does it snow in guatemala

Does it snow in Guatemala? Many people take Guatemala as their favorite holiday destination.

However, those solely looking for a winter holiday spot often ask, “Does it ever snow in Guatemala?

The climate here is rather mild, with no real temperature extremes. But what are the possibilities of snowfall? Let’s find out now!

No, snow in Guatemala is extremely rare, and even when it snows, it is usually very mild. 

Does it Snow in Guatemala?

does it snow in guatemala

A country in South America, Guatemala is called the “Land of the Eternal Spring.” Does this answer your question?

Yes, given that name, it is quite easy to understand that Guatemala experiences little to no snowfall at all. 

Has It Ever Snowed in Guatemala?

Because of Guatemala’s tropical environment, snowfall is a rare occurrence.

The most substantial snowfall happened on February 6, 1976, in Guatemala City, the country’s capital.

But, when was the last time it snowed in Guatemala?

One of the last large snowfalls in Guatemala was witnessed on December 19, 2009. It covered the Tajamulco volcano with roughly 20 cm (about 7.8 inches) of snow. 

Where Can You Expect Snow in Guatemala?

where to expect snow in guatemala

Guatemala is located in the Northern Hemisphere, 1,070 miles (1,723 kilometers) north of the equator.

The country’s dry season lasts from November to April, when temperatures are at their lowest throughout the year.

This season offers a brief window when snow falls on the high peaks. 

The Possibility of Snow

Snow is most likely to fall on the towering Volcán Tajumulco, which stands at 13,845 feet (4,220 meters) and is Central America’s highest peak.

Exploring these snow-capped peaks, however, requires caution, especially since many of Guatemala’s mountains are volcanic.

Here are some more facts about the climate and the possibility of snow in Guatemala: 

Snowfall occurrenceExtremely rare due to tropical climate
Notable snowfallIn 1976
Dry seasonNov to Apr
The highest point of snow4,220 miles
Rainy seasonMay to Oct
Fact: The Pacaya Volcano National Park, near Guatemala City, is home to the active Pacaya volcano, making snow accumulation rare during periods of volcanic activity. 

A Bit About the Rainfall Data in Guatemala

rainfall data in guatemala

The uncommon occurrence of snow in Guatemala highlights the significance of learning about and adjusting to weather, cultural, and environmental factors.

Here’s a bit more about snowfall in Guatemala:

Snowfall DataFacts
Average yearly snowfall occurrencesUnder 5 times
Locations with the most snowfallWestern regions, usually near volcanoes
The typical altitude of snowfall occurrencesOver 6,562 feet
Environmental impactA contributor to water sources and sustained ecosystems
Fact: The Sierra de los Cuchumatanes mountain range near the Mexican border provides more options for those looking for snowier landscapes. 

Average Temperatures in Guatemala

temperatures in guatemala

 The temperature in coastal areas tends to hover around a pleasant range of 77-81 °F throughout the year.

The air in plain territories tends to have slightly higher humidity and temperature compared to mountainous regions.

There are three distinct climatic zones that are influenced by altitude.

  • To the elevated altitude of  2600 ft., where the climate tends to be warm and humid.
  • The elevation range of  2600-6500 ft. is characterized as a drier warm zone.
  • Above  6500 ft., the climate tends to have lower moisture levels and cooler temperatures.

The weather in most parts of the country can be described as subequatorial.

Fact: The eastern lands  tend to receive a higher amount of rainfall compared to other regions, but the western areas generally experience cooler temperatures.

The eastern lands tend to receive a higher amount of rainfall compared to other regions, but the western areas generally experience cooler temperatures.

What is Winter Weather Like in Guatemala?

winter weather in guatemala

 The winter season in Guatemala is characterized by cooler temperatures and increased rainfall. 

How Is It Like in December?

The duration of the event spans from late November to early February.

The average daytime temperature in December is around 81 °F, while the temperature drops to approximately 63 °F at night. 

How Is It Like in January?

January is typically characterized by lower levels of precipitation, with an average of approximately 50 mm (2″) throughout the month.

It is quite common to experience cool winds and fog following occasional rainfall. 

How Is It Like in February?

 In February, there is a gradual increase in precipitation. Initially, it may not be readily apparent, but it can result in significant rainfall during the summer months. 

Reasons Behind the Absence of Freezing Temperatures in Guatemala

absence of freezing temperatures in guatemala

You may already know that for snow to form, the temperature in a region needs to go below freezing. And that does not happen in Guatemala – the lowest it goes is around 56F.

But, why do those temperatures never seem to go down that much? Let’s find out more about it now: 

Location Close to the Equator

First and foremost, it is worth noting that the country is situated in close proximity to the equator.

This results in a delightful tropical climate marked by a consistent and pleasant warmth all year round.

Fact: The location near the equator helps mitigate the significant temperature fluctuations typically experienced in colder regions.

The Impact of Topography

topography impact

The topography of Guatemala has a significant impact.

The country displays a diverse range of elevations, featuring both majestic mountain ranges and picturesque valleys.

While it is true that higher altitudes may have cooler temperatures, it is uncommon for them to reach freezing levels due to the generally mild climate.

Coastal areas experience the positive effects of maritime influences, which help to mitigate temperature extremes.

The Role of the Oceans

role of the oceans

The climate of Guatemala is also influenced by the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.

Ocean currents play a crucial role in maintaining relatively stable temperatures, which helps to mitigate the extreme cold conditions typically found in polar regions.

Warm oceanic waters can contribute to more temperate winters by facilitating heat transfer to the atmosphere.

An Important Consideration

One possible reason for the absence of freezing temperatures in Guatemala could be the limited presence of arctic air masses.  

Impact of Snowfall on Local Communities and Environmental Significance

snowfall environmental significance

The effects of snowfall on Guatemalan villages are especially notable given that snowfall occurs only in the country’s higher altitudes.

Occasionally snowy areas near the country’s volcanoes can have negative effects on the environment and traditional ways of living.

Here’s how it works out:

Impact and SignificanceDetails
Transportation disruptionRoad closures due to snowfall affect transportation and hinder trade and services.
Infrastructure challengesSnow loads stress on buildings, leading to serious issues.
Agricultural disruptionsUnusual snowstorms allow towns to showcase their culture.
Impact on waterSnowfall helps improve water reserves in highland regions.
Climate change implicationsDecreased snowfall could impact ecosystems and water supply.

The Tourism Industry in Guatemala During Winters

tourism industry in guatemala during winters

The month of December in Guatemala is a wonderful time to experience the country’s enchanting weather and exciting month-long celebrations.

It is a great time to see and experience all that Guatemala has to offer, despite the lively atmosphere. Attractions at the celebrations include:

  • Masked dancers demonstrate their abilities on extremely tall poles.
  • Opportunities to take part in the festive Christmas events.
  • Chances to witness parades, feasts, and fireworks.

 Here is a bit more about winter activities in Guatemala:

   Art and EntertainmentNew Year’s FestivitiesAntigua celebrates New Year’s with music, marketplaces, and masked dances.
Coffee Harvest CelebrationsFrajianes hosts a two-day Coffee Harvest Celebration featuring parades, processions, music, dancing, and coffee.
   Nature and WildlifeJaguar viewingThe zoo in Guatemala City is a must-visit attraction to observe jaguars closely.
Nature preservesVisit Sierra Caral Amphibian Reserve and other diverse nature preserves.
Sea turtle hatchling releaseWitness sea turtle hatchlings at Tortugario Monterrico.
   Indoor activitiesMuseo Casa del Tejido AntiguoExplore Mayan weaving history
Plaza FontabellaPlaza Fontabella in Zona Rosa has shops, restaurants, and a movie theatre.
Museo Popol VuhMuseo Popol Vuh displays items from 2000 B.C.E. until colonial times.
Fact: Although the rounded peaks, which reach 12,588 feet (3,837 meters), were previously glaciated, they now receive a little dusting of snow on occasion. 


Does it snow in Guatemala? Unfortunately, you will be disappointed if you want to visit the place to witness snow.

The truth is that snow in Guatemala is a rare occurrence, and that is mainly due to its geographical location and other factors.

The average temperature is very mild, which actually makes it a great place to visit to explore other winter activities.