Valle de Bravo sits on the shores of Lake Avándaro, two hours west of the largest metropolis in North America: Mexico City. Which makes it surprising that this 16th-century colonial town of 61,000 is such a relaxing, otherworldly escape. With consistent spring winds and balmy water, the lake is a haven for wind- and kitesurfing fanatics, and the surrounding hills offer beginner-to-expert singletrack for mountain bikers, ample trails for horseback riders, and, in the Monte Alto State Reserve, ideal thermals for paragliders.
The 36-room Hotel Rodavento blends into the surrounding forest with its clean, sparse lines and glass-enclosed rooms, and has eight new suites with floor-to-ceiling views of the foothills. Spend the day on horseback, biking, or hiking, do laps on the 26-foot on-site climbing wall, or SUP and fish for bass or rainbow trout on the resort’s private lake. If you reel one in, chef Otoniel Tercero will prepare it for dinner. After hours, book a massage in a yurt and follow it with a plunge into a series of hot, warm, and cold outdoor pools under the stars.
Valle de Bravo is a two-hour drive from Mexico City. (The hotel will send a car for an additional cost.) Forest suites start at $375.
The driest months are November to April, when temperatures hover between 64 and 77 degrees. Avoid July, the rainiest month of the year.
In November, millions of monarch butterflies migrate south to the Piedra Herrada Sanctuary, an oyamel fir forest. The hotel is a 15-minute drive from the sanctuary and can arrange transportation, a hike, or a guided horseback ride to catch a glimpse.