On Day 3 we took a water taxi to Yelapa, a town of 900 people, and spent time at the waterfall and beach there.
We woke up earlier today at 8am to get to Los Muertos Pier. We were supposed to take the 10am water taxi to Yelapa, but it did not come pick us up until 10:30am. Trips departing Zona Romantica to Yelapa were at 10am, 11am and 12pm. There was only one trip back per day at 4pm. Water taxi tickets cost 320 pesos per person.
The one-hour ride to Yelapa in the speed boat was very windy! Even though it wasn’t cold, I would recommend a wind breaker or a secure hat with chin strap if you get sea sick easily since the wind can be difficult if you’re not used to it.
Yelapa is a town of 900 people that has become a popular side destination for tourists visiting Puerto Vallarta. When we arrived, we walked for 10 minutes to the waterfall. Online I read that it was a hike to the waterfall, but I would simply call it a walk. Feel free to wear sandals because it was not strenuous at all. The waterfall is quite short, but there is a shallow pool right underneath for people to take photos at its base.
The rest of the group took the boat back to the main beach area, but we opted to do the 15-minute walk and saw a high up view of the beach. It was gorgeous.
Based on how the tickets were sold, we were under the assumption that we had only paid for transportation to Yelapa (not a tour) and were free to do what we wanted on the island. However, that was not really the case. When we reached the beach, we were basically yelled at by the water taxi tour guide to only stay at the restaurant he had booked. There were a few restaurants on the beach and each had lounge chairs and umbrellas on the sand. We never asked him to book a restaurant and all passengers of the boat were notified by him after we got on that he had made this booking without inquiring if we needed one.
We didn’t even have the opportunity to look at other restaurant menus and make a choice because he kept yelling for us to come back to his designated area, which was annoying. In the end, because we were on vacation and just wanted a relaxing time, we decided not to argue and just sat down. I suppose there was some unspoken rule that you must stay at a certain restaurant/area depending on which water taxi you came in.
The restaurant we were forced to stay at was called Oasis. We ordered some food and settled in. It was comfortable to sit under the shade in the warm temperature and listen to the sound of waves. As it got later into the afternoon, there was the smell of petrol from the speed boats that were coming on shore (there was no dock by the restaurant side of the beach.)
I brought my own snorkeling gear and went swimming for a bit. I couldn’t see much though because the water was pretty murky and there were no fish near the shore. We stayed until 4pm for the only boat ride back to Los Muertos pier.
In the evening, we had dinner at an Italian restaurant called Florios that had great reviews on Yelp. It was a rather dimly lit restaurant, but there was an intentional square gap in the ceiling that let in natural light. The weather was so good there all year round that they could have a hole in the ceiling! We enjoyed a satisfying meal of freshly made pizza and headed back to the hotel.