Understandably, most people do not think of snow when they think of Mexico. As a popular holiday destination, beaches and sunlight are the norm but is that really what it’s like year-round?
It snows in Northeastern Mexico during the winter months. The Tropic of Cancer divides Mexico and all regions north of this latitude drop in temperature from December to March. Snow is common in mountainous areas, especially in the states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, and Durango.
The weather in Mexico can actually be quite varied sometimes, with snowfall even being common in some areas during colder months. Read on to learn more about where you might be able to experience snow in Mexico.
Does It Snow in Mexico?
It does snow in Mexico. However, the country contains many varied climates. It is three times the size of Texas and contains 32 states, so the weather you encounter depends entirely on where you are.
The northeastern regions of Mexico consistently experience snow during the winter months. These areas are arid deserts with canyons and extensive mountain ranges. Snow can also be found year-round on tall mountain peaks in central Mexico.
If you travel below the Tropic of Cancer along the Gulf of Mexico or into the Yucatan, you will not experience any snow. These regions are consistently warm and even have tropical rainforests.
What Part of Mexico Gets Snow?
It mainly snows in the northeast of Mexico, north of the Tropic of Cancer. The mountains often get regular snowfall, while many of the states here experience extreme fluctuations in temperature throughout the year. Some central parts of Mexico also experience snowfall.
Snowfall is common in the following states:
- Nuevo Leon
- San Luis Potosi
These regions tend to be very arid, with scorching summers and temperatures that regularly dip below 40℉ (4℃).
Mountain Peaks With Year-Round Snow
Snow is also found in Central and South-Central Mexico at elevations above 10,000 feet (3,046 meters). Mexico has several volcanic mountains reaching higher than 17,000 feet (5465 meters), many of which have glaciers or snow caps year-round.
Here are a few of the most notable peaks:
- Iztaccihuantl is a dormant volcano located 40 miles (64 km) southeast of Mexico City.
- Popocatépetl lies 5 miles (8 km) away from its sister volcano Iztaccihuantl and had its last eruption in 2000.
- Citlaltepetl is in Veracruz and is the third tallest peak in North America. Its name means “Star Mountain” in Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs.
Does Mexico Have 4 Seasons?
Mexico has 4 seasons in its northern regions of Mexico, similar to the rest of North America. However, the majority of Mexico has two main seasons, the rainy season and the dry season. The rainy season is from May to mid-October throughout Mexico, and the dry seasons take up the remainder.
Mexico experiences high-pressure winds called nortes. In northern Mexico, this means cold, snowy weather from December through March.
March until May tends to be mild, with light rain starting in late April, while May through September can be hot and the wettest part of the year.
The October to December period is the most popular time to visit Mexico, as the weather is temperate and the risk of rain ruining vacation plans is low.
December through February is the best time to see snow in Northern Mexico.
How Cold Can Mexico Get in Winter?
During the winter months, parts of Mexico can reach temperatures as low as 17℉ (-10℃). Although much of Mexico is warm, central and northern Mexico contain regions with alpine mountains and high deserts. These areas get very cold from December to March.
Large parts of Mexico contain desert landscapes and mountainous regions. Don’t be surprised if you travel to northern or central Mexico during the winter months and need a jacket to stay warm!
Mexico also has a helpful tourism board website that gives information about specific regions and what to expect.
Does It Snow in Mexico During Winter?
Some regions of Mexico experience snow in the wintertime. However, snow rarely reaches higher than 5 inches (12.7cm) in populated areas. It is not guaranteed that if you visit a colder region of Mexico in the wintertime that there will be snow at that time.
Does It Snow in Mexico City?
Mexico City rarely receives snowfall in the city itself. However, the mountains near the city will get a decent amount of snowfall.
In June of 2022, Mexico City had a hailstorm with sleet, but this was considered an incredibly unusual event caused by climate change. The last time it snowed in Mexico City was January 12, 1967.
Does It Snow in Mexico During Christmas?
Snow can be found at Christmastime in Mexico, especially in alpine regions where snowfall is more common. Areas along the Sierra Madre mountain range are some of the best locations if you want to see snowfall in Mexico.
If you are seeking a snow-filled Mexican Christmas, these popular vacation spots are your best bet:
Copper Canyon in the Sierra Del Madre Occidental Mountain Range
Copper Canyon is located in Southwestern Chihuahua and is part of the famous Sierra del Madre Occidental Mountains. It is a system of canyons that extends further and deeper than the famous Grand Canyon.
Fun wintertime activities include the Chepe Train tour, which winds its way through the mountains, offering excellent views of the canyon walls covered in snow.
Visitors also enjoy riding the cable car from Divisadero Station. You can visit the village of Creel, known as “el Pueblo Mágico” (the Magical Town). Here you will find handicrafts made by the Rarámuri, the local indigenous people, and visit the tallest waterfall in Mexico, the Cascada de Piedra Volada.
Bosques De Monterral “The Switzerland of Mexico”
If you are seeking a unique winter vacation, why not visit the largest ski resort in Mexico? Chihuahua also hosts Bosques de Monterral, a 2,965-acre resort with a golf course, ski slopes, tennis courts, and luxury accommodations nestled in an evergreen forest.
The mountain resort receives regular snowfall yearly and is known as “The Switzerland of Mexico.” It offers two slopes for skiing and tubing and miles of hiking trails. If you wish to experience a White Christmas in Mexico, then Bosques de Monterral is an excellent option to consider.
Mexico does experience regular snowfall yearly, though not as heavily as other regions further north. The northeastern states of Mexico and the tall peaks in central Mexico are the places most likely to have snow in the wintertime.
December through March are the coldest months of the year, with temperatures reaching as low as -40℉ (-40℃).
While a Christmas in Mexico making snowmen is not guaranteed, it is possible when visiting the mountainous regions of northern Mexico. If you are seeking a unique wintertime vacation, consider the gorgeous canyons and soaring volcanoes of Mexico – don’t forget your snow gear!