Getting to Yelapa in a Water Taxi

The first time I took a water taxi to Yelapa I had imagined that it would be similar to taking a Ferry. I was mistaken! A water taxi actually resembles more of a fishing boat with extra seating than anything.  It is much smaller than a Ferry! The water taxis are manned by two pros Who have mastered the art of  getting you safely from the beaches of Puerto Vallarta to Yelapa beach with ease.

Water Taxi Ride Through Los Arcos
Water Taxi Ride Through Los Arcos

After all of the passengers are on board the water taxi takes off and as you get further away.  From the shore you get a breathtaking view of Puerto Vallarta  from the water.

If your lucky your Captain might take you on a bit of a tour along the way stopping at Los Arcos for all to get a close up and personal view.

If  you come upon dolphins, whales or sea turtles on your trip to Yelapa, nine times out of ten the Captain will slow or stop the boat for all the passengers to marvel and take pictures of the sea life in their natural habitat. So sit back and enjoy the ride!

Water Taxi's at Yelapa Beach
Water Taxi's at Yelapa Beach


Water Taxi Tips

– Pack your electronics in an airtight zip lock bag. Better to be safe than sorry!

– The further you sit towards the back of boat the less bumpy the ride

– Bring something to cover up with, zipping through the ocean can get chilly.

– The ocean is always calmer in the morning, so taking an earlier water taxi can be more enjoyable for those who might be nervous.


Yelapa Day Trip Yields Pie

We delayed going to Yelapa due to rare winds and heavy seas on Thursday, but the next morning we had a wonderful trip on calm waters. I bought tickets at one of the Yelapa water taxi booths at Los Muertos pier. Cost is 250 pesos (about $20) roundtrip for each person.

I recommend the larger water taxi boats for a more comfortable ride across the bay. Jack Water Taxi boats are comfortable enough and they appear very competent.

Sometimes a wet spray hits my face as we skip across the waves. It’s about 40 minutes with plenty of interesting views along the way. I’m told that “in season”, whales and dolphins often appear.

Yelapa Cove is Clear Water with Lots of Wildlife

The water taxi offered to drop us at either pier or on the beach. We walked through a rustic Mexican village, then explored the large beach.

The cove is excellent with sparkling clean water filled with an abundance of wildlife. From end to end, the Yelapa cove varies from exceptional beaches to rocky areas and two piers. There’s a lagoon just a few feet behind the long beach with lots of birds.

Waterfall Cafe

During the off-season, many restaurants only open for dinner or are closed. The small cafe at the waterfall is quite worthwhile. My partner had a very tasty shrimp empanadas with her piña colada, while I had a strong rum & coke with nachos.

Pie Ladies

I happened to read about the Pie Ladies back in P.V., and when we arrived a wonderful impromptu guide, Donaldo, advised us to watch for the Pie Ladies. I wasn’t sure what all the fuss was about.

Just as we were heading back to the Yelapa pier for a return water taxi, a local pie lady, Agostina, asked us if we wanted pie. We followed her to a modern bayfront kitchen. While she bakes, Agonstina has one of the best views in Yelapa.

Looking over her wares, I bought an entire pie of seven pieces for 200 pesos: two lemon meringue, two coconut, one cheese, one pecan, and one chocolate. The cheese pie is extra yummy! Mmmm.

Yelapa pie
7 slices of heavenly pie from Yelapa

The coconut pie is chock full of sweet, local shredded coconut, the kind that’s healthy for you. The lemon pie was over the top lemony (which is a mystery since we can’t seem to find lemons in Mexico and limes are called limons) and it stood 6 to 8 inches tall with meringue.

Our overall favorite ends up being the cheese pie. I usually pass on cheese pie but Agostina’s is scrumptious. The chocolate pie has more of a delicious cocoa flavor, than chocolate.

The pecan pie did not last long enough for me to taste as my partner is particularly fond of pecan pie. She told me it was exceptionally full of fresh pecans. I’ll have to take her word for it until my next visit to Yelapa.

Things To Not Miss Doing in Puerto Vallarta

Walk the Malecon “boardwalk” from Old Town at Los Muertos (Pier of the Dead, Beach of the Dead) along the bay through El Centro. Along the way, you will find statuary, shopping, panoramas, and shows. Another “malecon” worth a visit winds through the Marina. Each of these boardwalks offers some of the best people watching in the world, especially on Sunday afternoons.Statue of whales at entrance to marina

Enjoy fine dining at any of the many world class restaurants of Puerto Vallarta. Also, there are some very worthy street stands to try. When you are in Old Town be sure to dine at La Palapa, Archie’s Wok, Pancho’s Takos, or Fajita Republic.

Watch whales in Banderas Bay (December through March). The gentle creatures migrate from the Gulf of Alaska to winter in the bay. Continue reading “Things To Not Miss Doing in Puerto Vallarta”

List of Things to Do in Puerto Vallarta

After they settle in for a day or two, lots of visitors ask, “What is there to do?” Puerto Vallarta has an incredible choice of fun activities and events. Here is a list to get started:

  • Explore Gourmet Cuisine
  • Swim with Dolphins
  • Go Whale Watching
  • Discover Beaches
  • Fly above Treetops
  • Visit Local Villages
  • Tour Native Galleries
  • Learn Vallarta History
  • Participate in an Art Walk
  • Take a Canopy Tour
  • Shop the Giant Flea Market
  • Walk the Malecon
  • Snorkel Local Islands
  • Golf at the World’s #1 Courses
  • Tour a Tequila Plantation
  • ATV in a Jungle Buggy
  • Ride a Mexican Bus
  • Water Taxi to Yelapa
  • People-Watch at Los Muertos
  • Dance in a Discotheque
  • Discover Sea Turtles
  • Ride a Spanish Galleon
  • Sail or Fish the Bay
  • Drink and Dine on the Beach
  • Explore Nightlife
  • Oo and Ah at Huicholes
  • Surf, Dive, Parasail, Hike
  • There is something for everybody…
  • Beyond these, some vacationers might fancy a lucrative “Pirate” adventure. Contact for details.

    Bob Dylan Found Lodging in Yelapa

    “Donaldo,” Yelapa High School’s muy simpatico English teacher, took us on a tour of the very interesting Casa de los Sueños (House of Dreams) hotel.

    This time of year, when tourists are sparse, you can spend idyllic months in this lovely palapa hotel, where the jungle meets the sea, for the cost of a cheap apartment somewhere uninspiring.

    At Los Sueños, various lodging possibilities ramble up and down the hillsides. We found ourselves walking through lush gardens surrounded by wildlife, within a five-minute walk to the beach.

    The biggest of Los Sueños’ six casas would sleep umpteen of you and your friends in any number of arrangements, including in a majestic mosquito-netted crow’s nest.

    The roofs are thatch, the walls are open-air, the views are palm trees, jungle, beach, ocean, sky, sunset. The breezes have come fresh to you all the way across the Pacific Ocean.Casa de los Suenos

    Yesterday, the paths between the casas were strewn with ripe luscious mangos for the taking. We picked up the most perfect fruits and gave our cache to Donaldo when we said hasta luego.

    Los Sueños has an interesting history, involving Bob Dylan and Dennis Hopper. They call this casa “Dylan’s Watchtower”. How many can say they’ve slept where Dylan slept?

    To learn more, or to discuss renting at La Casa de los Sueños with lovely owner Shannon Yates, visit

    Yelapa is Paradise…
    Renew Yourself with Inspiring Tranquility and Beauty

    Eventually everybody goes to the southernmost cove of Banderas Bay where lies nestled the peaceful village of Yelapa.

    Yelapa’s tranquillity is ideal for that entirely laid-back vacation. The beach is covered in a blanket of light golden sand, and it is a superb place to swim, snorkel, or parasail. If you want to relax, you can just sit in one of the numerous beach chairs, soak up the sun, and enjoy a cold drink.

    Map showing Puerto Vallarta to Yelapa

    There are no vehicles in Yelapa and no roads to Yelapa but it is easily accessible by boat.

    In Old Town, where Rodriguez street meets the beach, there’s a booth selling water taxi tickets to Yelapa. Current price is about US$22 per person round trip.

    Once you arrive in Yelapa, have your picture taken with a colorful iguana, or enjoy a beachside meal. Afterwards, stroll along the beach and try a piece of pie, made fresh daily, and sold on the beach by one of the “pie ladies”. One taste, and you will see why Yelapa has become renowned for its pies.

    Like to drink? You might want to try the local moonshine called “Raicilla”.

    You can take a 20-30 minute walk, or horseback ride into the village. Horse rentals are located behind “Fanny’s Restaurant” on the beach. Wander through the village, which has, schools, houses, and lots of friendly locals.

    Eventually you will arrive at the breathtaking 150-foot waterfall.

    As you near the nearby waterfall you will pass near “Javier’s Rosewood Artisans” where locally grown rosewood wares are displayed.

    The “Cascada y Bosque Restaurant” is at the waterfall base if you desire a snack , soda , or cold beer. The village also has several other great restaurants, which are open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily.

    (By the way, we avoid Chico’s. It’s been recently purchased by a couple of disreputable time-share creeps so watch your wallet.)

    A whistle from the taxi boat signals that it is time to go back to Puerto Vallarta. Don’t miss the boat, as they do sometimes leave earlier than the scheduled departure time.

    There are those who find that the day trip is not quite enough, and choose to stay overnight.

    Accommodations are abundant, and prices vary to suit any budget. There are 3 hotels, many houses, or rooms for rent, by the day, week, or month.

    Yelapa has limited electricity, so bring a flashlight. If you forget, you can always buy one in the village.

    If your timing is right, don’t miss one of the full moon bonfires, which are usually attended by quite a few of the locals.

    If you still find the need to explore, you can arrange a day trip to the Marietas Islands (a bird sanctuary), a boat excursion to one of the many secluded beaches, a deep sea fishing trip, or a horseback tour (guided or non-guided) to spectacular waterfalls, and swimming holes up the river.

    On Sundays, watch the community football (don’t call it soccer) team compete against one of the local villages, or even participate in a softball game, or croquet match.