Time in Mexico

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Time in Mexico
Winter Summer (DST) Mexican time zone North American equivalent
UTC−06:00 UTC−05:00 Zona Centro Central Time
UTC−07:00 UTC−06:00 Zona Pacífico Mountain Time
UTC−07:00 Zona Pacífico Mountain Time
UTC−08:00 UTC−07:00 Zona Noroeste Pacific Time

Mexico uses three main time zones:[1]

  1. Zona Centro (Central Zone) covers the eastern three-fourths of Mexico, including Mexico City (the equivalent of Canadian and U.S. Central Time).
  2. Zona Pacífico (Pacific Zone) covers the states of Baja California Sur, Chihuahua, Nayarit, Sinaloa, and Sonora (the equivalent of Canadian and U.S. Mountain Time).
  3. Zona Noroeste (Northwest Zone) covers the state of Baja California (the equivalent of Canadian and U.S. Pacific Time).

In addition, the law dictates that all island territories should fall within the time zone corresponding to their geographic location.


In 1930 three zones were decreed:[2]

  • "Hora del Golfo", 90° W,
  • "Hora del Centro", 105° W,
  • "Hora del Oeste", 120° W.

Daylight saving time[edit]

First observation of DST was in 1931, but only for the state of Baja California. It used the "Hora del Centro" from April 1st to September 30th, and the "Hora del Oeste" the rest of the year.[2] Until 1996, Baja California was the only Mexican state to observe DST.

Daylight saving time has been observed in Mexico beginning in 1996.[3] Except for the municipalities located less than 20 km from the US border,[4] it does not coincide with the longer extended daylight saving period adopted for 2007 in the United States. Rather, the federal law dictates that daylight saving time be observed between 2 a.m. on the first Sunday in April through 2 a.m. on the last Sunday in October.[5]

As the United States now starts DST on the second Sunday in March and ends it on the first Sunday in November, Mexico's time zones are now out of synchronization with American and Canadian time zones for two periods each year. The first is the three or four weeks between the second Sunday in March and the first Sunday in April. The second is the single week between the last Sunday in October and the first Sunday in November. During these periods, clocks in Mexico City match those in Denver rather than those in Chicago. The Mexican Stock Exchange changes its hours during these periods in order to maintain synchronization with the U.S. markets.

In 1998 the state of Chihuahua moved from Central time to Mountain time.[6] This is likely because Ciudad Juárez is directly across the border from El Paso, Texas, which is on Mountain Time. Later in 2001 Mexico experimented with a shorter daylight saving period from the first Sunday in May till the last Sunday in September.[7] The areas that border the United States began observing DST on the US schedule in 2010.[4]

Daylight saving time is observed in all parts of the country except for the state of Sonora, which decided to remain on standard time beginning in 1999.[8] This is to coincide with the non-observation in Arizona, with which Sonora shares its northern border. The island territories do not currently observe daylight time either. During DST period, Mexico uses 4 different time zones.

IANA time zone database[edit]

Data for Mexico from zone.tab in the IANA time zone database. Columns marked with * are the columns from zone.tab itself.

c.c.* coordinates* TZ* comments* UTC offset UTC offset DST Notes
MX +1924-09909 America/Mexico_City Central Time - most locations −06:00 UTC-05:00
MX +2105-08646 America/Cancun Central Time - Quintana Roo −06:00 UTC-05:00
MX +2058-08937 America/Merida Central Time - Campeche, Yucatan −06:00 UTC-05:00
MX +2540-10019 America/Monterrey Mexican Central Time - Coahuila, Durango, Nuevo Leon, Tamaulipas away from US border −06:00 UTC-05:00
MX +2550-09730 America/Matamoros US Central Time - Coahuila, Durango, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas near US border −06:00 UTC-05:00
MX +2313-10625 America/Mazatlan Mountain Time - S Baja, Nayarit, Sinaloa −07:00 UTC-06:00
MX +2838-10605 America/Chihuahua Mexican Mountain Time - Chihuahua away from US border −07:00 UTC-06:00
MX +2934-10425 America/Ojinaga US Mountain Time - Chihuahua near US border −07:00 UTC-06:00
MX +2904-11058 America/Hermosillo Mountain Standard Time - Sonora −07:00 -
MX +3232-11701 America/Tijuana US Pacific Time - Baja California near US border −08:00 UTC-07:00
MX +3018-11452 America/Santa_Isabel Mexican Pacific Time - Baja California away from US border −08:00 UTC-07:00
MX +2048-10515 America/Bahia_Banderas Mexican Central Time - Bahía de Banderas −06:00 UTC-05:00

On 2010-01-06 a zone America/Ensenada named for Ensenada, Baja California was scheduled for inclusion with the comment "Split off Mexican cities (near US border) that are to follow US rules starting in 2010. Tijuana splits into Tijuana and Ensenada." [9]


See also[edit]