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.
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.