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How to Visit Yelapa From Puerto Vallarta Mexico

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Wondering how to visit Yelapa from Puerto Vallarta? Let me help you! I’ve been living in Puerto Vallarta for three years, and visiting Yelapa is one of my favorite things to do! I’ve been on many day trips to Yelapa, as well as long weekend stays.

If you’re looking for an escape from the city, Yelapa is the perfect place to go. It’s got beautiful hiking trails that lead to secluded waterfalls, unique accommodation options that immerse you in nature, and a gorgeous beachfront to soak in the Pacific Coast sunsets.

The overall vibe in Yelapa is wonderful; some say it’s Mexico’s last authentic beach town.

This guide has everything you need to know about getting to Yelapa from Puerto Vallarta, places to stay, and what to do in Yelapa once you’re there.

A group of enthusiastic tourists, clad in colorful life jackets, are joyfully paddling their kayaks against the backdrop of the turquoise waters of Yelapa Beach, creating a vibrant and energetic scene of exploration and adventure.


Don’t have time to read this guide? This all-inclusive mega yacht tour is the most fun way to visit Yelapa from Puerto Vallarta.

How to get to Yelapa Mexico

Yelapa is commonly mistaken as an island, but it’s actually connected to the mainland.

There aren’t any roads to Yelapa, so the only way to get from Puerto Vallarta to Yelapa is by tour, water taxi, (long) hike, or dirt bike (my friend rode his). But most people opt for a tour or water taxi!

Yelapa Tours from Puerto Vallarta

The easiest way to go on a Yelapa day trip from Puerto Vallarta is on one of these Yelapa tours.

Yacht to Yelapa from Puerto Vallarta

A group of enthusiastic tourists, clad in colorful life jackets, are joyfully paddling their kayaks against the backdrop of the turquoise waters of Yelapa Beach, creating a vibrant and energetic scene of exploration and adventure.

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 Stars (700+ reviews) | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  6 hours | ✅ Book it!

A great way to visit Yelapa is on this all-inclusive mega yacht. It’s one of the best catamaran tours in Puerto Vallarta!

This experience was the best part of our trip! The yacht was nice, the drinks kept coming and the service was impeccable – Erika (read more reviews)

You’ll go sailing through the Bay of Banderas, stopping at Playa Las Animas and Yelapa, where you’ll get the chance to swim in the Yelapa waterfalls and snorkeling in the turquoise water. While cruising, you’ll enjoy drinks from a premium open bar!

Majahuitas and Yelapa Tour

Majahuitas Beach Club welcomes visitors with its pristine white sand, swaying palm trees, and a tranquil atmosphere,

⭐️ RATING: 4.5/5 Stars (500+ reviews) | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 7 hours | ✅ Book it!

Another great option is this tour that takes you to both Majahuitas and Yelapa.

The first stop is at Yelapa, where you’ll have time to hike to the waterfall or relax on the beach.

In the afternoon, you’ll relax at Majahuitas Beah Club, where you’ll enjoy lunch and unlimited non-alcoholic beverages.

Surpassed expectations. The service was above and beyond. Everyone came around to make sure you had a drink when you wanted one and they were very punctual with all activities. – Elia (read more reviews)

Yelapa Water Taxi

A water taxi to yelapa from puerto vallarta , maneuvering gracefully through the ocean waves
A water taxi from Yelapa to Puerto Vallarta

There are public water taxis if you want to go on a day trip to Yelapa from Puerto Vallarta without a tour.

You can get a water taxi from Puerto Vallarta to Yelapa from Los Muertos Pier or from Boca Del Tomatlan. You can see the schedule here and book a ferry online here.

Bocas Del Tomatlan is a small town outside Puerto Vallarta, which you can reach by bus from Zona Romantica or a taxi/Uber.

The water taxis to Yelapa run more regularly from Boca Del Tomatlan, and the ride is shorter than from Los Muertos. The water taxi from Boca takes about 30 minutes.

Against the backdrop of the picturesque Boca region, a fleet of traditional fishing boats rests peacefully in the water
Boca de Tomatlan

There are some Puerto Vallarta to Yelapa water taxis that leave from Los Muertos Pier, but they run less frequently and are longer and more expensive (380 pesos round trip).

If you’re only visiting Yelapa for a day, make sure you get the last public boat back from Yelapa to Puerto Vallarta, which usually leaves around 5 (confirm with the water taxis when you get off). Otherwise, you will have to pay for a private Yelapa water taxi which is much more expensive.

We had to hire a private boat to take us back from Yelapa to Puerto Vallarta as we missed the last public water taxi, which we paid 220 USD for (and that was in 2021). It was a costly mistake, but having a private boat while the sun set over the city was an amazing ride!

It’s a nice boat ride, going along the edges of the southern part of Banderas Bay. It passes small beaches along the way, sometimes stopping to pick up other passengers.

Yelapa Puerto Vallarta hotels

You won’t find any 5-star resorts or big brand names in Yelapa, which is all part of the charm. Here are some suggestions on where to stay in Yelapa!

This one-bedroom holiday home is one of the more luxurious options, with gorgeous floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the sea, a flat-screen TV, a dining area, a fully equipped kitchen, and an outdoor patio.

Casa Visit Magica offers beautiful ocean-view apartments with hammocks to enjoy the breeze, comfortable bedrooms, and fantastic reviews.

We stayed at this Los Naranjos, which was an experience in itself. It’s about a 15-minute uphill walk from the beach, or you can take ATVs up there.

It’s set in a beautiful jungle setting, but the accommodation is rustic. The rooms don’t have walls, so it truly felt like we were living in the jungle. However, they do provide mosquito nets, and there are clean bathrooms with running water.

Nestled amidst the lush greenery of Yelapa, a rustic treehouse stands as a unique and charming accommodation option, where guests can embrace the tranquility of nature, savor the sweeping views of the verdant jungle, and experience the magical blend of comfort and rustic charm.
Los Naranjos, Yelapa

Find more accommodation options in Yelapa

Things to do in Yelapa

Yelapa is just a small fishing village, so don’t expect the same amount of activities you’ll find in Puerto Vallarta. Instead, immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Yelapa and reconnect with nature.

Yelapa Waterfall Puerto Vallarta

In the company of good friends, laughter fills the air as they gather by the captivating Yelapa waterfall, their carefree spirits blending harmoniously with the soothing sounds of cascading water

Yelapa is home to some of the best waterfalls near Puerto Vallarta.

There are a couple of Yelapa waterfalls that you can hike to. One is just 20 minutes from the pier, and you can easily walk to it by following the signs from Yelapa town.

If you get confused, ask any locals in town “cascada” which means waterfall, and they will point you in the right direction.

Yelapa town, with its colorful houses and beach and a sign pointing to the waterfall

I visited this waterfall at the end of May during the dry season, and it was pretty underwhelming as there wasn’t really any water, but I still enjoyed walking through the town and checking out the gorgeous street art.

There is a larger waterfall that takes about an hour to reach, which I recently had the chance to visit. It’s a beautiful spot to go swimming!

Lora's radiant smile reflects her pure joy and appreciation as she stands amidst the beauty of Yelapa, with the awe-inspiring waterfall gently blurred in the background

On my first trip to Yelapa, our group decided to go to an even further waterfall which was quite the adventure. It took us about 4 hours to get there with over nine river crossings, so I wouldn’t do this without a guide (we hired one from Los Naranjos).

While the hike was long, the falls were so wonderful to swim in once we got there. There was no one else around, and we were surrounded by a pristine jungle with macaws flying above.

We climbed up even further to the top of the waterfall, where there were beautiful small pools to swim in.

It took us even longer to get back due to a few wrong turns, so this was a 12-hour adventure!

Yelapa beach Puerto Vallarta

the sun gracefully dips below the horizon, casting a golden glow over the sandy shores of Yelapa's beach, with the tranquil waves gently lapping against the shore,

Yelapa feels like a secluded island, so one of the best things to do here is simply enjoying the Yelapa beach and unforgettable sunsets over the ocean.

There’s also a man who walks around with a giant iguana you can take photos with.

an iguana basks lazily under the warm rays of the Yelapa sun on the beach

Massages are also available on the beach, which is the perfect way to relax.

Yelapa Water activities

During the whale watching season (December to March), you can go whale watching from Yelapa, with great chances of spotting magnificent humpback whales.

The ocean is right there, so it’s a great place to go for a swim or kayak/paddleboard.

If you’re feeling like more adventure, you can also go paragliding in Yelapa for a birds-eye view over the ocean.

the idyllic Yelapa beach, with its pristine shores, photo framed by towering palm trees

With such beautiful water around the beach, Yelapa is also one of the best places to go snorkeling around Puerto Vallarta.

Yelapa Restaurants

There are a few restaurants on the beach where you can order food to enjoy. One unique thing about Yelapa is that the only businesses in town are locally run – you won’t find any chain restaurants here!

The seafood quality is fantastic as the restaurants buy it directly from the fisherman.

We ate at Yelapa Yacht Club after our hike, and the food was terrific. They also had some great live music.

Yelapa is famous for its beach pies, which local vendors sell along the beach for just a couple of dollars in the afternoon.

Yelapa Town

Perched gracefully on a vibrant set of stairs, Lora embraces the lively spirit of Yelapa

Yelapa is home to charming winding streets decorated with colorful flags and graffiti.

Take time to wander around, pet the friendly dogs, talk to the locals, and support the local shops.

There’s a cultural museum in Yelapa you can visit for only 50 pesos to learn more about the history of this town.

FAQ: Puerto Vallarta to Yelapa

How long is the boat ride from Puerto Vallarta to Yelapa?

The boat from Puerto Vallarta to Yelapa takes about 45 minutes to an hour if you leave from Los Muertos Pier or 20 to 30 minutes from Boca de Tomatlan. It varies depending on weather conditions.

How far is Yelapa from Puerto Vallarta?

Yelapa is located approximately 12 nautical miles (22 kilometers) southwest of Puerto Vallarta.

How to get from Puerto Vallarta to Yelapa?

To get from Puerto Vallarta to Yelapa, you can take a water taxi from Los Muertos Pier or go on a guided tour.

Where is Yelapa Mexico?

Yelapa is a charming fishing village on the southern coast of Banderas Bay in Mexico, accessible only by boat.

Is Yelapa worth visiting?

Yelapa is definitely worth visiting for its natural beauty, secluded beaches, waterfalls, and laid-back atmosphere. It offers a unique escape from the bustling city life of Puerto Vallarta.

How much is the water taxi from Puerto Vallarta to Yelapa?

The cost of a water taxi from Puerto Vallarta to Yelapa can vary, but it is typically around 400 pesos (20 USD) from Los Muertos Pier for a round-trip ticket.

Can you drive to Yelapa from Puerto Vallarta?

No, there are no roads for regular cars that connect Puerto Vallarta to Yelapa. The village is only accessible by boat, making water taxi or private boat charter the preferred mode of transportation.

Final thoughts: Yelapa Puerto Vallarta Jalisco

Yelapa, Mexico is a hidden gem that is well worth a visit for travelers in Puerto Vallarta.

With its picturesque beaches, stunning waterfalls, and serene atmosphere, Yelapa offers a perfect escape from bustling city life.

While you can visit Yelapa as a day trip from Puerto Vallarta, I recommend staying at least a night.

This secluded beach town is the perfect place to travel to unwind and enjoy Mexico’s pristine nature.

Planning a trip to Puerto Vallarta? Check out these posts!

yelapa from puerto vallata pin


  • Lora Pope

    Lora Pope is a travel content creator who’s been wandering solo for over a decade. In 2021, she moved to Puerto Vallarta and fell in love at first sight. After visiting 70+ countries, she decided to make it her base and now helps travelers like you make the most of your time in PV.

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  1. georgia says:

    This is so helpful I’m trying to plan a last minute trip there right now! How long would you stay is a long enough stay? We’re looking at a week.