Imagine a morning snorkeling the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean followed by wading into a cold waterfall on a brutally hot day before sitting under an umbrella looking out at the near-perfect water of a quiet fishing village. Taking a Yelapa day trip with Vallarta Adventures from Puerto Vallarta made these experiences possible.
I know there really aren’t any truly “hidden” fishing villages in tropical locations anymore. In my mind, pretty much every secluded beach and seaside paradise has been discovered. And many times, those secluded spots cater to the tourist trade so heavily that they end up being overrun. But on my Yelapa day trip earlier this summer, what we discovered was a quiet village sitting on a beautiful piece of sand and rock at the base of the mountains that lead to the Pacific Ocean.
Yelapa turned out to be one of those beautiful spots that photographs and postcards don’t completely do it justice.
But before we were cooling off in the waterfall above the village, we were snorkeling in the Pacific, somewhere between Puerto Vallarta and Yelapa.
Our cruise left the Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, harbor about 9 a.m. and immediately headed south, adjacent to the city’s shore. We enjoyed a light breakfast onboard while watching the shore pass by.
About an hour later we found ourselves stepping off the back of the boat for a snorkeling adventure around these beautiful rock formations.
This was my first time to snorkel, so I was a tad nervous before stepping off the back of the boat. But once I did and discovered how easy it was to breathe through the snorkel, I was off to explore the world below. At first, we didn’t spot many fish. But as we swam closer to the rocks a colorful world of sea life presented itself below.
Even with the occasional stings of mosquito jellyfish, I loved this snorkel adventure. The stings weren’t bad; it was pretty much like a pesky mosquito bite, but without the constant itching that follows.
Once we were back on the boat and on our way toward Yelapa, we were served a sandwich and fruit buffet as we motored closer to the village.
And as soon as we rounded the corner, beautiful Yelapa presented itself in all its glory.
Once we arrived, we had two choices: head straight to the beach or walk up the path to the top of the village where a cold waterfall awaited. And considering how hot the midday sun was, most of the group chose the waterfall.
After about a 15-minute walk up the path, we arrived at the waterfall where we all had time to get in and enjoy the cold mountain stream water.
After getting out, we headed down the path back through the village toward the beach. The carless streets were quiet.
But I wasn’t here to enjoy the beautiful village streets. It was time to get to the beach where chairs and umbrellas next to the shore awaited.
The water was great for a dip, but a word of warning is in order. The beach isn’t a gradual walk out into the ocean. I walked a few yards before the ocean floor quickly headed down.
But as long as you can swim, this water is perfect for cooling off.
Afterwards, I found some of the best raw oysters I’ve had in my life, all with a dash of fresh coconut water splashed on for good measure.
There are some little lodging units on the north side of the harbor, so anyone wanting a truly secluded Mexican beach getaway might find it in Yelapa. I’m glad we only visited for a few hours because Puerto Vallarta has so much to offer visitors. So anyone looking to find a Pacific Ocean paradise for a shorter visit, a Yelapa day trip might be a great option.
We not only enjoyed a couple of hours relaxing at Yelapa, we had the opportunity to snorkel, and enjoy food, snacks and drinks with some crazy entertainment on a fun cruise along the shore.
I was a guest of the Puerto Vallarta tourism board. As an unbiased journalist with more than 15 years’ experience in the industry, all opinions here are my own.