To get to Yelapa, you must first get to Puerto Vallarta. This isn’t difficult; there are many flights offered by several airlines. Here is a link with some possibilities to consider: Air travel to Puerto Vallarta Once you are in Puerto Vallarta’s Gustavo Diaz Ordaz International Airport (code PVR) your next task is getting transportation into town. Before you leave the airport with your luggage you will receive a number of very persuasive and expensive offers (about $30 from very aggressive cab drivers) we recommend you politely decline these offers and take the local bus, which stops right in front of the airport and will cost you about 70 cents per person. OR you can walk across the walkway and catch a taxi a bit cheaper because they don’t have to pay the airport tax. Water taxis depart for Yelapa from the Muertos Pier in Old Town. The times vary with the season and don’t be surprised if a “scheduled” water taxi isn’t quite on schedule…relax, have a drink at one of the many beach cafes, enjoy the area…the water taxi will get there eventually. The price of this service is dependent on the distance that you travel. A round-trip ticket from Puerto Vallarta is about $24 USD. We recommend buying one way tickets, since you may choose to return by a different taxi company. If you happen to miss the last taxi out, there are many hotels that can put you up for the night.
Getting Around Yelapa…there are no cars in Yelapa. The foot paths are frequently punctuated with tree roots and other uneven surfaces. On land you can either walk or ride a burro. You may easily cross the small cove from El Jardin to the main beach by kayak. If your swimming skills are moderate or better, you could also swim. Since nothing is very far away, walking is the preferred method of getting around. Scheduled departures from Yelapa by water taxi leave several times a day during the peak season. It is best to be a little bit early to ensure that you do not miss the boat, as they do sometimes leave earlier than the scheduled departure time. Water Taxi Schedule Please remember you will be on Mexico time, so times of departure will vary.
The following information is for Puerto Vallarta, which tends to be a couple degrees warmer than Yelapa.
Yelapa is part of the Costa Dorada of Mexico, on Banderas Bay. On the same latitude as the Hawaiian Islands, Yelapa enjoys a sub-tropical climate — pleasant and temperate most of the year. Surrounded by jungle, Yelapa receives its rain primarily in the summer, September being the rainiest month. The weather is nearly ideal November through May. During the long dry season, daytime temperatures are in the mid 70s to low 80’s F (28-30 C), while nighttime temperatures cool to the 60s. Though rainy and hot, don’t overlook the summer months as a time to visit. Temperatures may reach 90 degrees F (32 C) but rates are considerably cheaper. If you are a naturalist you will enjoy the many species of birds that migrate here during this time. If solitude is what you desire you will nearly have the village to yourself. Typically the mornings are clear and bright, with the rain coming in the afternoon. When it rains, the storms can be quite beautiful, with the rain moving gently across the hills while lightning illuminates the sky. What could be more romantic on a summer evening by the sea than the sound of rain falling on a palapa roof? Weather History
Yelapa’s climate is characterized as Tropical Wet and Dry, with a dry winter season and monsoon-like rains in the Summer. From November to May, the weather is warm and dry, perfect for a lounge on the beach or a jungle hike. June through September, you can expect heat and rains in the afternoon and evening. The storms can be quite beautiful, with rain seeming to march across the hills and lightning illuminating the sky.
Whether you’re an “adventure traveler,” in search of high-impact outdoor activities, or you’re more comfortable lounging on a beach with a fruity-drink and a trashy magazine, Yelapa has plenty to offer. Isabel Beach is just a ways down the path from the Casas and is always available for a swim. The snorkeling is amazing at our own front door! If you want to be more social, you might want to walk the half mile along the scenic footpath through the pueblo to the main beach. The main beach is very pleasant, with several restaurants conveniently located and more than willing to place a cool drink in your hand and bring you a plate of chips and fresh guacamole.
Yelapa is a fishing village with a sizable art community. There are a few galleries, and if you inquire, you can find a number of local artists who will be glad to show you their work.
If you are into fishing, half-day or day-long fishing trips can be arranged. Or, if you’d simply like to explore the area a bit, boat trips to surrounding areas can be arranged. One popular excursion is to the Marietas Islands, where you can see a number of types of birds, including the blue-footed boobies, whose only other habit is located in the Galapagos Islands. Whale watching trips can also be arranged, or just a jaunt down the coast a bit to secluded beaches.
If you like to hike, Yelapa has numerous opportunities for getting out and experiencing the countryside. For starters, a pleasant walk through town and a short way upriver, south of the pueblo, you come to the base of a stunning waterfall, which begins its descent approximately 200-feet above you. Depending on the time of year, the base of the waterfall is a large-but-shallow pool. Having one’s picture taken beneath the falls is a time-honored Yelapa tradition! There is a lovely cafe at the base of the falls, where you can get a margarita and some chips and guacamole and enjoy the scene.
For those who seek a more adventurous hike with a spectacular payoff, there is the hour-and-a-half hike up river to the “big waterfall.” Plan on making a day of hiking to this fall and back, but definitely plan on making it a part of your visit, it’s worth it!. Finally there is a very challenging half-day hike to a village of indigenous people. There are many other hiking opportunities in the surrounding area.
For the the truly adventurous, para-sailing behind a boat or a para-glide off the top of the mountain might be more your style.
After a hard day spent in paradise, you could have a massage from the capable and loving hands of our local masseuses,while literally watching the dazzling ocean under coconut palms.
Maybe lying in the hammock is more what you are looking for or perhaps enjoying the local cuisine (including the famous home-made pies available daily).
Yelapa is located at the foot of the Sierra Madre mountains, near the home of the Huichol Indians. This peaceful native culture was left nearly undisturbed when the Europeans were busy searching for gold among the Mayans. The name, Huichol, means “healer.” A little local culture is available on your trek to the local waterfall. When you reach the top you will be greeted by local artisans at Javier’s Rosewood Factory. While you’re enjoying yourself in this paradise, you can also improve your Spanish. Yelapa English/Spanish Institute offers many opportunities for all ages. There is a large art community in Yelapa where local artists have the opportunity to work in a very peaceful and beautiful location.
Puerto Vallarta Fun
A visit to nearby Puerto Vallarta is a must during your stay. Here is where you will find the shopping, nightlife and big city activities conspicuously absent from the quiet, peaceful life in Yelapa. There are many fine restaurants in Vallarta, as well as many cultural opportunites. Art is everywhere: along the “malecon” with its sculptures, in the plazas and the galleries presenting Mexican Art. Puerto Vallarta has become a favorite spot for deep sea sport fishing. Baderas Bay is Mexico’s largest. Two miles deep, it is home to sailfish, mahi-mahi, dorado, marlin, tuna, roosterfish and red snapper, just to name a few. There are a variety of options for boat trips, including a Pirate Cruise!