Yelapa (Yeh – La -Pa) was probably first populated by a some Native Americans of the tribe that originated in the ancient circular town of Tenacatitlan, 100 miles north, as they migrated south to eventually form Mexico City and become the Aztec empire.
The word means ‘gathering place’ or ‘meeting place’ and, although it lies on the same latitude as Hawaii, has been likened to Tahiti.
The road south of Puerto Vallarta does not go all the way around the bay but cuts inland at Boca de Tomatlan. To get to Yelapa you must take a boat from Boca de Tomatlan or Los Muertos beach. Yelapa can also be reached by mountain bike or hiking down from Chacala, high in the mountains behind the village. There are also daily cruise boats that drops tourists off for about two hours.
Take the Boca/Mismaloya bus from the Bus Southbound stop on Basilio Badillo (see Map) 8 pesos, when you get off the bus walk down to the beach (use insect repellent on your legs, lots of no-see-um’s on this beach), there you will find people waiting for a water taxi and a gentleman selling tickets, better to pay on the boat, to Yelapa 90 pesos. from the pier to your right. From Boca de Tomatlan, the water taxi leaves about every 1 hour see Schedule
Be aware that the last water taxi back to Puerto Vallarta leaves around 5:00 PM (to Boca) – miss it and you stay the night!
Tip: If you want to spend all day and avoid the crowds of tourist who arrive on the large boat around noon, leave boca early, 9 AM, and around 11:30 AM – or wait till you see the tour boats coming – hike up the river where there’s a nice waterfall and swimming pool, all the tourists will go to the little one behind the village. Time your return to 2:30 PM and the boats will have left.
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