There couldn’t be a more picturesque setting for a wedding than this utterly charming lakeside community skirting the scenic shores of Lake Avándaro. www.lakelubbers.com/lake-avandaro-1121/ This quaint colonial town in the pine-covered mountains of central Mexico was my destination last weekend to celebrate my friend’s son’s nuptials.
After overnighting in Mexico City, we headed out of its busy madness; people, houses, cars, all morphing into each other. Zooming into the rolling hills on fancy highways, we cruised through the mega development of Mexico City’s rising district of Santa Fe, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Fe,_Mexico_City (quite the contrast to Santa Fe, New Mexico, https://santafe.org/
Speechless, I didn’t expect to find this display of modernization and wealth here in one of the most populated megacities on the planet. The gleaming skyscrapers, sprawling shopping malls, and residential towers lay universes away from the glum houses and street vendors we passed in the taxi from the airport to our hotel, the elegant Camino Real Pedregral. http://www.caminoreal.com
As we drove west, speeding through modern tunnels and high-tech tollgates, I couldn’t believe the effective infrastructure and the ease at which we got from A to B. Two hours later, we found ourselves sipping cappuccino overlooking the lush greens of the Avándaro Golf Hotel & Spa Resort, hotelavandaro.com.mx/ the misty layered hills stretching across a blue horizon evoking memories of the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee.
Today, Valle, as it’s commonly known among locals, is home to roughly 60,000 people. Prior to hosting the world-famous auto race Circuito Avandaro and the huge Latin rock music festival Festival de rock y Ruedas in early 2000, this small mountain community was just a typical small Mexican town. Over the years the clean mountain air, balmy weather, and breathtaking scenery have drawn water sport enthusiasts, nature lovers, and history buffs alike. And Mexico City’s elite.
Taking a drive down to the lakeshore, the posh mansions behind bougainvillea-draped walls and modern villas clinging to the rocky lakeside cliffs gave way to historic dwellings along narrow cobblestone streets.
At the Embarcadero, www.visitmexico.com/en-us/valle-de-bravo, the point of interest where all the action was, taxis and street hagglers vowed for customers, while I somehow tried to wrap my mind around the huge gap between the haves and have-nots.
Later that day, watching the sunset over a dreamy landscape, I wished I could stay a bit longer. There’s so much more to explore around here, most notably the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monarch_Butterfly_Biosphere_Reserve, whc.unesco.org › Culture › World Heritage Centre › The List
Each November, millions of migratory butterflies from Canada and the United States arrive here for escaping the cold. That’s when I need to come back too.