Ahhh…. Mexico. So suitable for sun, sea and sand and…skiing? It may seem surprising in a country more associated with warm beach holidays, but Mexico does have places to ski. There are ski resorts with good off-piste skiing for experienced skiers with instructors for beginners and improvers.
Bordering its big cousin the United States’ southern frontier, Mexico has a long and distinguished history as a proud, independent country. It is bigger than many people expect. It is more than 2,700 miles from the coastal city of Tijuana on the border in the north-west, to the easternmost tip at Cancun. The nation is Spanish-speaking, and as well as the coastal resorts that are a magnet for vacationers, there are rugged landscapes of jungle and soaring mountains and volcanoes to be experienced by visitors.
When to visit?
Due to the size of the country Mexico has areas with differing climates. Sea level areas are almost always warm, making the beach resorts ideal at almost any time of year. The higher you go towards the skiing areas the colder it becomes during the winter months. The rainy season ends in November (also the end of the hurricane season that starts in June), so from then through to the end of January is the time for skiing.
Though skiing is not Mexico’s major tourist attraction, it has excellent facilities that attract beginners looking for a resort-based holiday and the more experienced skiers who are looking for a challenge. A skiing vacation can also be combined with time at a beach resort for some rest and relaxation in the sun. Several destinations within the country are easy to reach via. Air Transat flights, making Mexico a readily accessible and ideal place for a vacation of any kind.
Resort and other skiing
Not far from Saltillo and Monterrey in the east of the country is the ski and golf resort of Monterreal. Skiing here can be enjoyed all year thanks to the artificial slopes, and when it does snow during the winter months there are great opportunities to participate in the real thing. Skiers can combine their sport with a round of golf, or go hiking and mountain biking. In July the resort is host to a Longboard Festival, with skateboarding races, lots of musical entertainment and plenty of great Mexican food.
Experienced skiers are able to head well off the beaten track and explore the slopes and glaciers of two of Mexico’s highest peaks. The tallest is Pico de Orizaba, to the south-west of Mexico City, which reaches a height of over 18,000 feet. It is an active volcano, though its last eruption was way back in 1687. The rewards of a climb are stunning views and exciting off-piste skiing, enough to satisfy any adventurer.
The other major peak that can be visited for adventure skiing is the dormant volcano Iztaccihuacl. It lies in the national park between Mexico City and Pueblo and offers real challenges for the experienced winter sports lover. The famous Popocatepetl, to the north of Iztaccihuacl, is currently out of bounds for safety reasons; it is an active volcano that has shown a lot of recent volcanic activity.
Accommodations for skiing vacationers in Mexico are as one might find in the better-known skiing areas, such as Switzerland or Canada. There are hotels with all the amenities now expected; most have a Jacuzzi and a fitness center.