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Yelapa Beach and Quimixto: 2 Hidden Treasures Near Puerto Vallarta

  • Joel CZ 
  • 8 min read
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The beautiful natural hideaways of Yelapa and Quimixto, Mexico, are located in Jalisco, very close to Puerto Vallarta.

These two towns blend perfectly with nature and are ideal for getting rid of stress and disconnecting from the rest of the world.

Everything in Yelapa and Quimixto involves adventure. From the moment you get on the boat, you will feel the adrenaline of an experience like no other.

I will talk about Yelapa first and then Quimixto down below.

Yelapa Mexico has been my home for the past five years. So I will share the highlights and most popular things to do and see. Keep reading!

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

yelapa beach mexico
“Los Muertos” pier in Puerto Vallarta – Source: Elena Berd / shutterstock.com

The boat ride from Puerto Vallarta to Yelapa is roughly 45 minutes.

Given that you leave from the Los Muertos pier in the Romantic Zone and the ocean conditions are nice.

If you take the water taxi from Boca de Tomatlan, the ride is 30 minutes.

Is there a road to Yelapa?

Yes, there is a road to Yelapa. However, it’s not in good shape and requires a good truck and like 3 hours or so.

In the following map, I have marked where Quimixto and Yelapa are. Also, the blue line shows you the driving route from Puerto Vallarta to Yelapa.

The most convenient and fastest way to get to Yelapa is by boat.

Remember that this dirt road travels across a good portion of the mountains (you will need to drive through el Tuito to get there).

If you’re adventurous, go ahead and drive. It’s a wonderful experience.

Top things to do in Yelapa Mexico

yelapa beach mexico
This is the town waterfall (not the 45-minute hike one) – Source: Nailotl / Shutterstock.com

Visit the Yelapa Waterfalls

Yelapa is a small village in the jungle between mountains, sea, and rivers.

There are two waterfalls in Yelapa: One in town and the other about 45 minutes hiking up the river.

The “Cathedral falls” or “La Cascada del Paso” are two nicknames for this gorgeous waterfall. About 45 minutes from town.

You can get there on foot, or the most popular way among visitors is renting a horse. It’s beautiful.

Enjoy the beach

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Source: JackKPhoto / Shutterstock.com

The main beach in Yelapa is quite large and offers several options to spend the day.

You can choose from the many restaurant-beach clubs that offer all the necessary amenities to have a perfect beach day.

There’s also a good selection of water activities such as paragliding, parasailing, paddleboards, kayaks, banana ride, etc.

Stroll through town

Again, Yelapa Mexico is a small fishing village with about 1000 inhabitants.

Its charming little cobblestone streets will make you feel like you are in another era.

You can admire the local architecture, which is quite interesting. Also, there are several shops for you to buy nice souvenirs to take back home.

What are the best hotels near Yelapa Beach?

There are several lodging options in Yelapa for all budgets. Since it’s a relatively small town, the location of any of them is always good.

Remember that Yelapa doesn’t have the classic big resorts you see elsewhere.

They’re more like privately owned rental homes and condos.

I will list the best places to spend the night in Yelapa so you don’t have to rush and leave immediately.

Check them out and decide which one fits you best:

Is there surfing in Yelapa?

There is no surfing in Yelapa due to its location.

However, there’s a small town about 15 minutes away by boat where you can surf called Quimixto. Read more below.

yelapa beach mexico
Sipping blackberry Margaritas on the beach at Sirena Morena Yelapa

There are several good restaurants in Yelapa with different cuisines.

For Breakfast, my favorite spot is Cafe Bahia, right on the pier. Another good breakfast place is Cafe Eclipse in the heart of town.

If you like pizza, go to Sirena Morena on the beach. They serve the best drinks and their pizza is one of the best I’ve had.

For lunch, most restaurants are along the main beach. But if you want to stay in town, Cafe Bahia also serves delicious lunch.

El Pescador is also a good lunch option in town and serves fresh seafood. Ceviche, aguachile, octopus, shrimp cocktails, etc.

Dinner restaurants are primarily in town, except for Sirena Morena on the beach (the pizza place I was telling you about).

My top 3 restaurants for dinner:

  • Los Abuelos: Their specialties are the Baja-style fish and seafood tacos
  • Pollo Bollo: If you love grilled chicken and bbq ribs, this is the place
  • Tacos y Mas: Traditional Mexican tacos and other goodies. Nice and cozy environment
A photo album of friends and me in Yelapa Beach and the mountains

Is there an ATM in Yelapa Mexico?

There are no ATMs in Yelapa, so bringing enough cash for your expenses is essential.

Nevertheless, most hotels and restaurants (on the beach only) accept credit cards.

U.S. dollars are also accepted everywhere. Just makes sure you know what the correct exchange rate is.

Quimixto Beach

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Source: Xinalani Boutique Hotel in Quimixto

Now, it’s time to talk about Quimixto. A particular beach town with calm waves and a medium slope.

It has restaurants, souvenir stores, and tourist service businesses such as horseback riding, waterfall tours, and boat rides.

This is Quimixto beach, another beautiful coastal village in the State of Jalisco.

A beautiful coastal sanctuary like few others, it has clean and crystalline beaches, magnificent for scuba diving and other variants.

Quimixto is a trendy beach located between Majahuitas and Las Animas, where the La Puerta River flows into the southwest of Banderas Bay.

Like Yelapa, Quimixto can be reached by water taxi from Boca de Tomatlán, in a 20-minute transfer, or from the pier at Playa de Los Muertos, a 35-minute ride.

Another way to get to Quimixto beach is aboard one of the several cruise ships that roam around Puerto Vallarta.

Best things to do in Quimixto

yelapa and quimixto beach
The Quimixto waterfall

Quimixto is home to a medium-grain sandy beach, of narrow extension, at most 25 meters wide and 600 meters long. It usually has a calm swell.

There are small restaurants where local seafood and Mexican dishes are served. These are rustic and delicious.

The crystalline waters of Quimixto are highly valued by diving and snorkeling enthusiasts.

One of Quimixto’s most popular tourist attractions is a beautiful waterfall located a mile inland along the La Puerta River.

There is a horse rental service for those not willing to complete that distance on foot, equivalent to a 30-minute walk. However, during the rainy season, caution should be taken with the currents present in the waterfall.

Another aspect of great interest (for bird lovers) is the diversity of land and marine birds that live there, such as parrots, macaws, seagulls, herons, pelicans, and river ducks.

The surrounding hills abound with badgers, iguanas, raccoons, parrots, opossums, and with a little good luck, a deer or ocelot.

This beach in Jalisco is a magnificent place to take panoramic photos, buy souvenirs and beach articles, rest, and find maximum relaxation.

Strolling along the long beach incites peace, introspection, and relaxation. Pollution is non-existent in Quimixto, and the waters are warm and turquoise.

Surf in Quimixto

This little village is also a sanctuary for surfing, especially in the season from October to April.

There are small surf tournaments held on this beach regularly.

It is perfect for beginners since the waves are relatively small.

However, if you’re looking for more challenging waves, you should go to Sayulita.

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