April. EXCEPT! in Acuna, Anahuac, Juarez, Matamoros, Mexicali, Nuevo Laredo, Ojinaga, Piedras Negras, Reynosa, and Tijuana. there you forward your time on the second Sunday of March. And they turn the clock back on the first Sunday of November, while the rest of the country ends DST on the last Sunday of October.

This exception may also count for several other border municipalities.

FACT: Quintana Roo changed its timezone in 2015.

Man, I hope I got the facts right, this is so confusing………. 🙄