Does It Snow in Mexico? 6 Places With Snowfall You Have To See

Does it snow in Mexico? That’s the first question I asked myself when trying to plan the perfect family holiday. 

Every year, my husband and I end up locked in a debate about where to go. He loves the snow, but I always want to go somewhere rich in culture. So, Mexico came up as the perfect destination for both of us, and I set out to find that elusive Mexico snowfall!

But let’s be honest, no one thinks of chilly snow days when planning a Mexican vacation. So I set out on a quest to find a compromise that led me to investigate if it snows in Mexico.

We will cover in this article today everything about the Mexican weather and where the best places are to enjoy snow in Mexico.

Does it Snow in Mexico?

Snow on the Iztaccihuatl Volcano in Mexico

Snow on the Iztaccihuatl Volcano in Mexico

Yes, it does! I know when most of us think about Mexico, we think of stunning beaches, delicious food, and ancient temples. However, you may be surprised to know that winter brings some parts of the country an unexpected gift – snow!

When Does it Snow in Mexico?

Unlike most Latin American countries, Mexico experiences all four seasonal changes. Spring runs from March to May, then Summer from June to August, and Fall from September to November. Most importantly for us, Mexican winter is from December to February. That’s when it snows in some places in Mexico.

Mexican Climate

I couldn’t help but wonder why Mexico was so different from other Latin countries in terms of its weather. What makes Mexico so different?

The unique nature of Mexico’s climate is because of its massive size and the Tropic of Cancer that divides the country. This creates an environment that supports a temperate and a tropical climate, so the more northern parts of Mexico get snow during the winter while the rest of the country remains a little warmer.

Where Does It Snow In Mexico?

Popocateptl Volcano in Mexico

Popocateptl Volcano in Mexico

As we’ve established, the areas that tend to experience snow and chilly temperatures are mainly in the northern part of the country.

Twelve out of the thirty-two states of Mexico experience snowfall. Some mountain peaks and volcanoes can also get up to 10 inches of snow in the winter months. Some of the areas that commonly get at least some snow are: high peaks of Iztaccihuantl, Citlaltepetl, and Popocatepetl, and the highland areas such as Toluca, and Durango.

With that in mind, I couldn’t help but wonder if it snows in some of the most popular tourist spots in Mexico, here’s what I found:

Does it snow in Mexico City?

No, it does not, however, the mountains surrounding Mexico City might get snow. The city has only experienced snow twice, first on March 5, 1940, and then on January 12, 1967. The last time it snowed in Mexico City was over fifty years ago.

Does it snow in Cancún, Mexico?

Unfortunately, Cancún is sub-tropical. So its warm sandy beaches most likely will never see snow.

Does it snow in Tijuana, Mexico?

Tijuana’s dry winter weather means the chance of snowfall is very slim. But while snow in these parts of the country may be rare, there are many places to visit where it does snow in Mexico.

Here are some cities, sites, and hotels that made it onto my Winter Bucket List:

1. Mexiquillo, Durango

Mexiquillo Durango Mexico

Mexiquillo Durango Mexico

Mexiquillo is home to the Pueblo Nuevo Natural Park in the state of Durango in northern Mexico. The best time to visit Durango is between December and January because the park gets covered in light snow.

The park spans over 52 square miles and boasts dreamy landscapes with skyscraping pine trees. I was particularly intrigued when I read about the unusual rock formations in the forest created from hot magma that covered the area millions of years ago and gave the woods a strange fairytale-like appeal.

The forest as a whole seems like the perfect place to escape the bustle of city life and reconnect with nature. I’m most excited to see the frozen waterfalls and icy hiking trails that cut through the reserve, as well as the deer and wild boar that roam freely.

For me, the train tunnels that were created more than 100 years ago but never finished are a must-see. While the trains never came through the tunnels, the structures still stand and now lead into the deepest part of the coniferous forest. We can’t decide if we want to explore the tunnels by foot, bike, or 4×4 yet, so we’re keeping our options open for now.

Best Place To Stay:

Locals believe the best way to enjoy this magical forest is by camping under the stars. However, even though there are designated areas to camp, you are expected to bring your own gear, and unfortunately, it is not an option for us. Visitors should bring food as there aren’t any stores nearby as the area is relatively untouched.

Since camping was not an option for us, I kept searching and stumbled across Cabaña La Mazatleca en Mexiquillo situated in La Ciudad. This stunning hotel stole my heart when I first stumbled on it while looking for places to stay near the park. The La Mazatleca is well-known for its luxury cabins that exude warmth and quiet style, perfect for a romantic and cozy getaway. 

2. Sombrerete, Zacatecas

Sombrerete Zacatecas

Sombrerete, Zacatecas

The next place that caught my eye was the town of Sombrerete in the northwest of the Zacatecas state that borders Durango. Founded in 1555 by Spanish conquistador Juan de Tolosa as a mining town, it is filled with an intriguing mix of Mexican and colonial touches like broken streets and gardens.

Its deep historical roots tempt me to walk through the town and soak in its unique beauty while meeting locals and indulging in delicious food. Sombrerete is known for its birria, pozole, wedding barbecue, and most of all for its “brujitas,” which are corn empanadas fried in oil and filled with shredded meat or beans.

Aside from food, it’s the chance to buy a tiny leather trunk with traditional wood-burning at the Luis Miguel Pérez and Manuel Rojero store and see ceramic pieces made of clay at Martha Rojero’s workshop. 

Of course, we haven’t forgotten to include the Sierra De Órganos National Park, the pyramids of Los Jales, the Fort, and the temple of San Pantaleón on our bucket list. And while I’m eager to explore the mysteries of the “Chapel of Santa Muerte,” my husband is dying to participate in a night race.

However, a night race will depend on weather permitting it as temperatures in the area can drop to as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit during December and January and are usually accompanied by large amounts of snow.

Best Place To Stay:

For accommodation, the three stars Hotel San Román is the closest I could find as it is in Sombrerete, just 386 m from the center of town. While it may not be the fanciest hotel, it’s excellent quality. The hotel has a restaurant, room service, and a 24/7 front desk. The staff also speak both Spanish and English. 

3. Arteaga, Coahuila

Arteaga Coahuila

Arteaga Coahuila

Arteaga Pueblos Mágico in Coahuila is fondly referred to as the “Mexican Swiss” and lives up to its magic town label. The picturesque town sits between the snowy peaks of the Sierra Madre Oriental mountain. 

It is the perfect place for those interested in ecotourism, relaxing, and quietly hiking in the mountains. It’s the tiny hints of culture that genuinely intrigued me. The town boasts something for everyone from the Iglesia de San Isidro Labrador that honors farmers’ patron saint to the temple downtown.

Food lovers like us are looking forward to enjoying local liquor and exploring specialty preserved fruits stores. After all, Arteaga Pueblo Magico is famed for its red apples. Most of all, I want to see the workshops that make hand-crafted sarapes.

As a lover of history, I made sure to include a visit to Casa Carranza in my itinerary. The house is where Venustiano Carranza wrote his manifestos. The house is conveniently situated next to the City Hall. For a bit of adventure, we’re planning to try our hand at mountain biking, rappelling, hiking, and ATV rides around the nearby coal mines.

Best Place To Stay:

According to my research, the best time to visit Arteaga is between December and January, when the snow is thickest. At the top of our list for accommodation is the Bosques de Monterreal. Surrounded by stunning forests, it is the only ski slope in Mexico that works the entire year.

The stunning resort offers multiple activities, including skiing, snowboarding, horseback riding, ATV rental, hiking, and rappelling. Monterreal is also known for having the highest golf course in Mexico.

It also boasts tennis courts, a zip line, a basketball court, and a heated indoor pool on the premises. It is the perfect place to take in the snowy mountains as you walk through the property on your way to the La Casa Club de Ski restaurant that serves impeccable local dishes.

4. Copper Canyon, Chihuahua

Copper Canyon, Chihuahua

Copper Canyon, Chihuahua

Barranca del Cobre, Copper Canyon in the desert of northwest Mexico, is known for its spectacular natural scenery in inland Mexico. The series of twenty canyons were created by six rivers that cut through the area. 

Copper Canyon is almost four times bigger than Arizona’s Grand Canyon. It is rich in both cultural and adventure experiences. 

When I read about the Tarahumara people who are descendants of the Aztecs, I knew I had to visit the area. They still live within the canyons thousands of years later. The Tarahumara sell their crafts and food to those taking the Copper Canyon Train Ride. Thus it’s on my dream itinerary list.

Aside from the train ride, we also plan to explore Copper Canyon by hiking or horse riding through it. There is also the option to go biking, trekking, or four-wheeling. We’re also considering a helicopter ride over the Canyon. 

Best Place To Stay:

The accommodation is varied, but Copper Canyon Lodge caught our eye because it sits at an astonishing 10,500 feet above the town of Breckenridge. With a wall of windows to showcase the ten-mile mountain range, stunning views are a given.

The promise of hand-carved walnut floors and a vast stone fireplace grabbed my attention. The fireplace will come in handy when temperatures drop down to 32°F overnight in winter.

5. Nevado de Toluca, State of Mexico

Nevado de Toluca, State of Mexico

Nevado de Toluca, State of Mexico

Nevado de Toluca is the fourth highest mountain in Mexico, standing at about 15,390 ft. Its Aztec name for the peak is Xinantecatl. The name translates to Naked Lord or Lord of the Corn Stalks or Mountain of the Bats. Regardless of the correct translation, I am curious how a mountain peak got such an intriguing name.

The mountain is on the west of Mexico City and in the opposite direction from other high volcanoes. Its crater is home to two large lakes; Laguna de la Luna and Laguna del Sol.

Several Aztec artifacts were found in the lakes. This adds to my desire to explore the area. The mountain has some hiking options near the lakes, and the crater is a well-loved picnic spot for many locals. 

Best Place To Stay:

I was looking for a little more comfort and privacy when searching for accommodation. Rancho Viejo is precisely what I had in mind. Inspired by its environment, the resort boasts a private forest on the Pacific-South slope of Nevado de Toluca.

6. New Mexico

New Mexico Mountains

New Mexico Mountains

I know it is technically not part of Mexico any longer. However, New Mexico was once part of Mexico until the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo made it part of the United States in 1912. Based on its history, I couldn’t leave it off my list.

The mountains tend to attract Pacific storms, so it’s no surprise that it regularly snows in the area. This means it’s the perfect, underrated place to spend a quiet winter holiday.

From stunning ski resorts to the rich history of Santa Fe, it’s the perfect place for a quick vacation. Seasonal snowfall in December or January varies across New Mexico. The higher up you go, the more snow you are likely to experience.

Best Place To Stay:

I have my eyes on the largest ski resort in New Mexico: Taos Ski Valley. The resort is at the base of Kachina Peak and boasts a fusion between old-school charm and modern-day luxuries. However, it is on the pricier end of the spectrum, and there are more budget-friendly options in town.

There you go – now you know where it snows in Mexico 🙂

If you decide to go to Mexico in winter, I hope you enjoy the awesome snow views!