If you’re wondering if there is snow in Mexico, you’ve come to the right place!
One of my earliest childhood memories is of being in a white park with my family surrounded by snow.
By that age, I hadn’t traveled internationally yet and in fact, all we did that weekend to reach a winter wonderland was drive about 30 minutes to the Ajusco in southern Mexico City.
You may not associate Mexico with snow, but yes, it does snow here!
I often tell people I think Mexico is one of the coolest and weirdest countries in the world because you could be making snow angels on a winter morning and lying on a Caribbean beach by that very same afternoon.
You see, Mexico is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world and the fact that it has so many mountain ranges and volcanoes means that, in some places, temperatures are idea for a snowy day.
Below is my guide to snow in Mexico, including where it happens, where to see it, and things to know!
Does it Snow in Mexico?
You might not typically associate Mexico with snow, but yes, it does snow here, especially in the mountainous regions and higher elevations.
While it’s a rarity in the coastal and lowland areas, certain parts of Mexico do experience a picturesque winter scenery. Many people would consider it the worst time to visit Mexico, but it’s incredible if you’re after something different.
- Sierra Nevada Range: Including peaks like Pico de Orizaba and Nevado de Toluca, where snow is more common.
- Northern States: Such as Chihuahua and Coahuila can occasionally get snowfall during winter months.
- Winter: December to February are cooler months with greater chances of snow, particularly in the highlands.
- The monarch butterfly migration occurs in Mexico during the period when some areas are snowy, creating a beautiful contrast of orange against white.
- Don’t count on a white Christmas if you’re in Cancun, but if you’re hiking up in the mountains, pack your warm gear!
Where Does it Snow in Mexico?
You might be surprised to find that snow in Mexico isn’t as rare as you’d expect.
While it’s known for its sunny beaches, certain parts of the country do get a fair share of snow, particularly in the higher elevations and northern regions.
Northern States: In areas like Chihuahua, Coahuila, and Durango, winter can bring snow, especially in the mountainous regions.
You’ll find the Sierra Madre Occidental range here, which gets sufficient cold weather for snowfall.
Central Mexico: Even closer to the capital, you can spot snow-capped peaks.
For instance, the volcanoes Popocatépetl and Iztaccíhuatl, visible from Mexico City, often have snowy summits during the winter months.
If you’re up for a hike, the Nevada de Toluca, a large stratovolcano, can offer you a glimpse of snow too.
When Does it Snow in Mexico?
Mexico might not be the first place you think of when you imagine snowfall, yet certain regions in the country do receive snow, primarily during the winter months from December to February.
Here’s a quick rundown of where and when you might encounter snow in Mexico:
Northern States: States like Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Durango can see snowfall, due to their proximity to the US border and higher altitudes.
- Chihuahua: Often gets snow from December to February.
- Coahuila: Snow can appear from late December to January.
- Nuevo León: Especially in the higher elevations, snow can fall during the winter months.
Central Highlands: It’s less common, but areas with high elevations like the Nevado de Toluca, Volcán Popocatépetl, and Pico de Orizaba can experience snowfall.
- Nevado de Toluca: At over 15,000 feet, it can receive snow between November and January.
- Pico de Orizaba: Being the highest peak in Mexico, it can have snow year-round at its summit.
Keep in mind, snow in Mexico is mostly limited to the higher altitudes; you won’t find it on the beaches or in the tropical lowlands.
If you’re after a winter wonderland, your best bet is to check out the mountainous areas during the cooler months. But always check local weather forecasts, as the occurrence of snow can vary yearly.
Best Places to See Snow in Mexico
1. Itza-Popo National Park, Amecameca
Located just a couple of hours from Mexico City, Iztza-Popo National Park is one of the most surefire places to see snow in Mexico.
This high-altitude protected area covers nearly 40,000 hectares on the slopes of the Popocatépetl and Iztaccihuatl volcanoes, spanning the borders of the states of Mexico, Puebla, and Morelos.
During the winter, there are sometimes hailstorms and snowstorms, creating spectacular natural landscapes!
While climbing either of these mountains on your own is not advised, there are plenty of you available if you want to reach the summit!
Keep in mind that conquering either volcano is no easy feat and a decent fitness level and previous hiking experience is a must.
2. Creel, Chihuahua
Nestled in the Sierra Tarahumara mountains, Creel is one of the most popular places to see snow in Mexico.
This cozy pueblo magico offers a unique blend of natural beauty, culture, and cool climates, especially during the winter months when a frosty blanket is common.
Here, you can expect the weather to be chilly from November to February with snowfall that transforms the landscape into a white haven.
Aside from its lovely village feel, Creel is surrounded by striking natural beauty, including a plethora of valleys and lakes that will make you feel as though you’re somewhere else entirely.
Moreover, you’ll find cozy hotels and cabins that offer a warm place to stay after a day in the frosty outdoors.
As a tip, make sure not to miss out on the rich culture of the Rarámuri people who live in the area!
3. Barranca del Cobre, Chihuahua
Speaking of Creel, the village is also famous for being the gateway to Barranca del Cobre (Copper Canyon), which is four times the size of the Grand Canyon in the US!
While it’s a year-round destination, during winter, the higher altitudes of this massive canyon system can get a surprising amount of snow, transforming the scenic view into a whitewashed panorama.
Plus, Barranca de Cobre is served by the Chepe Express, a train journey that will take you all the way from Creel and into the canyon to enjoy the landscapes like no other.
This adventure is one of the biggest and coolest hidden gems in Mexico and a must if you want to see snow.
Don’t forget to get travel insurance for your trip! As always, I recommend Safety Wing for great prices and coverage abroad. It starts at only $45 USD per month and will have you covered with everything you may need during your trip! Check them out here.
4. Arteaga, Coahuila
Arteage has become one of the best places to see snow in Mexico as well as a go-to destination for winter spots.
This small town is nestled in the Sierra Madre Oriental mountain range, right in the state of Coahuila.
In winter, it often turns into a picturesque snowy retreat, a stark contrast to the desert regions usually associated with Mexico.
During your visit, you can enjoy skiing and snowboarding in mad-made slopes and places like Bosques de Monterreal Resort or simply enjoy the snowy landscapes of Sierra de Arteaga while you cozy up in a cabin.
Keep in mind, the area is beautiful year-round, with apple orchards and forests that are especially gorgeous in the fall.
If you find yourself in Arteaga outside of snow season, the hiking and natural beauty are still well worth your visit.
5. Nevado de Toluca, State of Mexico
Nevado de Toluca is a dormant stratovolcano and is commonly known by its local name, Xinantécatl.
Located just 80 kilometers southwest of Mexico City, it’s one of the few places in Mexico where you can enjoy snow, especially during the winter months from November to March.
At 4680 meters above sea level, Nevado de Toluca is the fourth highest peak in Mexico.
Here, you’ll be able to enjoy breathtaking views and a chilly atmosphere once you reach its vast caldera.
The caldera houses two magnificent lagoons called Laguna del Sol (Sun Lagoon) and Laguna de la Luna (Moon Lagoon) which make the landscape look stunning.
You can reach the summit on a car or with a tour, so even if you’re not into hiking, you can still see snow in this part of Mexico!
With that said, if you’re feeling adventurous, there are there are trails leading up to the lagoons but make sure you only hike with a reputable tour as many people get lost here, especially when snow and fod are present.
6. La Malinche, Tlaxcala y Puebla
When you’re chasing snow in Mexico, La Malinche, straddling the border of Tlaxcala and Puebla, offers a surprising encounter with winter’s touch.
Despite Mexico’s reputation for sunny beaches, this dormant volcano soars to 4,461 meters (14,636 feet) above sea level, often capped with snow during the colder months.
The snow season in La Malinche usually runs from December to February.
Remember, altitude can be challenging, so take it slow if you’re not accustomed to the thinner air.
And while the main attraction might be the snowy peak, the surrounding areas in Tlaxcala and Puebla are rich in tradition, with local markets, exquisite cuisine, and warm communities.
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7. Pico de Orizaba, Veracruz
You’ll find Pico de Orizaba (also known as Citlaltépetl) majestically rising in Veracruz, Mexico.
It’s not just any mountain—it’s the tallest peak in Mexico and the third highest in North America.
If you’re chasing snow in Mexico, this is one of your rare chances!
The summit, reaching an elevation of about 5,636 meters (18,491 feet), is perennially snow-capped.
When you visit, dress warmly, as temperatures can be freezing near the top.
Climbing to the peak is for the experienced and considered extremely challenging, but you can enjoy the surrounding national park at lower altitudes if you’re not up for a steep hike.
The best time for snow is from November to March, when the winter conditions are at their peak—pun intended!
8. Volcán de Colima, Colima and Jalisco
When you’re searching for a snowy adventure in Mexico, the Volcán de Colima, straddling the states of Colima and Jalisco, may just be your ticket.
Officially known as the Volcán de Fuego, it’s one of the most prominent peaks in the country and occasionally dons a white cap of snow—though it’s often fleeting due to its active status.
Given the volcano’s active nature, check for any activity reports or restrictions before planning your visit. And dress warmly—it can get pretty nippy up there!
9. Ajusco National Park, Mexico City
If you’re looking for an easy-to-reach place with snow near Mexico City, Ajusco National Park is a great choice.
This forest is a go-to spot for snow in the region, especially from December to February.
Ajusco’s peaks reach up to 3,930 meters (12,894 feet), so it’s no surprise that snowfall here is more frequent compared to other areas of central Mexico.
Here, you can enjoy hiking along snow-dusted paths, wildlife viewing and if you’re up for staying the night, there are plenty of cozy cabins you can book.
10. Monterreal, Coahuila
In the Sierra de Arteaga lies Monterreal, a unique spot in Mexico that offers you a snowy experience, despite the country’s predominantly warm climate.
Here, snowfall can occur from November to February, a treat for those looking to enjoy winter sports in Mexico.
During your visit, you can strap on your gear and take to the slopes, regardless of your skill level. You have the option of two main slopes to test your abilities.
If you’re not up for that, you can simply cozy up in a wood cabin and enjoy the beauty of the landscape around the mountain trails and enjoy the unique alpine scenery of Northern Mexico. you or head out on a hike to explore
11. Mexiquillo, Durango
Tucked within the Western Sierra Madre, this hidden gem offers you a picturesque landscape, especially during the winter months.
During your visit, you’ll be able to choose from several snowy trails available through pine forests or go wildlife spotting.
Moreover, Mexiquillo stands out for its monolithic rock formations and the “Puente de Dios” (Bridge of God), a natural stone bridge.
After a snowfall, these natural wonders are beautifully accented by the white blanket covering the surrounding forest.
Local Tips: Visit nearby “Balneario de Mexiquillo,” a hot spring, for a unique juxtaposition of snow and steam.
12. La Marquesa, Mexico City and Mexico State
La Marquesa, also known as Parque Nacional Insurgente Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, is your go-to spot for snow in Mexico that is easy to reach from Mexico City. Let’s break down what you can expect:
It’s located just about 40 minutes away from downtown Mexico City, nestled in the high-altitude corridor between Mexico City and Toluca.
During your visit, you can enjoy horseback riding, ATV tours, and during the winter months, snow can often be seen on the higher ground, making for great snowball fights and picturesque hikes.
You’ll also find plenty of accommodation options here, including bubble hotels that are perfect to enjoy the scenery.
Keep in mind that snow here is more like a dusting, so don’t expect a winter wonderland, either!
13. Jocotitlán, Mexico State
Situated in Mexico State, this town isn’t typically mentioned alongside famous ski resorts, but it does offer its own snowy charm during the colder months.
The biggest draw to this town is the Nevado de Jocotitlán, a potentially active stratovolcano capped with snow during winter, offering a stunning landscape.
FAQs About Snow in Mexico
In this section, you’ll find common questions about snow in Mexico, with straightforward answers to satisfy your curiosity.
How often can you witness snowfall in various parts of Mexico?
Snowfall in Mexico varies greatly by region. While some northern areas may see snow annually, other parts can go years without a single snowflake.
What was the recent instance of snow in Mexico?
Recently, a notable snowfall happened in the northern state of Coahuila in January 2023, covering the city of Saltillo in a white blanket.
Could you explain the rarity of snow in Mexico City?
Mexico City experiences snow very rarely due to its tropical location and elevation. The last significant snowfall there occurred in 1967.
Are there specific regions in Mexico where snow is a common sight?
Yes, the northern states like Chihuahua, Coahuila, and Nuevo León often get snow during the winter months, due to their higher elevations and proximity to the US border.
What’s the record for the lowest temperature hit in Mexico recently?
In recent years, the town of La Rosilla in Durango recorded a low of -26.0°C (-14.8°F) in 2011, one of the coldest temperatures registered in Mexico’s modern history.
Are there famous snowy mountain ranges to visit in Mexico?
Sure, the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt houses peaks like Pico de Orizaba and Popocatépetl where snow can be seen, especially during the winter season. These volcanoes offer stunning vistas capped with snow.
Snow in Mexico: Conclusion
Mexico offers a diverse range of stunning destinations where you can experience the beauty of snow.
From the majestic peaks of the Sierra Madre to the charming towns of the northern regions, there are countless opportunities to witness the enchanting transformation brought about by snowfall.