Take a Panga to Yelapa!
There are people who ask if Mexico is safe. It’s a question that actually upsets a lot of locals and residents here in this relatively peaceful country. Yes, there are problems, just as there are in our extremely divided neighbor to the north. However, there is very little danger to anyone visiting Mexico City, or Puerto Vallarta, or the little village of Yelapa, which we are going to promote to you in this blog.
There was much press given recently to a family’s death in Tulum, on the east coast of Mexico. It took days to find out they had died from accidental gas poisoning, but not until the news had a heyday speculating on all sorts of reasons for their sad and tragic demise. This seems to be the norm for media attention to Mexico, including Puerto Vallarta, where some criminals may come to hide and yet are always apprehended.
Smarter Travel, a popular website for those who enjoy moving around the globe and discovering new and exciting places, last month declared Yelapa one of thirteen safest places in all of Mexico. A short ride from Puerto Vallarta in an open boat called a panga, Smarter Travel makes the claim that Yelapa is “Mexico’s last authentic beach town.” Though that may be a slight exaggeration, it certainly holds an amount of truth, enough to make it worth at least a day trip to form your own opinion. It’s not only the great seafood and beaches; the prices in Yelapa are not inflated like a lot of other exotic destinations. You can also find accommodations that won’t break your bank.
The best place to hitch a ride in a delightful panga (which is simply a large open skiff, flat-bottomed, with several rows of sturdy seats) is down by the pier in Old Town Puerto Vallarta. If you don’t see the signs, ask anyone in the beachside restaurants and they will gladly guide you to a vendor who will secure your passage. If it’s a daytrip you plan, we recommend purchasing round trip tickets and making sure to note the time the boat leaves to head back to Puerto Vallarta. Not that it would be awful to be stuck in this charming little village overnight. There are a growing number of small boutique hotels, guest homes and Airbnb’s.
Traveling both to and from Yelapa, your chance of seeing whale, dolphin, manta ray and other exciting sea life is well documented. Other lovely sites are the beach boys who assist the captain and give more seats to tourists by hanging off the side of the panga while underway. They help passengers with luggage and embarkation.
If spending the night, bring a flashlight. Though electricity came to Yelapa a few years ago, the jungle gets very dark once the sun goes down. Pathways leading to restaurants, the ever famous Yacht Club and abodes are not well lit.
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Thanks to our Guest Blogger Adam Garcia for this great article!
About Vacation Villas of Mexico Founder, Vanessa Cole
The founder of the company, Vanessa Cole, lived in Puerto Vallarta for 10 years and in Cancun for 2 years. She has worked in Luxury Vacation Villa Rentals since 2001.
Originally from San Antonio, Texas, Vanessa earned a degree from the University of Texas in Austin, majoring in International Business and Latin American Studies. Fluent in Spanish, she has worked and traveled all over Mexico and South America.