Time in Mexico

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

Mexico uses four main time zones since February 2015[1]. Most of the country observes Daylight Saving Time.

  1. Zona Sureste (Southeast Zone) covers the state of Quintana Roo is UTC-05:00 year round. It is the equivalent of U.S. Eastern Standard Time.
  2. Zona Centro (Central Zone) covers the eastern three-fourths of Mexico, including Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey. For most of the year, it is the equivalent of U.S. Central Time.
  3. Zona Pacífico (Pacific Zone) covers the states of Baja California Sur, Chihuahua, Nayarit, Sinaloa, and Sonora. The state of Sonora, like the U.S. state of Arizona, does not observe daylight saving time. For most of the year, it is the equivalent of U.S. Mountain Time.
  4. Zona Noroeste (Northwest Zone) covers the state of Baja California. It is identical to U.S. Pacific Time, including the daylight saving time schedule.

For economic reasons, some metropolitan areas next to the U.S. border follow the U.S. Daylight Saving Time schedule instead of the Mexican schedule resulting in them being an hour off from the rest of their state for a few weeks out of the year.

Mexican law dictates that all remote island territories should fall within the time zone corresponding to their geographic location.


Standard time was first defined in Mexico in 1921, when President Álvaro Obregón decreed two time zones. One time zone designated for 90° W covered the states of Tabasco, Chiapas, Campeche, Yucatán, and Quintana Roo. A second time zone designated for 105° W covered the rest of the country, from Baja California to Veracruz and Oaxaca.[2]

In 1930 three zones were decreed: Hora del Oeste (120° W) for the state of Baja California (norte); Hora del Golfo (90° W) covering the states of Tamaulipas, Veracruz, Oaxaca, Tabasco, Chiapas, Campeche, Yucatán and Quintana Roo; and Hora del Centro (105° W) for the rest of the country.[3]

It was decreed in 1942 that the Hora del Noroeste (105° W) should cover only the states of Baja California Sur, Sonora, Sinaloa, and Nayarit; while the Hora del Centro (90° W) was used for the rest of the country.[4]

The time zone Hora del Sureste (75° W) was created for tourist reasons in 1981, originally covering the states of Campeche, Yucatán, and Quintana Roo.[5] The three states returned one year later to the Hora del Centro (90° W);[2] Quintana Roo, however, returned to the Hora del Sureste (75° W) from October 1997 to August 1998 and then again in February 2015.[1]