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Yelapa: Jalisco’s Hidden Beach

Yelapa: Jalisco’s Hidden Beach

Central America, Mexico

You guys know that last NYE I went to Puerto Vallarta with my family. And it was unsurprisingly beautiful and fun. But have you heard of the deliciously blue beaches of Yelapa?

After a week of intense family activities, I think all of us were ready for a break. We wanted to go to a beach not swarming with tourists and vendors where we could just relax. I thumbed through my parent’s guidebook until I came across Yelapa. An old-time fishing village only accessible by water with a chill hike to a waterfall. I was sold instantly.


Excited about the beach, getting to Yelapa was an excuse to walk out on Los Muertos Pier which sticks out of the shoreline of Puerto Vallarta. The Pier resembles a giant white sail except it flits through neon colors at night. You can’t miss it. We bought water taxi tickets, grabbed lunch, and set out for the afternoon.

The water taxi to Yelapa is rough. If you’re prone to motion sickness, swallow a Dramamine and grab a seat at the back of the boat if you don’t want to be tossed around and get soaked. If you have camera equipment, I also recommend pulling out a dry bag.

But the trip is worth it for the sugary-white beaches that greet you at the end of your voyage. The only people going in and out of Yelapa are your fellow passengers on the water taxi. Compared to the crowds at Puerto Vallarta, you’ll feel like you have this slice of shoreline to yourself.


We personally only had 2ish hours so we dragged some lawn chairs down to the shoreline where we could sun-tan. The tide was coming in so cold water lapped up to our chairs.

Just as a warning-it’s pretty much impossible to get access to the beach in Puerto Vallarta without paying for it somehow. Hotels cover the beachfront with lawn chairs only accessible to guests. The remaining shore hosts an array of restaurants. Yelapa is no different so although we were laying out on the beach, we had to order from the cabana.yelapa

However, Puerto Vallarta is home to the region of Jalisco, Mexico. AKA home of tequila. So, my family had no qualms about slurping down frozen margaritas in exchange for beach access. I believe we also ordered ceviche and guacamole prepped with the freshest veggies around.

All this being said, Yelapa is considerably more chill and laid-back than Puerto Vallarta. There’s less tourists competing for space, only one restaurant, and almost no vendors trying to sell things to you. However, even this respite didn’t save me from an iguana being dropped into my lap for a charged photo. Whatever. Worth it.


If you’re planning a trip to Puerto Vallarta, squeeze in time for an afternoon or day in Yelapa. It’s a great complimentary outing to a morning activity, such as whale watching. And your friends back home will have some serious Instagram envy. Can I say #wanderlust?

Things to know: Yelapa is only accessible by water taxi and takes about a half-hour to get there.

You can purchase your tickets at Los Muertos Pier for 320 pesos round trip.

Taxis leave Puerto Vallarta hourly from 10am-6pm.

Taxis leave Yelapa 7:45am-5pm.

This website has more info on water taxi times.

Is Puerto Vallarta on your list?? Have you heard of or been to Yelapa?

About the author

Vegetarian foodie and tree hugger over here. I've got all the blog tips on traveling sustainably. So follow along for epic hikes, savory food, and all around ethical travel.

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