In this post we’ll share our tale of Yelapa, an island paradise we discovered on a day excursion during our last trip to Puerto Vallarta.
We’ve been to Puerto Vallarta on the west coast of Mexico twice now and usually stay in the amazing Puerto Vallarta Riu. It’s just a 20 minute drive from the airport and is a really nice, friendly hotel – that isn’t too big, like a lot of all inclusive hotels can feel.
One of the best things about the hotel is the Steakhouse on the beach where we eat least a few times each time we go. You can watch the stunning sunsets as you eat steak and drink wine, which is pretty much paradise. In the early mornings and late afternoons you’ll often see pods of dolphins swimming in the bay that the hotel’s beach looks on to. We’ve even seen them play amongst the kayakers (you can rent kayaks and other water sport equipment from the hotel).
Anyway, enough about the hotel – it’s amazing and we’d go back tomorrow. One thing we loved just as much though, was our day trip to the islands of Yelapa and Majahuitas – it’s a day trip offered by tour company Vallarta Adventures that you really don’t want to miss if you’re staying in Puerto Vallarta.
We decided to take a full day trip to make the most of our time out of the hotel and this looked right up our street. The trip includes snorkelling in the waters off the island of Majahuitas and then a stop at another island, and a visit to the village and waterfall on Yelapa.
After an hour or so sailing in the catamaran (snacks and drinks were available), we spent the morning snorkelling in the peaceful cove of Majahuitas. The coastline is only accessible by boat, so it is a great spot for snorkelling and kayaking. The waters were crystal clear and we spent a couple of hours swimming and sunbathing in the cove working up an appetite for lunch.
After lunch on the catamaran, we then set off towards Yelapa – a tiny traditional fishing village. The island has a beautiful natural cove and jungle covered hills that house the village’s residents and donkeys!
We took a short hike through the hills which gave us some truly amazing panoramic views and walked past villager’s houses to the stunning Cola de Caballo waterfall that we were able to have a swim in. It was very cold but a great experience to stand beneath a natural jungle waterfall!
We finished the day relaxing on the beach with a beer and spent an hour or so swimming in the crystal clear water in Yelapa’s small bay. They sell great Fish Tacos on the beach too.
There are lots of smaller, privately run B&Bs and hotels on the beach that would be a great place to stay if you really wanted to get a away from it all for a few days and stay on Yelapa for a little longer.
We didn’t really want to leave, but had to head back to the hotel after an idyllic day exploring the islands around Puerto Vallarta. As we cruised back the crew opened the bar (we drank many, many rum cocktails and got to know other people on the boat). We ended our day with some great music and dancing, including a rock and roll performance from the crew. It was pretty much the perfect day, and we got to see a secluded and beautiful part of Mexico that we would have otherwise missed out on.
Yelapa was a tropical paradise that really took our breath away. Be sure to look into visiting the island if you are staying in or near Puerto Vallarta.