Excursion to a Magic Town!
“The Magic of Valle de Bravo”
Upon entering this ancient town, which is situated about 2 hours south and west of Mexico City, one immediately observes several signs of why Mexico designated Valle de Bravo as a Pueblo Magico, a Magical Town. Nearly all of the roads within Valle are cobbled, bumpy and rugged. This is for obvious and subtle reasons. The roads are steep as one descends into this valley. It makes perfect sense to have smooth but jagged rocks to create traction for automobiles to enter this magical place and travel around the city. On a subtler level, it immediately evokes imagery of the original settlement going back 500 years and citizens and shopkeepers needing that same foothold to walk up and down these sloping roads with ease.
The architecture is in the traditional Spanish colonial style and this is consistent in all commercial structures. There are shingled terra cotta rooftops and nearly all are painted white. Historical monuments as well as residential areas are also bright and beautiful, dotting the hillsides. One is choicelessly brought back in time, upon entering Valle de Bravo as she sees the flowering trees and flowers, a mosaic of color and vividness.
Within minutes one glimpses Lake Avandaro and its long and broad expanse, the steep hills including La Pena to the north, and rolling hills and mountains surrounding the lake. At an elevation of over 6,000 feet (and several hundred feet higher at the hill peaks), Valle de Bravo generally escapes the extreme heat of much of the central Mexican peninsula. Throughout the spring months, the weather is strikingly temperate! Cool breezes and nearly always clear blue skies throughout the evening and in the mornings into early afternoon make these periods particularly nice to stroll through the central garden (Jardin Central), a plaza in which most of the tourists and residents of Valle de Bravo come together. It is a small hub of local commerce, with shops, restaurants, and vendors selling their wares from carts on the streets. Meanwhile, people are exploring the artist enclaves, dining in exceptional and affordable restaurants, visiting museums, churches and, of course, the municipal boardwalk surrounding the lake. This is its own hub of art, nautical activities, dining, and music!
During the daytime, one witnesses hundreds of paragliders floating down to the shore of Avandaro. In the lake, one finds people playing; doing various water sports, exploring the lake and its surroundings in motorized and non-motorized boats, touring boats inviting the travelers to experience the beauty of this magical town from within. One is immersed in this giant and beautiful body of water while simultaneously viewing the town and the delightful hills and mountain peaks in the distance. Nights in the central garden are a congregation for both locals and tourists. There is a hum of activity with people of all ages, mostly enjoying the space and each other’s company.
It’s no wonder that residents of Mexico City and Toluco, the state capitol come here to rest, relax, explore and rejuvenate. You should, too!