On a recent trip to LA I was asked to join a group of friends on a trip to Mexico. Yelapa they said. “Sure” I said! “Where” I thought!? After a little research I discovered Yelapa, Mexico is a beach town in Cabos Corrientes, Jalisco Mexico and I couldn’t wait to explore it! The village lies in the southernmost cove of the world’s seventh largest bay, Bahia de Banderas…bring it on!
After a 2.35 hour flight from LA to Puerto Vallarta located on the west side of Mexico we boarded a water taxi. The speedboat ride between Puerto Vallarta and Yelapa from one end of Banderas Bay to the other takes 45 minutes. Book your ride the same time you book your flight so they can link up timings. Getting a water taxi out of Yelapa is as easy as asking one of the locals, everyone knows every one in this 2000 person town.
By the time we hit the water it was dark, the stars were out in full force and the insanely bright moon lit our way. The temperature was set to perfect as we rode the calm ocean with the sound track of whales puffing through their blow holes. Dreamy much!
Arriving at Yelapa at night was gorgeous and daylight certainly did not disappoint. I woke up to a stunning beach scattered with little traditional restaurants and bars. Deckchairs and umbrella’s lined the golden sand and the water looked delicious!
Our home for the next few days was Hotel Lagunita a collection of fantastic yet humble thatched bungalows. A mosquito net and fan are it as far as luxuries go but I surrendered to it and got my “island vibe” on and couldn’t be happier with the simplicity and village type atmosphere not to mention falling asleep to the sound of the ocean. The nearest restaurant is only a few steps from the bungalows. I went to bed each night dreaming of slipping into my bikini and sarong planting myself on a table with the sand at my feet, chatting to the friendly staff and digging into my breakfast burrito, coffee and freshly squeezed OJ.
As the day unravelled not much changed at all except I changed coffee and OJ to a cold beer and later delicious margaritas. I developed an addiction to fish taco’s, I’m not sure if I was wrapped up in the moment but nothing had ever tasted so good! It escaladed my love for Mexican food to a whole new level.
Four days into my little trip and so many adventures under my belt along with too many burritos and margaritas. I completely settled into the laid-back environment and was on a first name basis with most of the bar and restaurant staff even the local iguana “Pedro”. I could see why the likes of Denis Hopper and Bob Dylan would find refuge in chilled out Yelapa before only recently more mainstream traveler started to visit.
Although there is enough to keep you entertained on the beach for more adventure you can take a walk up through the village. There are some restaurants you can eat at for a truly Mexican experience or simply soak up the village life and meet the friendly locals. If this is still not enough you an arrange a trip to the Marietas Islands (a bird sanctuary) a deep sea fishing trip, a horse back tour to the stunning waterfalls and swimming holes up the river or arrange a boat excursion to one of the gorgeous secluded beaches not far from Yelapa which is actually situated in the southernmost cove of the world seventh largest Bay. Again just ask any of the locals to point you in the right direction or your hotel can help you.
Most of the local establishments don’t accept credit cards so make sure you’re cashed up before you get there. While it can be an inconvenience it does add to the humble basic charm of the village. There are also only a couple of spots with wifi, which is also refreshing as not every second person is on their phone. Yelapa certainly encourages you to relax and enjoy the experience of total laid back friendly beachside bliss.