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Clock-Time Changes in Mexico: Spring & Fall Timezones

Except two Mexican states move their clocks forward in the spring, and back in the fall. Discover details of the spring and fall clock-time changes


This article explains the clock changes taking place in Mexico during 2022

Since 1996, Mexico has been adjusting its clocks in the spring and fall to account for Daylight Saving Time (DST).


The states of Sonora and Quintana Roo The Mexican state of Sonora (bordering primarily the state of Arizona in the US) will not observe DST in 2022.

The state of Quintana Roo (which includes the popular resorts of Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, and the islands of Isla Mujeres and Cozumel) established its time zone that is always aligned with US EST.

Therefore, clocks in these two Mexican states are not moved forward/backward each spring and fall.


Spring Clock Changes in Mexico 2022 (“Spring Forward”)


The state of Baja California (not to be confused with Baja California Sur) and Mexican cities immediately bordering the US (including Juárez, Reynosa, and Matamoros) clocks move forward one hour at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 13th, 2022.


DST in most of Mexico and the state of Baja California Sur will start on Sunday, April 3rd, 2022 when the clocks will be moved forward by one hour at 2 a.m.


Fall Clock Changes in Mexico 2022 (“Fall Back”)


DST in most of Mexico and Baja California Sur will end on Sunday, October 30th, 2022, when the clocks will be moved back again by one hour at 2 a.m.


The state of Baja California (not to be confused with Baja California Sur) and Mexican cities immediately bordering the US (including Juárez, Reynosa, and Matamoros) clocks move back one hour at 2 a.m. on Sunday, November 6th, 2022.


Mexico’s land territory, including the Baja peninsula, straddles an area between 23.6345° North, and 102.5528° West. To give that some time-zone perspective, its longitudinal landmass covers a distance-equivalent starting on the Pacific coast in California USA, and ending near Pensacola, Florida—thus spanning some 1,700 miles.


Mexico’s four time zones

Mexico used to have three time zones, until February 1, 2015, when a fourth time zone was introduced for the southeastern state of Quintana Roo, home to Mexico’s most popular vacation resorts including Cancún, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum; as well as the islands of Cozumel and Isla Mujeres.


Mexico’s Baja California (North) time zone

Zona Noroeste — This northwestern-most zone covers the northern half of the Baja peninsula in the state of Baja California; it’s aligned with US Pacific Time. (Note that the state’s name is Baja California, not as it’s sometimes erroneously referred to as ‘Baja California Norte.’)


Mexico’s Pacific time zone

Zona Pacífico — This zone begins in Guayabitos, north of Puerto Vallarta (Vallarta and environs are part of Mexico’s Central time zone) and includes the states of Nayarit, Sinaloa, Sonora, Chihuahua, and Baja California Sur. Zona Pacífico is aligned with US Mountain Time.


Mexico’s Central time zone

Zona Centro — This zone covers most of Mexico’s landmass, including the central and southern colonial highlands, Mexico City, Monterrey, Guadalajara, and Mérida/Yucatán, and is aligned with US Central Time.


Mexico’s Southeastern time zone

Zona Sureste — This is the fourth time zone specifically affecting the state of Quintana Roo. It’s constantly aligned with US Eastern Standard Time (EST) but unlike eastern states in the US, it does not move its clocks backward or forward each year.


Seasonal time changes

Here are some key points about Mexico’s seasonal clock-time changes:

  • Not all Mexican states move their clocks each year, and those that do, don’t necessarily synchronize with dates that other Mexican zones change their clocks, nor the dates that the USA, Canada, and Europe move theirs.

  • Mexico’s (relatively-new) Southeastern time zone aligns with the US Eastern Standard Time and doesn’t move its clocks anymore; so its clock time is aligned for part of the year with the US ET. It leaves that alignment by an hour when the US moves its clocks forward, and the alignment returns in the fall when the US moves its clocks back again.

  • The Northeastern time zone synchronizes on the same date that US Pacific clock-times change, and not the date of the Mexican Central clock-time change; and this causes clock-time disparity for some weeks each year in the spring and fall.

  • Another divergence occurs along the US-Mexico land border, where key border cities in Mexico —including Ciudad Juárez, Reynosa, and Matamoros— move their clocks in alignment with the US cities they are near, not with Mexico’s Zona Centro time, where they are geographically based.

  • The northern Mexican states of Sonora and Quintana Roo do not move their clocks.


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