The bustling streets of Mexico City have become world-renowned destinations for many travelers looking to experience Latin America’s most populous metropolitan area. Home to over 22 million people, this mega-city alone has much to explore, such as its internationally recognized cuisine, award-winning museums, ancient archeological sites, lively concert venues, upscale stores, local markets, and vibrant nightlife.
However, the hustle and bustle of a mega-metropolis isn’t every traveler’s dream. Those looking to immerse themselves in Mexico’s rich culture while enjoying a relaxing and stunningly beautiful setting should consider a visit to the nearby town of Valle De Bravo.
Located 86 miles (139 kilometers) to the southwest of Mexico City, Valle de Bravo is home to one of the most captivating colonial cities in all of central Mexico. Its local charm draws in visitors with thickly wooded, misty hills, a crystal-clear lake, tall pines, fresh air, and European-style homes. With lush nature as its backdrop, this Pueblo Magico (Magic Town) is the ideal destination for those looking to experience Mexico’s ecotourism scene.
Some of the most sought after Valle de Bravo activities are the Monarch Butterfly tours at Piedra Herrada – one of Mexico’s most popular butterfly sanctuaries. Hike or travel by horseback 45min up the foothills to the sanctuary’s peak, located 9,000 feet (2,743 meters) above sea level.
Here, visitors will witness the miraculous sight of millions of Monarch butterflies as they land amongst the mountain’s green-pines. After having traveled nearly 4,000 miles (6,438 kilometers) to escape the cold winters of Canada and the United States, these extraordinary insects nestle in the warm forests of Valle de Bravo during late November through early March. As their wings emit a sound similar to rainfall and color the trees orange, you can’t help but feel immersed in a truly unique, and awesome experience.
Perhaps nature tours aren’t your forte. Perhaps you prefer action. If that sounds like you, no need to fret – Valle de Bravo is home to extreme sport activities, including paragliding, hang gliding, horseback riding, biking, hiking, and numerous water sports.
Take a leap of faith and experience Mexico’s most famous and most flown paragliding and hang-gliding sites. With opportunities to fly over the picturesque town of Valle de Bravo via La Torre (The Tower) tour, and over the region’s numerous hills and valleys via El Peñon (The Big Rock) tour, visitors looking to take to the sky and gain a bird’s eye view of the landscapes breathtaking beauty are sure to experience pure exhilaration.
Home to pristine flying weather 300 days of the year, Valle de Bravo is every flyers dream. Not only are the conditions ideal, but the views are unparalleled. Especially when flying over the region’s famous Lago Avandaro (Avandaro Lake).
Home to its own eco-friendly activities, Lago Avandaro is an artificial lake created as the result of the development of a hydroelectric station. With boating, skiing, paddle boarding, and sailing opportunities, the lake’s crystal-clear waters are perfect for water sport enthusiasts.
Surrounded by vivid nature, the lake’s shores are home to multiple hiking trails, campsites, natural rivers, and waterfalls, offering visitors the opportunity to explore nature both on the water and on foot. With tours to local trails, nearby volcanoes, waterfalls (such as the Velo de la Novia waterfall), and mountain views, travelers who visit Valle de Bravo are sure to experience nature at its best.
After a day full of action, be sure to explore the town’s many local shops and pop-up markets, which are sure to be selling beautifully hand-crafted trinkets, decorations, and art. In addition, make sure to visit the city’s Templo de Santa Maria Ahuacatlan (Temple of Saint Maria Ahuacatlan), famous for its image of the Black Christ, and the Parish of San Francis of Assisi, home to ravishing murals and Italian paintings. Another must see is the city’s Casa de Cultura (Home of Culture), where numerous conferences, workshops, and art exhibitions are held.
So, when planning for your next vacation to central Mexico, be sure to ponder wisely about what kind of vacation you wish to experience. If you look to relax or burn off some energy in nature via eco-friendly activities, all while taking in strikingly beautiful views, then you know exactly where to go – Mexico’s wonderful Valle de Bravo.