Yelapa Mexico: Day Trip From Puerto Vallarta

Boats line up the shore with lush palm trees and mountains in the background.

I was recently in Yelapa, Mexico for my birthday and I want to share with you all there is to do in this tucked away fishing village. It makes for the perfect day trip from Puerto Vallarta or a fun weekend trip. The only thing for you to do is to hop on a boat and be ready for an adventure!

Where Is Yelapa Mexico?

Yelapa is a fishing village located south of Puerto Vallarta in Banderas Bay. Only reachable by boat, this town is filled with lush mountains, colorful houses and numerous fishing boats. It’s nestled in a cove, which makes it feel intimate and private. 

The quaint coastal town is quiet with small alleyways occupied by working horses and locals. There are no cars in Yelapa, only ATV’s, which makes it safer to walk and explore. 

Yelapa Beach

The beach in Yelapa with fishing boats at work and waves crashing on the shore.

One of the most beautiful waters in Jalisco, Yelapa’s beach has beautiful emerald colored waters that sparkle when the sun is shining on it. The waves are gentle but can get rough from time to time. When the waters are calm, you can do water activities, swim and/or snorkel. 

You can spend the day on one of their many lounge chairs alongside the sand overlooking the ocean. You will need to purchase something in order to get a beach chair though. I ordered the shrimp tostadas and a piña colada from El Coral Restaurante Grill & Bar and they did not disappoint. I think I spent $20 which isn’t bad for a meal and a chair with scenic views.

They mostly sell seafood since it’s a fishing village. There are also vendors that come to you offering jewelry, photos with wild iguanas and other things.

Yelapa Waterfall

The Yelapa waterfall (aka Cascada de Yelapa) is one that is worth visiting because you’ll be cooling off in the cool cascade waters after your mini trek. Large boulders are within the waterfall with the jungle as your view.

Let’s begin, when you arrive by boat to the Muelle de Yelapa you’re going to walk through the town and cross a small bridge. You will turn left on a road, Calle Marlin, that leads uphill. From here, you’ll simply climb this path until you arrive at the foot of the waterfall! 
For the directions, click here!

Things to do in Yelapa

Jenn sitting on a beach chair in Yelapa about to eat tostadas with a dog on her side.

To reserve any of the activities below and/or to see prices click here

Parasail on the beach 
Motorcycle Tour 
Visit the Museum of History, Art & Culture
Scenic Airplane Tour (1hr) 
Swim in the beach 
Have lunch in the town with locals

Puerto Vallarta To Yelapa

A small beach with umbrellas and vacationers lounging.

The only way to Yelapa is by boat. You can leave from Puerto Vallarta or from Boca de Tomatlan. A water taxi departs from Los Muertos Pier in Puerto Vallarta for $380 pesos roundtrip ($22 USD). You will be dropped off at Muelle de Yelapa. 

If you decide to leave from Boca de Tomatlan, you will first take a taxi from Puerto Vallarta to Boca de Tomatlan (fishing village). It’s about a 45 minute drive from the city center. Then you will take a water taxi to Yelapa which costs 200 pesos ($12). 

Whether you leave from Puerto Vallarta or from Boca de Tomatlan, there will always be a taxi waiting for you to return. They either give you a wrist band or a ticket. Make sure you don’t lose it, it’s your proof of purchase.

Departure times from Los Muertos Pier: 
11:00 a.m, 11:45 a.m, 1:00 p.m, 3:00 p.m, 5:00 p.m.

Departure times from Boca de Tomatlan:
8:00am – 6:30pm (every hr. at the top of the hr.)

Yelapa to Puerto Vallarta

The muelle de Yelapa (Pier in Yelapa) with the ocean and large boulders surrounding it.

If you did not purchase a roundtrip ticket then no worries, you can always hop on a water taxi on the Muelle de Yelapa (Yelapa pier). Tickets are sold by locals on the pier. You can choose to get dropped off at Boca de Tomatlan or Los Muertos Pier. Departures take place every hr. At the top of the hr.

Weather in Yelapa

Dozens of palm trees and the view of the sky.

The weather in Yelapa is hot and humid for the most part, however there is a rainy season. The summer months of July, August and September see the most rain. The driest and best months to visit are November – May. Always keep weather in mind when planning a trip to minimize your chances of rain in the summer.

Concluding Yelapa

Two boys walking on the beach of Yelapa carrying a basket filled with shells.

Yelapa remains authentic despite the daily tourism that takes place. A small enchanting village best experienced in the beginning of the year when it’s warm and dry. I recommend going if you’re in the Puerto Vallarta area. It’s not commercialized and you will feel like a local! If you plan to stay overnight then consider packing these items.

Pro-Tips on Visiting Yelapa

  1. Maximize your time in Yelapa and take the first boat out (schedule is above).
  2. Bring Cash! This small village doesn’t have ATM’s and they don’t take Cards. Keep in mind all the activities you are planning to do and estimate how much cash you’ll need. 
  3. Don’t forget to tip! You will need to leave a tip almost always, plan that into your budget

Q&A on Yelapa

  1. Should I stay overnight?

You can if you’d like to take your time with activities and immerse yourself into the village a bit more. However, a day trip can be enough. 

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