Valle de Bravo is a colonial village, founded in 1531 by Franciscans located 2 hours from Mexico City.
It is stamped "Pueblo mágico" by the government, which is a token of its tourist interest, its authenticity and its history. The Mexican billionaires are not mistaken: on the outskirts of the village, there is an upscale neighborhood: Avandaro.
During the flying season, it is cool in the morning, especially since we are located at 1850 meters, but quickly the sun takes over. Valle, as we say here, is located on the edge of a large lake and there are the usual nautical activities: boat rides, sailboat and paddleboat rentals. Don't miss a visit to the Callejón del Hambre (the alley of hunger) where street vendors prepare your tacos in front of you. You choose the meat, the filling and, for a small fee, you are satisfied. 20 kilometers from the village, swarms of monarch butterflies are finishing their incredible migration from the United States. You may have the chance to go flying there.
Flight over the lake
The take-off from this paragliding site in Mexico is located near a radio transmitter, hence its name: la Torre (the tower), and overlooks the village. We land near the lake. The landing is called Santa Maria. It is the name of the nearby church (and by extension of the district).
It is mainly here that the two-seaters are made for passing tourists. The conditions are generally quite mild, so much so that it is sometimes difficult to stay in the air. Do like the two-seaters: wait for the lake breeze to settle in because the take-off is short. Likewise the landing (Santa Maria) is hardly bigger than one or two tennis courts.
The approach, until the final, takes place above the water. Beware of the flight at the end of the day because, if you delay too long, the breeze reverses. Here, even more than elsewhere, a preliminary visit of the landing is essential.
You will need to complete some formalities to take off from Monte Alto (the regional park where the take-off is located), which we are able to provide you.
This is essentially a disclaimer.
Finally, the forest guards will ask you to pay an entry fee on site before taking off, as for any visitor, a bit like what happens in Pokhara (Nepal).
This is the site that made Valle de Bravo famous, which has hosted the PWC (Paragliding World Cup) 6 times, proof of its enormous flying potential. It will also host the PWC superfinal in December 2022 !
It is sometimes referred to as "Valle de Bravo", although it is located 15-20 kilometers away as the crow flies. Peñón means "big rock" because an impressive monolith, similar to the sugar loaf of Rio de Janeiro, stands one kilometer away from the takeoff, a bit out of nowhere.
Its unique feature: the multiple convergences that are never in the same place from one day to the next. Here, the conditions are more generous, it is advisable to become familiar with the site by flying rather in the morning and at the end of the day, at least at the beginning, in order to get used to it. I ask students to land at 12:30, in general, depending on their level and the conditions of course. In the middle of the day, it is sometimes difficult to land.
Despite the sometimes impressive number of pilots, we can take off without waiting because the takeoff, in grass, is very wide (a hundred meters).
The landing, Piano, is 8 times bigger than in Santa Maria. The left part is reserved for deltas which need space due to the ground effect. If a delta is approaching, it will therefore have to be left free. For the same reason, it is requested to quickly release the landing after landing.
It is necessary to respect a direction of rotation in thermals: to the left on odd days, to the right on other days (to be checked on site).
To get there, you can take a taxi. However, as Piano's landing is a little off-center, it is not easy to find one for the return trip, and some refuse, because the road turns into a track at the end. This is why the vast majority of pilots go through paragliding structures for logistics. We obviously offer you this type of service.
It is sometimes possible to go directly into Valle de Bravo and land in Santa Maria (lake landing), but it doesn't always work.
Refer to the section Cross country (XC), where the flight routes are detailed.