Yelapa is awesome! That's really all the motivation you need to get there. Trust us-it's just an all around awesome place!
How to Get to Yelapa
There are a few different ways to get to Yelapa. Whichever way you choose, you'll end up in the magical little paradise of Yelapa!
♦ Take the bus to Boca de Tomatlan-- Catch the orange bus that is just outside the Oxxo on the corner of Basilio Badillo and Constitucion in town in Puerto Vallarta. These busses leave every few minutes. Ride the bus all the way to Boca de Tomatlan. This will take about 35 minutes and it will be the very last stop, so no need to worry about waiting or watching for a specific spot to hop off. The bus will make a slight right turn and pull into a roundabout to let you off. One way ticket is $10 pesos (about $.50 USD) per person as of September 2020. From the bus stop, follow the main road downhill towards the water. Veer to the right and follow all the way until you make it to the small pier where you will catch a water taxi (small boat) to Yelapa. Do not pre-pay anyone on the beach--you will pay the boat captain directly upon arrival to Yelapa. One way ticket to Yelapa is $90 pesos per person (about $4.15 USD) as of September 2020 and the boat ride ride takes about 30 minutes. Water taxis leave both Boca and Yelapa every hour on the hour until around 6:00pm.
♦ Take a water taxi from Los Muertos Pier in downtown Puerto Vallarta-- Head straight to Los Muertos Pier to catch a water taxi to Yelapa from there. You can purchase a ticket at the Water Taxi Office located right near the Los Muertos Pier (across from Dee's Coffee Shop). Price is $380 pesos (about $17.60 USD) round trip. Ask for the current schedule when purchasing tickets--the water taxis do NOT run every hour from Puerto Vallarta to Yelapa like they do from Boca.
What to Do in Yelapa
♦ Hike to the Waterfall-- Located about a 10-15 minute walk from the center of town, this waterfall is a beautiful sight to see and an even better place to take a nice plunge in the fresh, cold water! There aren't really typical "streets" in town, more just a winding path through town to the waterfall. For the locals, this is a main tourist attraction so everyone in town can help point you in the right direction (although it is a great time to wander around and explore a bit--that's part of the fun!) There is a small bar at the actual waterfall with a restroom and drinks available for purchase.
♦ Relax at the Beach-- The crystal water, jungle ambiance, and the relaxing environment are all a part of what makes Yelapa so special. Choose one of the many beach clubs to spend the day at. Chairs, umbrellas, restrooms, and WIFI are free with purchase of food and/or drinks. Our favorite is Angelina's Garden. It is the beach restaurant located alllllmost the furthest from town--closest to the cabins with palapa roofs on the beach! Take time to wander back through the garden near the kitchen a bit--it's beautiful back there!
♦Wander to Town via the Pedestrian Bridge-- Note there are TWO main parts of Yelapa, separated by a river. At times, you may be able to easily cross the river to get from one side to another, but during rainy season, this is not an option (or not one we would recommend, anyways). Instead, you can opt for the walking adventure across the pedestrian bridge. This is a great way to see the charming community of Yelapa. Wander back behind Angela's Garden to the walkway there. Follow the paved path along the river (head away from the ocean) and you will eventually come to a bridge on the right to cross the river. The bridge is directly across from the Primary School. Once across the river, follow the walkway once again along the river (towards the ocean this time) and you will end up in the center of town! Once in town, there are lots of restaurants, shops, and even a small beach on this side to explore (and the waterfall mentioned above too!)
Where to Stay in Yelapa
Again, it is important to note that the little charming town of Yelapa is separated by a river into two distinct "sides". There is the beach side, where you will find a few hotels, beach restaurants, and some corner stores with snacks and water, and then there is the town side, where you will find restaurants, bars, cafes, and the waterfall. We chose to stay on the beach side--which was secluded and great for relaxing but not as great for finding restaurants as the only food options on this side are the beach restaurants. Here are a few options for accommodations--
♦ Hotel Casa Bahia Bonita-- Casa Bahia Bonita is a great option if you're looking for affordable, no frills place to relax. The rooms are set in the jungle-some rooms face the jungle (which is awesome for sleeping) and other rooms face the ocean (also awesome for sleeping). You will need to bring your own beach towels as the hotel does not offer any. Also, plan to call or text ahead to note your arrival time (phone number: 52 322-125-2421). Payment for the stay is in cash upon arrival. You can book Hotel Casa Bahia Bonita by clicking here.
♦ Hotel Lagunita-- This place is located right on the water and situated into private cabanas. It's like camping--except just steps from the beach...and on an actual bed! Note that the hotel may be closed during some times during the slower tourism months (July-October). You can book Hotel Lagunita by clicking here.
♦ AirBnb Options-- There are also some GREAT Airbnb options for Yelapa that may offer a more local experience. These are all located right in the heart of town. NOTE: not all of these properties have air conditioning which may be something to consider before booking :) After searching Airbnb options, we have chosen a few of our favorites to recommend for your time in Yelapa. You can book these places by clicking here.
Where to Eat
♦ Taquería Los Abuelos-- This place is truly a gem among gems. After a long, exhausting day packed with exploring, we stumbled into Los Abuelos not expecting a ton. It was recommended to us by the beach restaurant we had visited earlier in the day. Apparently, Los Abuelos is known for their salads, burritos, and chimichangas. I ordered a salad (which aren't super common in Mexico) and it was DELICIOUS. I mean, out of this world delicious. Greg chose an assortment of tacos and also thought they were beyond yummy. As we walked out, we told each other that this is a seemingly random restaurant that we will remember forever.
♦Angelina's Garden-- Great service, nice, clean beach chairs, access to restrooms, free WIFI, and fair prices on food and drinks! We would recommend a cielo rojo and chips and guac! Located on the beach near one end so this place is nice and perfectly peaceful! Also, the staff was patient and not pushy at all!
♦Pie from "The Pie Lady"-- Yelapa is famous for their pie. It is $50 pesos (about $2.30 USD) per slice but the slices are huge and well worth the price! When we visited, the flavors available were banana, coconut, and cheesecake. You may find the famous "pie lady" wandering around town, or you can ask around for where to purchase a slice--there are lots of little corner-type stores that also sell her delicious pie!
We hope that you enjoy your time in the beautiful, jungle oasis of Yelapa! As always, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any other questions you may have.
Until next time, Have Less. Do More. Be More.