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December 30, 2021

Yelapa, the tropical paradise that you cannot miss

Puerto Vallarta, besides being an enchanting beach destination with a privileged geographic location, has numerous small paradises to explore that are located very close to town.

The small tropical town of Yelapa is one of those paradises, located only 40 minutes south of Puerto Vallarta. It cannot be reached by car, so the way to get to Yelapa is by boat, which makes it an exotic destination before even getting there. You can take a water taxi from Los Muertos Pier, in the Romantic Zone, or leave from Boca de Tomatlan, a small fishing village 20 minutes away from town. 

Yelapa Puerto Vallarta

"Yelapa" is a word of Indigenous Purépecha roots that means "the place where the waters meet" And it fits perfectly: two rivers descend from the mountains that embrace this charming village to meet the great Pacific Ocean.

In the late 1960s, Yelapa was discovered by travelers, musicians, intellectuals and famous actors such as Liz Taylor, Bob Dylan and Jack Nicholson, all of whom described it as a place where one could disconnect from the hectic world and reconnect with nature in all its splendor, care for it and find creative inspiration. This kind of ideology, shared with the villagers, has moved the course of Yelapa's history. It is nowadays a very popular place for eco-friendly tourism that connects with, respects and cares for natural spaces. The color and magic of Yelapa exist thanks to the fact that it maintains its customs and due to its location, it is still a place much isolated from civilization.

Cascada Puerto Vallarta

One of the great attractions of this exotic destination are its waterfalls, which seasonally have crystal-clear waters, perfect for a fresh dip when the weather is hot. The first waterfall is a 15-minute walk from the village and can be said to be a rendezvous point for local families and visitors alike.

The trails to reach the other waterfall are physically more challenging, with a hike of approximately 1 more hour, so if you want to visit both waterfalls make sure to bring good shoes and enough hydration for the journey.

Yelapa is a very colorful and friendly place, with activities that you won't find anywhere else. Some of the wonderful things you must do when in Yelapa are:

  • Try the pies offered on the beach, that's right, what made Yelapa really famous are these pies. It is said that two local bakers started baking them and selling them at the beach, and they are soo yummy!
  • It’s an excellent place to find the best raicilla. If you haven't tried it, raicilla is a spirit, like tequila or mezcal, which recently obtained its denomination of origin in Puerto Vallarta, and in Yelapa it is a very popular drink among locals.
  • You will not find fancy restaurants, in Yelapa the atmosphere is laid back, the seafood is exquisite and the prices are very affordable, so find your favorite palapa or restaurant and enjoy the local delicacies!
  • A two and a half hour walk away is Playa Larga, a perfect place for camping.
  • Parachuting is an activity that you must practice when you visit Yelapa, as it is not only exciting and fun, but you can also appreciate the lush tropical area in all its splendor.
  • Another highly recommended adventure for adrenaline lovers is zip lining. The action starts the moment you get on the boat, travel by donkey to reach the canopy and from there glide through the air.

Playa Yelapa Puerto Vallarta

In addition, Yelapa has various lodging options, which follow the ideology of this charming fishing village. Minimalist boutique hotels within a natural environment, designed to go back to basics with all the comforts. Most of them offer menus with healthy and delicious food, cooked with local products, holistic massages, yoga sessions at sunrise, as well as the use of ecological products in all areas, making many of them sustainable places. Amazing, right?

As you can see, Yelapa is a beautiful ecotourist place, which you definitely must visit during your next trip to Puerto Vallarta. The perfect paradise to disconnect from everything and be surrounded by exuberant nature.

Happy travels!

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