Yelapa Beach & Town

Written by’s Local Expert


If you're looking for an exotic escape from the modern world, look no further than Yelapa. A trip to the beach town of Yelapa will allow you to experience a private and well-protected oasis! This hidden gem is one of the last areas in Mexico that is nearly unspoiled by the effects of tourism.

About Yelapa

This stunning stretch of beach is one of Mexico's best kept secrets. When you visit here, you will feel like you traveled back in time to an old Mexican village. The name "Yelapa" is believed to be a Native American word that means "where two rivers meet the sea." This small town has stolen the hearts of many and remains one of the only places you can truly recharge without distraction.

There are no franchises, hotels, or other big businesses here. All the business have remained local and small, even to this day! So a trip here means that you are supporting the community and locals who reside in this small town. Further, electricity and phones didn't arrive to Yelapa until 2001! So, it's safe to say that wifi may be spotty here, but isn't that part of what makes it a true oasis? In addition, there are no roads or cars here. Yup, you read that right. Your transportation options when you arrive are walking or renting a mule/horse. They are known for their unspoiled beaches and lush forests stretching across the entire span of land. In addition, they are a popular destination for their hidden waterfalls.

How To Get To Yelapa

Yelapa is found just about 40 minutes south of Puerto Vallarta. The only way you can reach this town is via boat. There are a couple options for you to choose from in order to visit. Either you can book a tour with a company that is approved to run tours here, such as Vallarta Adventures. Their tour is a combo tour that includes visiting Yelapa and Majahuitas. Or, the more popular route is purchasing a ticket on a water taxi. Water taxis are available in both Puerto Vallarta and a few miles south in Boca. Water taxis are also the most cost efficient option, costing under $25 for a round trip ride. For the schedules and most accurate pricing, visit the water taxi website.

Things to Do in Yelapa

There is an endless number of activities in Yelapa ranging from water sports, enjoying local cuisine, and simply enjoying the stretch of pristine beach. We highly recommend that when you visit here, you plan to spend at least a half day in town. There is simply too much to explore in a couple of hours.

Some of the most popular things to do include visiting the hidden waterfall and eating a Yelapa (Chacha) pie which are usually sold on the beach. If you want to learn more about the people and area, a visit to the Museum of History, Art, and Culture in Yelapa is in order.

One of the best things you can do here is enjoy the beach and jungle! The biodiversity here is astounding with exotic animals and lush plants throughout the forest. If you're lucky, you'll be able to spot colorful parrots, iguanas, and a variety of other birds attracted to tropical climates. To explore the life under the water, rent some snorkeling equipment.

When in Yelapa, you'll be able to disconnect and recharge in a unique way. It's an amazing place to host a retreat or have a solo-trip to get to know yourself better. At any rate, this is a must visit and one of the most incredible experiences you will have.

Local Tips

  • You can only get here by boat - book a tour to Yelapa or purchase a ride on the water taxi.


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