This Magical Town is located very close to Mexico City in the neighboring State of Mexico. It is a haven of peace, beauty, comfortable mountain hotels, and delicious Mexican cuisine. The following are five reasons why travelers should visit Valle de Bravo.
Explore Monte Alto State Park
Near Valle de Bravo, this protected area has more than 12 miles of trails for hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, and points for paragliding and hang gliding. The trails are categorized, according to their difficulty levels, covering beginner, intermediate and advanced hikers. The Matlazinca Indians, who populated the area during pre-Hispanic times, called this place “Water Hill” because of the sound of the currents from the streams that descended among the green foliage during the rainy season. The topography of Monte Alto was formed by three volcanoes, whose profile has changed over time due to erosion, which has created the slopes located on three of its four sides.
There is a varied flora in the park that includes canyon vegetation, mountain forests, fungi, and various types of orchids. The park’s animal biodiversity includes hummingbirds, sparrows, owls, vultures, pigeons, hawks, rabbits, squirrels, and cacomixtles. Monte Alto State Park has cabins and several camping sites as well.
Visit Carmel Maranatha
With the appearance of a Hindu temple, this Christian retreat is located on the way to Amanalco de Becerra, 15 miles northeast of Valle de Bravo. Maranathá means “The Lord comes” in Aramaic, the language believed to have been spoken by Jesus and his disciples and in which several books of the Bible were written. It is a place of prayer, meditation, and retreat built in 1975 by the Order of the Discalced Carmelites. This spiritual center has a splendid façade and a beautiful interior decoration based on canvases, sculptures, and the grounds are decorated with art pieces from all over the world. Open to the public from Tuesday to Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Enjoy the Lake
The lake is one of the main attractions of this picturesque town. Lake Valle de Bravo was originally a reservoir formed in the 1940s to retain the waters of the Avándaro River as part of the hydroelectric system. The hydroelectric plant eventually closed, leaving the lake as a source of fresh water and tourist attraction. You can fish and practice water sports on the lake such as canoeing, boat rides, sailing, skiing, and flyboarding. There are several floating restaurants in the Lake that serve fresh seafood and other specialties.
Stroll Through Historic Downtown
The downtown of this Magical Town, primarily built in the sixteenth century, has it all: historic and religious buildings, cobbled alleys, markets, squares, and parks, as well as many places where you can sit down to eat. Its cobblestone streets and plazas have a European charm, but with the warmth and vitality unique to Mexico. Visit the Joaquín Arcadio Pagaza Cultural Center, Plaza Independencia, the portals, the parish of San Francisco de Asís and more, while enjoying artisanal ice cream. Here, you can find different Tour options to make the most out of your stay.
There are plenty of restaurants if you’re looking for something sophisticated, and for a more relaxed option, you will find where to eat next to the main square or enjoy standing eating tacos or trout ceviche. This charming town, surrounded by the lake, wind, and forest, offers a reasonably wide culinary offer for food enthusiasts, and there’s something for everyone.
Velo de Novia Waterfall
This waterfall, which means “Wedding Veil,” is part of the Velo de Novia Ecological Park. The waterfall is approximately 115 feet high and is supplied by the San Juan stream. In the rainy season, the spectacular “veil” is even more abundant. The park’s surroundings have been conditioned with tables, benches, and grills to enjoy a beautiful day in the countryside surrounded by nature. You can buy food, local crafts, and rent horses to take a ride through the reserve. It is also ideal for a camping trip. From this viewpoint, you will get a great panoramic view of the town of Valle de Bravo and take stunning photos.
The Mexican Magical Towns are recognized to preserve their archaeological, historical, architectural, natural, gastronomic, and cultural heritage, making them more accessible for tourism. Valle de Bravo is one of these charming magical towns you simply cannot miss when you’re traveling through Mexico.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com