Back in the 1970s, Valle de Bravo was merely considered another “typical small Mexican town with cobblestone streets” with spectacular lake views and a nearly untouched forest. With time, people started catching on to its magic. Today, the town has completely transformed; now, its refined air has made Valle de Bravo a special place for its inhabitants, both full and part-time — here one can retreat from the city to eat, drink, and relax in the utmost fashion surrounded by beauty.
Valle de Bravo is one of Mexico’s 111 pueblos mágicos. It is located in the State of México about 90 miles (140 kilometers) southwest of Mexico City — normally a two-hour drive from the capital, but the time can vary depending on traffic.
The town is located in the thickly wooded hills overlooking the beautiful Lake Avándaro — an artificial lake, the result of a dam project. In its center, one can find impressively intact colonial buildings and quaint cobblestone streets. Valle de Bravo’s surroundings include parks such as Parque Natural Bosencheve and the Reserva de Monte Alto — ideal for mountain and rock climbing.
The weather in Valle de Bravo is moderate year-round. It hottest months are April and May, and the rainy season is between June and September. Most nights get chilly and merit a few good sweaters. The winter and spring are the best seasons to visit.
Things to do
Valle, as it’s known, is the ideal spot in Mexico for sports, especially adventure sports: four-wheeling, sailing, mountain biking, and paragliding, to mention a few. For those unfamiliar with the options and area, turn to Hotel Rodavento’s certified guides — their activities are not limited to hotel guests. Take a leap of faith and go paragliding with one of the town’s most well known companies, Alas del Hombre. If you go to Valle with a more relaxed plan in mind, book spa treatments at El Santuario where lake views go hand-in-hand with pampering. Other options include wandering the stone paved streets or a round of golf at the Club de Golf Avándaro (exclusively available to members and guests).
Where to eat
Thirty years ago, eating out in Valle was simply partaking of street food, and, more specifically, tacos. Today when dining out, there is a selection of Italian, Mexican, and Asian cuisine available. For reduced budgets, there is no one that can resist a filling lunch at the market, especially during mushroom season.
Los Veleros is under the command of Carolina Salgado and Sebastián Bautista. Its chipotle mushrooms, sopes de cochinita (a thick, tiny tortilla topped with slow-roasted pork), and mole (a traditional Mexican sauce, often accompanying another dish) are to die for, as are their in-season insects (yes, insects!). Mozzarella, located inside Hotel Batucada, has become a classic, especially for breakfast. Legend has it that their mixed juices can cure any ailment. In Da Ciro, pastas, rissottos, and pizzas are prepared like no other. Be sure to try the wood-oven baked artichokes and the San Danielle prosciutto with melon.
Places to stay
Valle is one of those places where city dwellers looking for a reprieve from the concrete jungle own weekend homes. Don’t despair; tourists have excellent accommodation options, too. The classic preferred lodging that Travesías has recommended time and time again is Hotel Rodavento. Opened since the end of 2003, this hotel embodies the spirit of the town: a boutique hotel that offers various extreme sport options. It is located on 15 hectares of forest, and its 30 rooms are spread throughout the pine trees. This location is ideal for couples and young families.
The same hotel group as Hotel Rodavento recently opened another hotel by the name of Cinco Rodavento — a contemporary boutique hotel located at the town center’s entrance. It is the self-proclaimed “new place to be” in Valle, with a casual restaurant, rooftop pool and bar, and a retail shop featuring Mexican designers.
For a holistic wellness experience, check into El Santuario. Their spa offers over 60 treatments, including the “Yenecamú,” which takes place aboard a pontoon in the middle of the lake.
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