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Yelapa Beach, Mexico

Yelapa BeachView All Sizes

JOURNAL : October 15, 2005

Boat Trip to Remote Yelapa

Yelapa > Jalisco > Mexico

Series Boat Trip to Remote Yelapa

Yelapa is an isolated bay along the southern rim of huge Banderas Bay which nests Puerto Vallarta in its apex. To get to Yelapa you can either hack through the jungle of El Refugio for 15 miles, or take a scenic boat ride along the tropical coast.

Yelapa Bay

Approaching Yelapa Bay

Boats near Puerto Vallarta, before departing to Yelapa

Boca de TomatlanView All Sizes

Boca de Tomatlan

Boats depart frequently to Yelapa from Boca de Tomatlan, which is a brief 15-minute drive south from Puerto Vallarta. Boats return from Yelapa return regularly in the late afternoon, or you can stay the night at the Hotel Lagunita.

Falls near Yelapa, Mexico

Waterfall, Yelapa, Jalisco, MexicoView All Sizes

Rio Mismaloya in El Eden, near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Rio Mismaloya

From Sayulita to Yelapa

We were staying in Sayulita for a few months and decided to check out Yelapa. On this day we bundled into the car and drove south to Boca de Tomatlan. Along the way we passed the weatherworn Los Arcos rock formations just offshore and Mismaloya, entrance to El Eden Ecological Reserve.

Los Arcos, Rock Formations near Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico

Los Arcos

The 20-minute boat ride from Boca de Tomatlan to Yelapa along the sparsely inhabited coast was truly amazing. Ancient grey rock formations thrust out of the sea, adding vintage to the primal tropical jungle valleys crowned with pristine beaches.

Boats in Yelapa Bay, Mexico

Yelapa Bay, MexicoView All Sizes

Yelapa Bay

Upon our arrival at the mouth of Yelapa Bay the captain pointed out a huge stingray swimming around the boat. Once in awhile its wingtips would breach the surface and it appeared to have a wingspan of about 6 feet.

Robin with an Iguana

Robin & Iguana

The first stop is at the main beach. Then we decided to hike up to a waterfall on the southern side of the valley. A scenic hike leads up to the waterfall and a refreshing natural pool where we swam for awhile.

My sister Robin bribed a local boy to borrow his iguana for the picture here.

A catamaran sits out in front of the restaurant and cabanas on Yelapa Beach, Jalisco, Mexico.

Cabanas on Yelapa BeachView All Sizes

Yelapa Bay

Hangin' Out on Yelapa Beach

Afterwards we trekked down through a winding village walkway to the sea again and took a boat back to the main beach. Just about everyone gets around by walking or boating it seems. The remaining time we laid on the beach under a palapa and ate lobster. We got a little exploring time in, but mostly this was a relaxing pleasure trip. Yelapa is a pretty sweet spot.

Yelapa Beach, Mexico

Popular Activity in Yelapa

This is the thing which created the reservoir called Shasta Lake. Before they put this thing in here there was a town called Kennett and lots of land occupied by the Winnemem Wintu indians. Shasta Dam generates a big wad of electricity for millions of people, helps irrigate vast tracts of land and provides flood control for the Sacramento River.

Shasta Dam

Mt. Starr King is a huge granite dome clearly visible from Glacier Point.

Mt. Starr King

The restaurant and grassy grounds of Butchart Gardens

Butchart Gardens

Yangshuo Park

Yangshuo Park

Villefranche sur Mer on the Cote d’Azur

Saint Jean Cap Ferrat

Camp sites and facilities at Hodgdon Meadow. The sites were fairly close together and lacked privacy. The forest area was a tad on the boring side but the namesake Hodgdon Meadow is a short walk away. This campground has the distinction of being open all year while the choice locations are only open during Summer.

Hodgdon Meadow Camp

Full View of the Flavian Amphitheater, Rome, Italy

Coliseum of Rome

Beautiful Sunset from Mokuleia Beach, Oahu, Hawaii


Beautiful Waimea Bay and Beach on the North Shore of Oahu, with the rock in the foreground.

Waimea Bay

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Looking southeast along the coast towards Monterey Bay from the shops near Cannery Row.

Monterey Bay Coast

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Waimea Canyon