Tucked away on the southern end of Banderas Bay is a majestic town just waiting to be explored. Yelapa, which means “the place of gathering” is a quaint fishing village just a short distance from the shores of downtown Puerto Vallarta. This magical village, home to fewer than 600 inhabitants, is the perfect destination for a day trip while staying at Garza Blanca Preserve.
The best thing about this secluded town near Puerto Vallarta is its pure simplicity. In Yelapa, time seems to stand still; and while there are a myriad of exciting things to do, the majority of people who visit seek out rest and relaxation. It’s not uncommon to see visitors and locals strewn about on hammocks and lounge chairs, soaking up the sun and sipping on raicilla, a local alcoholic beverage. As you enter the small cove where the village is located, you’ll have the perfect view of Yelapa’s small beach scattered with oversized palapas and friendly faces.
After just a few moments in the friendly town, you will become abundantly aware of the tranquility that surrounds you. Without a car, alarm clock or salesman in sight, you’ll find the peace and tranquility of yesteryears. Although the people of Yelapa do have access to all the modern technologies that most have become accustomed to, their dependence on such devices is minimal. The result – an abundance of positivity and sheer happiness.
As you venture around town, you’ll notice a series of narrow, winding streets and footpaths that seem to lead in all directions. Ask around and you’ll find your way to the cascading waterfall that is the backdrop to the city. Take the road less traveled and get lost in the natural beauty that abounds, or simply walk along the coast and watch the fisherman as they bring in the day’s catch. However you spend your time in Yelapa, one thing’s for sure, you’ll leave a changed individual.
Getting to Yelapa is fairly easy considering there are no direct roads leading there. Water taxis do, however, leave quite frequently from the shores of Boca de Tomatlan, a small village just minutes from the Garza Blanca Preserve. Hail a panga taxi and enjoy the view as you pass along the southern coast of Banderas Bay; likewise, the tour agency at Garza Blanca can organize a picturesque tour. As the wind blows through your hair and the palm peppered mountains pass you by, take a deep breath and prepare yourself for pure mental repose.