Does It Snow in Mexico? A Guide to All the Amazing Places Where it Snows in Mexico
Mexico is a huge country, so its climate is also versatile and different depending on where you go; but does it snow in Mexico as well?
Because of the vast size of Mexico, the answer isn’t just a simple yes or no, so we’ll dive deeper into the topic in this article.
But before that, if you don’t know much about Mexico, let me tell you a few things about it first.
Located in the southern portion of North America and bordering the United States, Mexico is a country brimming with culture, history, breathtaking beaches, and eclectic and creative cuisine.
You will find many things to do here, including water sports and once-in-a-lifetime experiences like swimming with whale sharks, seeing and enjoying the traditions, art, and food, and exploring the thriving nature, the ancient Maya ruins, mystical cenotes, and many more unique things for each Mexican state or region.
Mexico is a dream destination for thousands of people to escape the cold winter and enjoy a memorable vacation in a tropical zone.
But Mexico is a large country, so its climate is quite diverse. There are four main seasons in the year, including winter when some regions of its northern hemisphere see freezing temperatures.
This means that some parts of Mexico see snowfall as well!
Now that we have established that it snows in Mexico (though only in some areas), you must be wondering, “Where does it snow in Mexico?” So let’s cover that before we get into the FAQs of snowfall in Mexico.
Where does it snow in Mexico?
When I say it does snow in Mexico, it doesn’t mean most of the country sees snowfall. But you will find a few areas in the country that receive at least some snowfall each year. These mainly include the northern regions of Mexico.
When Does it Snow in Mexico?
Mexico is one of the few Latin American countries that see all four seasons of the year although the fall and spring are preferably called shoulder seasons referring to being in between the high (dry) ad the low (wet) season. But that still depends on which area we are talking about.
The winter season in Mexico is the same everywhere, though with different temperatures and climates and takes place from December to February.
That is also when some places in Mexico see snow. I’ll tell you about these places in more detail below.
Beautiful Places where it snows in Mexico
1. Mexiquillo, Durango
Spanning over 52 square miles of land, the Mexiquillo is a beautiful forest northeast of Mexico City. Mexiquillo is probably one of the best places to experience the Mexican snowfall.
With gorgeous waterfalls and forests in it, the place is simply stunning when it comes to the landscape.
The best time to visit Mexiquillo to see snow is between December and February when the temperatures drop to their lowest.
You can easily take a bus from La Cuidad to get here, but make sure to bring your own food as there is only one restaurant in the whole area.
Bringing a raincoat along with your winter gear is also a good idea.
Mexiquillo is a great destination for hikers, adventurers, and families alike. There are plenty of cabanas that you can lodge in.
You will find lots to see and explore here, and safety isn’t a concern as long as you follow the common sense rules that apply everywhere else.
However, if you love hiking and biking the best way is to go with an organized tour that will take you to the best spots safely without getting lost.
2. Sombrerete, Zacatecas
Sombrerete is a small town in Northwestern Zacatecas. Back in the 16th Century, this town was one of the most important in New Spain because of its mines.
But nowadays, it’s famous for its Colonial architecture and monuments, along with being a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
You can visit here anytime between December and February to enjoy beautiful snowfall in Mexico. There is a lot to do and see in this historic town, including the many colonial buildings in the old town’s snow-covered streets. The protected rock formations of Sierra de Organos National Park are also worth checking out.
The town is quite safe for tourists, and you will find plenty of rooms and lodging options to make your stay here as well.
3. Arteaga, Coahuila
The Mexican Pueblo Magico (magic town) of Arteaga is another striking place where you will find snowfall in Mexico during the winter months.
This is when the lowest temperature drops to around 46.6°F and December through January is when heavy snowfall takes place here, with an average of 0.3 inches of snow.
Arteaga is a very scenic town, and definitely worth visiting during the snowfall months. What’s more, it’s also called the Switzerland of Mexico because of its location between the snowy peaks of Sierra Madre Oriental and wooded landscapes.
Skiing and snow tubing are definitely the top activities here during the winter season, which you can try at one of its ski centers.
Since Arteaga is a touristy enough town, you will find great hotel options to choose from.
There are also good restaurants that you can try out here. Also, it’s quite safe for a memorable trip during the winter!
4. Copper Canyon, Chihuahua
Copper Canyon is a group of huge canyons in the Sierra Madre Occidental mountains and alltogether they even outsize the majestic Grand Canyon in the US.
These stunning canyons are located in northern Mexico, in the Mexican state of Chihuahua, and during the last months of the year they get covered in snow, creating a surreal landscape
You can explore the cities and towns, enjoy activities like horseback riding, biking, and hiking.
Interestingly, the Copper Canyon is also home to the Rarámuri people, who are known as one of the fastest long-distance runners in the world.
You can best explore the Copper Canyon through a railway journey on the famous train El Chepe.
The entire journey takes around 13 hours, but I recommend getting off at the halfway point and staying in the heart of the canyon for a night or two or even a couple of weeks.
I did it and explored the entire area for a total of 3 weeks.
The lodging options here are amazing. In fact, you will find hotels perched on the rim of Copper Canyon close to the railroad.
One of my favorites is Hotel barrancas del Cobre (which is Copper Canyon in Spanish), offering truly breathtaking views of the Canyons.
Then you should spend a week in Creel, one of Chihuahua Pueblos Magicos, and explore the nearby area, its beautiful waterfalls, rock formations, lakes, and inhabited caves, among others.
5. Nevado de Toluca, State of Mexico
Nevado de Toluca is a volcano located near the city of Toluca, the fourth highest mountain peak in Mexico, and part of a national park.
The extinct stratovolcano consists of 9 peaks and two lagoons, The lagoon of the Sun ad the Moon, where you can go hiking and mountaineering.
Visiting Nevado de Toluca is surely a unique experience, and there are plenty of adventurous activities on offer besides hiking and mountaineering.
These include mountain biking, rappelling, and climbing. But you will need to acclimate to the high altitude and hire a tour operator to accompany you if you want to try these out.
Also, you can also see a rare breed of volcano rabbits here while hiking, which is a pleasant surprise for nature lovers.
All in all, this hidden treasure is definitely worth a day trip if you’re in Mexico’s capital.
I did it and I can’t wait to go back. However, keep in mind that the base for the hiking tours is 4000 mt which means that you will be subject to altitude sickness.
In fact, I couldn’t take more than two steps without feeling a lack of air in my lungs, not to talk about the inflated stomach.
Not everybody has the same reaction, though. In fact, my travel companions seemed fine. But it’s something to keep in mind.
If the symptoms are too strong it’s best to go down to lower altitudes and give your body time to adjust.
Altitude sickness can be lethal and it’s not something to take lightly.
The third tallest mountain in Mexico, Iztaccihuatl is another dormant volcano that you can visit during the winter months.
Located in the Izta-Popo Zoquiapan National Park, it’s called the “White Woman” in Nahuatl because of its four snow-covered mountain peaks resembling the head, chest, knees, and feet of a sleeping woman. It’s a popular spot for mountaineers looking for a climb slightly harder than beginner level.
The volcano is less than 50 miles from Mexico City, so you can definitely take a guided hiking tour from there.
Besides, being Mexico City at 2500 Mt you should spend a few days before going on a hike so that your body can acclimatize to the altitude.
The best time to visit here is between December and February because there is less risk of rain, but it’s much colder.
👉 Book your guided hike to the Iztaccihuatl Volcano from Mexico City on VIATOR
7. Pico de Orizaba
While we’re on the topic of the tallest mountains in Mexico, Pico de Orizaba is the highest of them all and a true gem of a summit with its 5,636 mt height (17K ft)
This striking volcano is known as the Star Mountain because of its beautiful snow-covered cone. It’s also famous among extreme adventure lovers.
The winter season is a popular time to visit here for various activities. You can hike its trails, try your hand at mountaineering, or climb the highest volcanic summit in North America.
Just keep in mind that it’s also the world’s most pronounced volcanic summit after Mount Kilimanjaro, so much so that you can spot it from 68 miles away if you’re on a ship coming into Veracruz or on the highway from Mexico City to Puebla.
Make sure you book your tour with a professional company that prioritizes safety.
👉 Here is a tour suggestion to the Pico de Orizaba from Mexico City on VIATOR
8. La Malinche (Malintzin)
The Malintzin volcano is a summit that reaches around 14,500 feet above sea level.
Located between the Tlaxcala and Puebla states of Mexico, it’s the sixth highest peak of Mexico, with its lower slopes consisting of forests and farmland, while the higher slopes feature grasslands and rocky summits.
You can visit here during the cool winters. Many people climb La Malinche to prepare for higher peaks because the climb is less than 7 kilometers from the starting point to the summit.
Just remember that you may need crampons and axes if you’re going for a climb after a recent snowfall.
Back in the day, La Malinche was an unsafe place to hike because of many cases of assaults. However, it seems that the situation has been resolved and more tour operators are taking groups there.
Definitely, one of the best places to train if you are not an experienced hiker.
👉 Book your tour to La Malinche from Mexico City on VIATOR
Popocatepetl is another one of Mexico’s natural wonders and highest mountains, but what’s unique about it is that it’s also an active volcano. Within it is a 400 x 600 meters wide crater.
It’s located around 43 miles away from Mexico City, so you can take a day trip to it. But make sure to monitor the volcanic activity and check the weather forecast before doing that.
The best time to visit it is for snowfall in winter. Popocatepetl and Itza belong to the same park and some tours take you to visit both, depending on the kind of tour you chose and your level of experience .
If you do plan on visiting both of these mountains, don’t forget to bring enough food to last you the day. You won’t find any places to buy food or drinks apart from the entrance to the national park.
And it goes without saying that proper winter gear is important as well.
However, no matter how adventurous you are I would go to the Popocatépetl with a respectable tour company that can provide professional guides.
👉 Book your tour to Popocatépetl – Itzachihuatl National Park from Mexico City on VIATOR
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Mexico ever snow?
Yes, it does snow in Mexico, but only in a few areas. While the average temperature in the country is quite warm, there are some high-altitude areas that experience snowfall during the winter season.
Snowfall is most common in the large mountain ranges of Mexico, where the higher altitude and cooler temperatures create ideal conditions for natural snow accumulation.
What is the coldest place in Mexico?
With an average annual temperature of 62.76ºF, Apizaco in the Tlaxcala state is considered to be the coldest place in Mexico.
Located in the cool Apizaco valley, the city lies approximately 7,900 feet above sea level. Although it’s warm during summer, Apizaco gets very cold during the winter months.
Does it snow in Mexico at Christmas?
Yes and no. It’s true that it can snow in Mexico at Christmas, but not everywhere. Only some parts of Mexico see snow during the winter months.
However, it generally doesn’t snow in the more southern and coastal areas of Mexico.
So if you’re hoping to have a white Christmas, you’ll want to head to the northern states where some of the country’s coldest places are.
If you don’t know where to go, the places I have listed above should be a good start.
Does Mexico have winter?
Yes. Mexico has a winter season that runs between December and February. But that’s not it, Mexico has all four distinct seasons of the year, so you will find spring and fall seasons here as well along with summer and winter.
What is the coldest state in Mexico?
The coldest state in Mexico is Tlaxcala State, which is located east of Mexico City in Central Mexico. The state is landlocked and situated about 7,000 feet above sea level.
The average annual temperature here has been recorded as 40ºF (4.44ºC) for the past 30 years.
Does it freeze in Mexico?
Yes, but only rarely. The temperature is mostly warm and humid in the southern parts of Mexico, but the average temperature does drop below freezing point in some of its coldest places in the northern states. So yes, it does freeze in Mexico, but only in some areas of the country.
Does it snow in Mexico City?
No, it almost never snows in Mexico City. Although the Mexican Capital city reaches an altitude of 2000 mt (6000 ft) and it’s surrounded by even taller mountains, it rarely snows there. In fact, there has been only 2 snowfall in Mexico City, one on Jan. 12, 1967, and, before that, on March 5, 1940, according to this source. So although winters can be cold you wouldn’t expect it to snow in Mexico City.
Does Mexico get cold at night?
The answer to this mostly depends on the time of year and the part of Mexico you’re in. If you’re in the southern parts, the daytime temperatures are pleasantly warm, while the nights do get chilly during the fall, winter, and spring seasons, but they’re usually just cool and not cold during the summer months.
Where is the nicest weather in Mexico?
There are plenty of great places to visit in Mexico for great weather.
This, however, varies from person to person. Most usually look for dry weather and a warm escape from their cold, snowy cities during the winter.
And so you would choose Mexico beach destinations such as Cancun, Tulum, in the Yucatan Peninsula, Cabo or La Paz in Baja California Sur, or Puerto Vallarta and Sayulita on the Mexican Pacific coast, are among the top destinations in Mexico where you can find an eternal summer as the average temperatures range between the mid-70s and mid-80s all year round.
What month is best to go to Mexico?
Again, the answer mostly depends on the kind of vacation you want to enjoy in Mexico. If you’re looking for excellent weather conditions to enjoy a beach vacation, the high season months (December through March) are great for it.
December through February is also a good time if you want to enjoy the snow in some northern parts of Mexico, as these are the snowiest places in the country.
If you’re looking for a budget vacation with no crowds around, the low-season months (June through September) are good for exactly that.
This is when you can find lots of great deals on flights and lodgings, and the prices are generally at their lowest as well.
But keep in mind that the low season perks come with hot weather and higher humidity, and this is also when the rainy season brings lots of rain.
The shoulder season months (November, April, and May) are great if you want a little bit of both good weather and affordable prices.
During these months, the weather is still pretty good and most of the peak season tourists are gone, so the crowds and prices aren’t at their highest either.
What’s the hottest month in Mexico?
The hottest month of the year in Mexico is May. This is when the average highs can reach up to 91°F, while the lows are around 73°F.
Again, this varies from place to place.
You can still find pleasant temperatures during the hot months in places like Los Cabos, Cancun, and the Riviera Maya beach destinations.
After spending a few months there I can say that the hottest city in Mexico is Merida, where between April and May you can find temperatures that can go beyond the 40°C/ 104°F
What is Mexico famous for?
A lot of things! Mexico is a truly unique destination that has something to offer for everyone. It’s most famous for its ancient Mayan ruins, beautiful beaches, and stunning natural scenery.
The country’s cuisine is also world-renowned, and its culture is rich and vibrant.
Then there are its stunning beach vacation destinations that attract thousands of visitors from around the globe each year.
These offer lots of watersports, exploration, and activities to make for an unforgettable vacation.
What is Mexico’s national dish?
The national dish of Mexico is mole sauce from Oaxaca although others say it’s Chile en Nogada one of the top Mexican dishes from Puebla.
There are many varieties and colors of mole, but its origin lies in the 18th Century.
According to the origin story, some nuns threw ingredients into a pot in a panic because they had nothing else to serve to a visiting archbishop.
Lo and behold, the perfect chocolate-brown sauce was created!
Is it safe to visit Mexico?
Yes, it’s most definitely safe to visit Mexico. But Mexico is huge and not all parts of the country are equally safe.
Not to worry though; while there are certainly some areas of Mexico that are unsafe to visit, such us the majority of the northern region bordering the US, there are also many safe and beautiful places to explore in Mexico.
Use your best judgment when planning your trip and research the areas you’ll be visiting. When in doubt, always err on the side of caution.
Also, petty theft isn’t unheard of, so keep an eye on your belongings.
Other than that, you won’t have to worry about your safety as long as you choose a safe destination and take the usual safety measures that apply everywhere else in the world as well.
If you drive in Mexico make sure you follow my tips on renting a car and ask around about the safest road and make sure you avoid driving at night.
Isabella, author, editor, and founder
A passionate traveler and photographer, in love with life and adventures, Isabella is the founder and editor of Letstraveltomexico where she shares her love for Mexico, a fascinating country that she’s proud to call home. When she’s not exploring a new place you will find Isabella in a cafe, writing on this blog, or on her other sites Boundless Roads, Mexico Cenotes and Ruins and Letstraveltocancun.com where she loves to share her travels on and off the beaten path in Mexico and around the world.