HOW TO GET TO VALLE
by Hector Fink
First, get your flight directly to Mexico City. Having the extra ride on an airplane to the Toluca airport is a waste of money and not that much time saving as you could believe. If possible, try to get your flight planned to arrive during the day, not at night. If you need to stay a night in Mexico City don´t plan to stay close to the bus station! It will be cheap, but too dangerous at night for a foreigner. It´s OK on the day or even before midnight, but I wouldn't recommend at all to stay on a nearby hotel, staying close to the airport should be a little bit expensive, but much safer.
At your arrival to the Mexican airport, there's still some miles to hit before making it to Valle; you still need to make a bus trip! Bus is the cheapest ride to Valle by far, the bus station name is "Observatorio" (Observatory). So, my piece of advice would be to not to go directly to Toluca but to invest around $350 Mexican pesos (around 15 euros) for an "expensive" airport taxi cab to the Observatorio bus station to catch the next bus riding to Valle for $249 Mexican pesos (around 11 euros). Taking the subway from the Airport station to the Observatorio station takes just way to long, too much walking to change rails, it's too crowded and even a little bit dangerous, definitely not a choice no matter how cheap it is...
I usually do 20 to 30 minutes on baggage and customs crap at the Mexico City airport (from international arrivals) and you can be at the Observatorio bus station from 15 to 60 minutes on a cab depending on traffic and the driving skills of the guy behind the wheel. Just tell the driver to keep all his way directly trough Viaducto avenue and *NOT* to try to use any alternative routes, OK? From the airport to the bus station, is basically one straight line from East to West and that line is run by the Viaducto Avenue without any red light stops on your way. Some taxi drivers might try to get you through "secret shortcuts" in order to get some extra tipping from you.
Once at the Observatorio bus station you will find only one bus line you can use for the Valle trip, it's called the "Zinacatepec or Zinabus", look for the ticket window at the left side wing of the building (easy to find). Time schedules for the Valle de Bravo bus may vary, but basically you will find daily departures from 5:00 AM up to 5:00 PM, one every hour. (For example, 5:15, 6:15, 7:15 and so on)
Be sure to buy and to ride the "Libramiento" bus route to Valle and *NOT* the "Amanalco" route no matter what. Don't let them fool you, they are not the same routes and it's not the same trip time, no matter what they tell you. The new "Libramiento" route will take you to Valle in less than three hours thanks to the fact that about half of the way uses the new highway. The "Amanalco" route will take you about six hours and I promise you will be so sick you will spend half trip throwing your inner juices all over the driver! The "Saucos" route will take you over 4 hours with a "quick" unnecessary stop at the Toluca bus station, not really nice.
Taking the "Caminante" bus from the Mexico City airport to Toluca may sound tempting, but riding a bus directly to Toluca from the airport will take a long time, these buses take a different route than cabs inside Mexico City and they take too long to go all the way around the city, you might end up arriving to Toluca after the last bus to Valle have departed of finding no more room available for you at the bus!
Next problem is getting into a bus from Toluca to Valle, let me be clear on this: There´s no such thing as a "Toluca to Valle" ride, they all depart from Mexico City loaded and all of them except the Libramiento one will make a stop at Toluca. If you´re lucky the bus won´t be fully loaded or someone might finish his ride at Toluca leaving you a worm place for you assuming you were first to make it for that seat, but if you´re not lucky enough, well, go figure... (and I don´t recommend staying the night at Toluca either)
So, the "Libramiento" bus departing from Observatorio is a non-stop ride, cheap enough, safe, you can make it on time and you might be on Valle early enough for your first flight there before calling it a day, just spend those $350 pesos on the airport cab to the Observatorio bus station, be safe, be comfortable, be wise...!