Adiós, Yelapa!


So, Yelapa … it’s a small fishing village located a very uncomfortable, 45-55-minute boat ride from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. I wish I could tell you what hides within its jungles, behind the trees. I wish I could tell you about the beautiful waterfall that waits patiently for intrepid travelers to discover it. I even wish I could explain the joy and relaxation that come from reclining on a chair, just soaking in the sun and the endless, turquoise and sapphire blue waters of the Pacific Ocean as the waves lazily and rhythmically lap the white sand of the beach at Yelapa.

I wish I could. And it’s not that words fail; not that the undeniable marvelousness of the village is too wonderful to be described. But instead, I can’t tell you about any of these things because I am a complete idiot who doesn’t know how to read a boat schedule.

Allow me to explain.

One sunny morning in Puerto Vallarta, my husband and I woke up early, looked over our plans for the day – namely, nothing besides a sunset cruise at 5pm – and decided to go to Yelapa.

We rushed to the water taxi for the 10am departure, took our seats and then realized it was a very long and jerky boat ride. And I do not, I repeat, do not, like boats. Well, I like sailboats – and fishing boats, so long as they are a canoe or a rowboat. But small motor boats? No, thank you.

The scenery was beautiful, sure, but for approximately five minutes. And then, it was simply the same scenery, for basically forever. Finally, after multiple attempts by other holiday makers to ask us the same infuriating questions, “Where y’all from? Where y’all stayin’? How many days you spending here?” we finally made it to Yelapa.

And it was gorgeous. I mean, unbelievably lovely: lush, green jungle and terraced hills, and dark, brooding mountains. Clear blue sky, white sparkling sand and water so blue and green and glittering that it looked like a computer screensaver. We were ready for our hike to the waterfall! We were told there was an old woman near there who made pie! PIE! Someone said in a hushed voice that this pie was the stuff of legends. Reverence immediately fell over the company of Americans assembled on the boat. Legendary pie, mystical jungle waterfalls and this fairytale beach? It was almost too much. A holy moment, indeed.

And then, in heavily accented English, the captain announced his customary spiel, recommending “the bar over there” that is owned by his son, and “the parasailing over here” that is run by his nephew, and then … then he informed us that the boats return to Puerto Vallarta at … wait for it … noon and four.

That’s it. Those are the only scheduled times.

It was now 11:10am. Our fancy, already-paid-for sunset cruise was at 5pm. We hadn’t showered, which meant that, with travel time, our only option was to literally get right back on the boat and go back, or miss the cruise.

No waterfalls. No horseback riding. No soaking up the sun in a tiny fishing village. No PIE.

So, as I said, I would love to sing you the praises of Yelapa. It would give me the greatest pleasure. But, I can’t. Because I was only offered the most painful tease of Yelapa before I had to get back on the boat of discomfort and drift back toward Puerto Vallarta.

Did I mention that I hate boats?


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