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Yelapa Jalisco Travel Guide


Where to Stay - Click here for price key

Most of the places to stay in Yelapa are lodgings built by foreigners on Mexican land and rented by the day or week. Prices are about 25 to 35 percent less in the low season (May through end of October or mid-November); some owners require a 2-night minimum stay. Amenities are mainly basic but the croak and roar of the bugs and beasties at night is fantastic. There’s lots of information about the various casitas for rent at www.yelapa.info or www.palapainyelapa.com.

La Lagunita ($$, north end of bay; tel. 322/209-5055, www.hotel-lagunita.com) has clean but rustic rooms overlooking the bay. There’s a restaurant and funky swimming pool, and massage is offered.

Deluxe digs are available by previous reservation only at glamourous Verana ($$$, tel. 800/728-9098 in the US or Canada, 01800/508-7923 in Mexico; www.mexicoboutiquehotels.com). Cost is $340 to $420 per couple plus 15% tax. The eight rooms overlook the bay from a hill above it. This is a popular place for a romantic and isolated honeymoon, with Watsu pool and swimming pool, library and full-service spa. Closed in rainy season.

Humble but hospitable Yelapa Retreat ($$, Domicilio Conocido; tel. 388/209-5246, www.yelaparetreat.com) has palapa rooms with swaying beds hanging from ropes amid the jungly jungle. This property is geared toward groups (look for yoga and writing groups in the winter months), and shut down for the most part during the height of the rainy season.On the 4-acre property is a small pond kept full and clean by a waterfall during the rainy season. Bring your instrument and jam with Jarrett, the owner, who plays the sax.

Where to Eat - Click here for price key

Of the beachfront restaurants, we recommend the ones on the south end, which are more geared to locals and expats and therefore cheaper and somewhat friendlier. Cocos offers beer for 15 pesos (the others charge 20) and has a great taco plate. All of the following restaurants serve reasonably priced meals from $5 to $15.

Passion Flower Gardens (Calle Palmeras 5, tel. 322/209-5003) is run by a American lady, April Jones, and open all year long for dinner, Mondays and Thursdays only. Monday movie night is generally packed; Thursdays expats and locals come for the yummy Italian food. April serves three or four dishes each time, including one vegetarian option. Entrees cost 65 to 100 pesos. The bar serves beer, wine and mixed drinks, excelling in passion flower juice cocktails. The baked goods and desserts are recommended as well.

Overlooking the river on the north side of the footbridge, El Manguito (Colonia El Paso, tel. 322/386-0071) is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner but closed between noon and 1PM and again between 4 and 5. Owners Luis and Angelica serve juices, sodas and spirts as well as fish, beef and chicken, lobster or just chips and salsa. It’s a simple outdoor affair.

La Lagunita (see hotels, above), on the north end of the bay, has a restaurant right on the beach serving the usual items for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Getting There

By car: There is a rutted, rocky road to Yelapa but you'll need a four-wheel drive vehicle with high clearance and ideally, a local guide, as the road changes along with the weather. Travel first to El Tuito (about an hour south of PV), and then continue on a dirt road to Chacala (1 1/2 hours) and from there another 45 minutes to Yelapa.

By bus: Sorry, out of luck.

By boat: Bingo! Water taxis connect PV and Yelapa several times a day. The cost is about 60 pesos one way from Boca de Tomatlán, 120 from the pier at Los Muertos Beach and 200 from the small pier next to the Hotel Rosita, at the north end of the Malecón. Here’s a breakdown of the usual schedule, although skiffs at Boca will wait until the following hour if there aren’t enough passengers. It’s best to leave early for your day at Yelapa rather than later. If your plans are not flexible, double check the schedule in advance. There’s usually just one boat from Los Muertos Pier, at 10:30, during the low season (approximately June through November). You can purchase them ahead of time at this location. Buy a one-way or round-trip ticket.

Yelapa Water Taxi Schedule
Time Departs From Notes
10:30, 11AM.; 4 and 4:30PM Los Muertos Pier Stops at Boca and other beaches like Las Animas as needed (Fewer departures in low season)
11:30AM & noon (Mon.--Sa.) Hotel Rosita beach Stops at Los Muertos Pier if there are customers
9, 10, 11, 1, 2, 3 daily 4PM (Mon.--Sa.) Boca de Tomatlán Makes stops at other towns & beaches as required (Less often if few passengers)

March, 2008