VALLE DE BRAVO
Founded in 1530 by Franciscan Friars in a region once inhabited by the Matlatzinca and Mazahua cultures, Valle de Bravo’s natural charm led to its official designation as a “Pueblo Mágico” by the Secretary of Tourism in 2005. The vivid contrasts between the crystalline lake, the colonial buildings constructed of adobe and terra cotta, and the abundant wooded landscapes make this one of the most naturally scenic destinations in Mexico. A favorite weekend retreat for residents of Mexico City and Toluca, Valle de Bravo increasingly draws visitors from all over the world. The pace of life here is casual and relaxed, and the town rewards exploration with cultural treasures, diverse activities, and a welcoming spirit.
A rich and varied palette of epicurean pleasures awaits the hungry visitor to Valle de Bravo—everything from elegant dining experiences to tasty street food. Savor authentic Mexican flavors, local twists on familiar dishes, and of course a waterfront margarita or two.
Near the town square is a pedestrian street known as Callejón del Hambre (“hunger alley”), so named for its ability to cure that condition ￼￼with excellent tacos, Mexican-style corn on the cob, handmade ice creams, and other treats.
Valle de Bravo’s charms are amply evident on a stroll of the boardwalk that skirts the edge of lake Avandaro. A pleasant walk takes you past numerous restaurants (some of them actually floating on the lake), artists offering their work at street-side stands, and many opportunities to hop on a ferry tour or rent a sailboat for the afternoon.
The Joaquín Arcadio Pagaza Museum puts the art and culture of Valle de Bravo in historical context, with paintings and sculpture from artists both local and international, as well as film and theatre events.
For those interested in acquiring a memento of their visit, independent shops and galleries, run by local vendors and up-and-coming artists, hide around every corner of the town’s steep, cobbled alleyways. There you’ll find locally made clothing, crafts, and artwork.
Consider acquiring a piece of traditional Mazahua jewelry—delicately wrought earrings and pendants handcrafted in silver and bronze. Valle de Bravo is also well known for its pottery center, featuring unique high-heat ceramics by accomplished local potters.
Festival of the Souls
Valle de Bravo is home to one of the most important arts and culture festivals in Mexico, the Festival of Souls. Having grown in size and prominence every year, this renowned celebration takes place around the Day of the Dead and features folkloric dances, theatrical performances, photography exhibitions, short films, and music.
Lake Avendaro is the shimmering center of life in Valle de Bravo. The region’s mild climate makes it possible to enjoy water sports throughout the year. Rent a sailboat, hop onto a ferry tour, or really dive in: Water skiing, wind surfing, kayaking and stand-up paddleboard yoga are all
popular activities easily booked by your concierge or by stopping into one of numerous outfitters in town.