Valle de Bravo, Mexico is a world class soaring destination with equally good food. This charming mountain town, often described as the Aspen of Mexico, sits along the shores of Lake Avándaro, just 2 hours west of the capital city. Every year paragliders and hang gliders converge on this region between December and February. There are two launch destinations– La Torre and El Penon. La Torre is located just above town, it's slopes rising up from the lake. This ridge soaring site has little thermal opportunity, so it's primarily used by Valle's many commercial tandem pilots. The El Penon launch is outside of town about forty five minutes south of Valle de Bravo. The typical goal of pilots is to launch from El Penon and fly their way back to the "Lake LZ"– 9 mile flight as the crow flies, but it's technically challenging as there's a high mesa and a lake to cross or circumnavigate. Depending on conditions and pilot experience a multitude of routes (tasks) can be followed and offer pilots many exciting soaring features to explore. Between December and February, weather is often ideal and pilots typically fly twice a day. Crowds and weather both get more dynamic in January and February while December is generally more mellow.
Flying Week 1 (P2+): December 2 - December 8
The first week is devoted to first-timers to Valle de Bravo or those looking for a more relaxed experience.
Flying Week 2 (P3+): December 10 - December 17
Our second flying week is intended for more experienced pilots looking to refine their XC skills.
Where we stay
"Charlie's Place" is local posada (Mexican version of a B&B), whose guests are exclusively PG pilots and their companions. With welcoming hosts that are also pilots and an ideal location (convenient to the road to launch, just 100 yards from the lake LZ, and with excellent nearby food options), Charlie's Place books up months in advance. Having stayed at Charlie's place for a dozen years, PGNE now has a standing reservation for the entire Posada for Dec 1-18. The accommodations are simple but clean, comfortable, and safe. The rooms are a combination of single and double occupancy with private bathrooms enough to accommodate 12 pilots at a time.
We advise on flight details ahead of time, but travel the days before and after the advertised trip dates. We arrive in Mexico City where a private charter mini bus will meet us to make the 2-4 hour drive to Valle de Bravo. Once in Valle, we have our own van and driver that is a pilot familiar with all the various launches and landing zones. Local cabs are plentiful, extremely cheap and often used by XC pilots who "land out" away from designated LZ options. Travel throughout town is typically done by foot. As with arrival, transport back to Mexico City for return flights is through a private charter.
$1,500: For those traveling to Valle de Bravo with PGNE for the first time.
Returning guests typically need less guiding and instruction, so we offer a discount based on the pilot.
- 8 nights lodging
- Private shuttle to-from Mexico City airport
- Comprehensive pre-trip briefing and strategy session
- Personalized instruction and XC guiding
- Video review of launches and techniques
- 5% discount on future SIV clinic with PGNE
Meals and other amenities are your own responsibility, but cost about 1/4 of what you would expect to pay in the USA.