Born in Mexico City, he studied at the Cardenal Miranda Institute of his hometown. In 1982, he made his debut in Haydn's »Lo Speziale«, in Monterrey, Mexico. Upon winning the Enrico Caruso Tenor Competition in Milan, in 1986, he moved to Austria, where he completed his vocal studies at the school of the Wiener Staatsoper.

Ramón Vargas’ international debut took place in 1992, when the New York Metropolitan Opera asked him to sing Edgardo in »Lucia di Lammermoor«, substituting Luciano Pavarotti. This was soon followed by a debut on the stage of La Scala, in 1993, where he sung Fenton in Giorgio Strehler's new production celebrating the centenary of »Falstaff«, conducted by Riccardo Muti. He now regularly performs at all the major opera houses all over the world to great acclaim: Teatro Colón de Buenos Aires, London Royal Opera House, Teatro Real de Madrid, Opéra National de Paris, San Francisco Opera, Wiener Staatsoper, Arena di Verona, and others.

In addition to his operatic career, he is also an accomplished concert singer, with an extensive repertoire ranging from Italian classical songs to romantic German Lieder and melodies by French, Mexican and Spanish composers from the 19th and 20th centuries.

He was awarded the Lauri Volpi Award in 1993, in 2001 he received the ECHO Klassik - Singer of the Year Award. Ramón Vargas' multi-awarded discography includes Rossini's »Il barbiere di Siviglia«; Donizetti's »La Favorite«; Bellini's »I Capuleti e i Montecchi«; Massenet's »Werther« as well as Verdi's »Falstaff«.

Among Vargas’ latest performances are »Don Carlo« at Wiener Staatsoper under the baton of Myung Whun Chung and »Les contes d’Hoffman« at Opéra National de Paris conducted by Philippe Jordan. Forthcoming projects include »Un ballo in maschera« and »Die Fledermaus« at Wiener Staatsoper. He was awarded the Rodolfo Celletti Prize in 2017 and the Opera News Award in 2019.