6 Incredible Things to do in Valle de Bravo, Mexico

6 Incredible Things to do in Valle de Bravo, Mexico

Valle de Bravo, Mexico, is a beautiful valley with mountains surrounding a turquoise green lake near Mexico City. I have been to Valle de Bravo five times in the last 2 years and I always find something new to do there. There are many towns surrounding the lake in Valle (Valley) de Bravo, plus hiking trails, waterfalls, butterfly sanctuaries and more. It’s a beautiful place to escape the craziness of Mexico City both for a day trip or a longer stay.

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How to Get to Valle de Bravo, Mexico

How to Get to Valle de Bravo, Mexico

The easiest way to get to Valle de Bravo is to first fly into Mexico City or Toluca and then drive the rest of the way. Valle de Bravo is about 2 hours away from Mexico City by car. You can rent a car, take a bus or a taxi. Here’s an article that will help you figure out how to get there using different methods of transportation.

Where to Stay in Valle de Bravo, Mexico

Hotels in Valle de Bravo | View of the lake at El Santuario

Recently my husband and I visited Valle de Bravo, Mexico for two nights and we stayed at the most beautiful hotel. El Santuario Resort and Spa is located on a hillside overlooking the lake that Valle de Bravo is famous for. The resort is surrounded by forest and located near a small residential area so it’s a quiet place. There are multiple infinity pools and hot tubs overlooking the lake as well as meditation spaces and of course a spa. The hotel restaurant also has incredibly delicious food and there’s live music during dinner time. I actually wrote an entire blog post just about this hotel because I loved it so much, which you can read here. 

Go on a Boat Tour Around the Lake

Valle de Bravo Mexico | Boating on the lake

When you reach the town center of Valle de Bravo, you will notice there are tons of boat tour options to choose from. I have gone on two different speed boat tours and loved both of them. One of the tours I went on took us to various points around the lake and showed us different towns and areas where you can rent cabins by the lake. The lake is massive and the views are incredible. It’s also quite refreshing to be out on the lake after a long hike or simply to avoid the heat of the day. To go out on a boat tour you simply need to buy a ticket at one of the ticket booths right by the water. There are lots to choose from and they’re quite affordable too.

Rent a Paddleboard, Kayak, Paddle Boat or Go Sailing

Sail Boat in Valle De Bravo Mexico

You can also rent a paddleboard, kayak or a paddle boat to take out on the lake yourself. There are also sailboats but I’m not sure if you can take them out yourself or if you go with a tour guide. Regardless, all of these boating options make for really fun ways to see the lake. You can rent paddleboards, kayaks, sailboats and paddle boats in the town center by the lake. Just find a ticket booth and ask about renting the kind of boat you want to ride.

Hike to Velo de Novia (Veil of the Bride) near Avandaro

Velo de Novia Waterfall in Valle de Bravo Mexico

Velo de Novia or ‘Veil of the Bride’ is a waterfall you can hike to in Valle de Bravo. It’s located near the small town of Avandaro which is one of the towns surrounding the lake. It’s a pretty easy hike and the waterfall is stunning. You will end up crossing a few wooden bridges and hiking down to the waterfall on stairs through the forest. The stairs closest to the falls can be slippery so be careful and wear appropriate shoes. Make sure to go on this hike early in the day if you want to avoid the crowds.

Dog near Velo de Novia Waterfall
Even our dog loves the waterfall.

Go Paragliding or Hang-gliding

Paragliding and Hang-gliding in Valle de Bravo Mexico

While I haven’t done this myself, I have seen many people paragliding in Valle de Bravo. After reading this article, I have also learned that Valle de Bravo is Mexico’s most famous paragliding and hang-gliding site! This is because Valle de Bravo has excellent weather and flying conditions. You can book a paragliding or hang-gliding tour in Valle de Bravo here.

Wander Through the Town of Valle de Bravo Mexico

Pretty Church in Valle de Bravo

The town of Valle de Bravo is very charming as well. In fact, Valle de Bravo is considered to be one of Mexico’s magic towns or ‘pueblos magicos’. There are many good restaurants to eat at as well as souvenir and artisan shops to check out. There is also a large church called the Sanctuary of the Lord Santa María that is home to a Black Christ on a cross. You can enjoy the architecture of this church from the outside or enter inside and see the Black Christ for yourself. The town even has a celebration and pilgrimage to honor the Black Christ each year. You can read more about that here.

See Thousands of Butterflies in Piedra Herradura

Monarch Butterflies in Piedra Herradura, Valle de Bravo from Just Leaving Footprints on Vimeo.

One of my favorite things to do in all of Mexico is to go to the Piedra Herradura Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary. Every winter, thousands and thousands of monarch butterflies migrate from Canada to Mexico for hibernation. You can see the butterflies between the months of November and March. Last year I visited Piedra Herradura in November and there weren’t quite as many butterflies as I was expecting to see flying around. This is because it was still quite cold and I noticed after that a ton of butterflies were clustered to keep warm on the tree trunks. I was told by our guide that January is often the best month to visit because it’s a bit warmer and the butterflies fly around a bit more.

The Piedra Herradura Butterfly Sanctuary is located high up in the mountains and the hike to get up there is tough. Make sure you wear appropriate shoes and bring lots of water. You will have the option to hike up the mountain yourself or to ride a horse up the mountain.

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