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West of Mexico City

The area to the west of Mexico City is dominated by the large industrial, transportation-hub city of Toluca, the capital of the state of Mexico. While pleasant, Toluca has little to recommend it to travelers and most bypass it en route to the area’s two wonderful small-town, colonial gems. Malinalco is a sleepy and remote village with some fascinating pre-Hispanic ruins perched above it, and Valle de Bravo, a cosmopolitan getaway, is located on the shores of a large, artificial reservoir, a dramatic two-hour drive west of Toluca. The countryside surrounding Toluca itself is scenic, with pine forests, rivers and a huge extinct volcano, Nevado de Toluca.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout West of Mexico City.