Travel Stories

Paradise Found

I’ve written blogs before about disconnecting and detoxing from technology, I just didn’t know I was in for that kind of vacation.

Here’s the scene, we’d finally reached our vacation days and were set to spend a few days in Yelapa, a remote beach town inaccessible by cars. We had booked our accommodations in an oceanview cabin with a palapa roof, and I had plans of reading and blogging beachside, exploring the small town and eating some great food. We booked the night prior in a cute boutique hotel in Old Puerto Vallarta and were looking forward to a restful night before setting off to paradise. But wait…

The Virgin of Guadalupe Celebrations

Parade for the Virgen de Guadalupe

One the most iconic and important religious symbols of Mexico is the Virgin of Guadalupe (Virgen de Guadalupe). Celebrations in her honor occur on December 12th. This means, at midnight, the church bells go crazy and the people parade through the streets singing and playing music, then file into the church. It’s a beautiful tradition, however, you may want to bring earplugs if you plan on sleeping!

I do plan to write a post solely about the Virgen de Guadalupe and will link it to this page when I do!

Puerto Vallarta, I like You, I’m just not “In Love” with you.

I’ve yet to find a place in Mexico that I don’t find beauty in. Mexico is amazing and Puerto Vallarta is no exception. It’s beautiful, it’s full of friendly, warm people, but it’s also expensive and crowded. There are plenty of wonderful things it offers to travelers who don’t have unlimited time to explore, so don’t feel like you need to stay away.

Old Vallarta is awesome. There are loads of charming buildings and shops. There are amazing restaurants, taco stands, and artisans. Definitely wander into the old town market, and across the bridge. You’ll find beautiful hammocks, clothing, and souvenirs. It’s awesome!

We stayed in a cute hotel, close to the cathedral, called Catedral Vallarta Boutique Hotel. It was vibrant and colorful, the rooms clean and comfortable. From the courtyard, you have a view of the cathedral. It’s recommended, and the staff is wonderful.

I’m 100% spoiled by my experiences over the last 6 weeks, but while I liked Old Vallarta, and thoroughly enjoyed my time there, I spent months dreaming of beach time, so I was more than ready to hit the road!

Oh, hello. You must be Yelapa, AKA Paradise.

The next morning we woke early, showered, and went for a breakfast with some friends of Beto’s family. We had met last summer when I came to Mexico the first time. We had a nice breakfast and visit with them before hopping in a cab to Boca de Tomatlan.

Boca de Tomatlan

There are a few ways to get to Yelapa:

A) you can take a water taxi from Playa de Los Muertos in Puerto Vallarta. This is the busiest for tourists and costs about 170 pesos each way.

B) you can take a water taxi from Boca de Tomatlan. The ride is shorter, not as busy and costs about half.

C) you can take a day trip on a booze cruise with the cruise passengers and all-inclusive folk. No idea how much that costs, cuz it really ain’t my jam.

When we got to Yelapa, I was like…woah. There aren’t many other words for it, it’s just stunning. We checked into Hotel Lagunita in an oceanview cabin, though, I’d opt for the oceanfront next time. Right away we put on our swimsuits, grabbed our books and a couple of loungers beachfront. We ordered a couple of beers, some snacks, and jumped into the perfectly turquoise, clear, clean water. It was perfect, until…my book was terrible, and after taking a bunch of photos, my battery needed a charge and I realized I left the charger cable in the car!

So…digital detox it became.

It wasn’t terribly hard not having a cell phone for a few days. I took a few photos on Beto’s phone, read my terrible book until one was donated to me by a lovely couple we met from Vancouver. Thank you, Marcus & Brad.

I had gotten a bit sick the second day and pretty well sat on the beach for most of it. Tough life. If I could choose to be ill someplace, this wasn’t a bad option.

The third day we walked around the town, stopped for breakfast, met another nice couple from Oregon, and opted for more beach time. Beto had pretty well finished his book by now, and I was well into my donated one.

That night we had dinner at Los Abuelos, which I totally recommend. The food is great and apparently the best on the island. The service, as with all the places in Yelapa is great! (If you are a nice person).

Yelapa is great for a slow-paced, chill out vacation. If you’re into partying, it might not be your pace. If you’re looking to disconnect, it’s a fantastic place to do that. A few tips:

  • Bring earplugs – if you’re a light sleeper, and in case there is a group of party seekers, which we encountered. Sound travels across the water, so even in town, you might hear the music.
  • Bring your charger. Or don’t. You decide what kind of experience you want to have.
  • Roller suitcases don’t work well. We used a Patagonia duffel and a North Face duffel which were perfect. Pack light.
  • Come prepared. If you have a sensitive stomach, prepare for that. Same with headaches or other ailments. Yelapa is very small and does not have access to some things. Bring what you think you will need.
  • Bring a flashlight or use the one on your phone when walking into town at night. The paths are dark and uneven, and at some point, you may have to cross water. Be prepared for that!

Here comes the sun, after the rain.

We woke the next morning to a downpour, complete with a power outage. Our plan was to leave on an early water taxi, but with the weather, nothing ran until the rain stopped. We waited it out and around 11:30 am things the clouds parted.

I don’t wholeheartedly recommend taking a water taxi after a storm, it’s a very bumpy ride. Luckily, we made it back to Boca de Tomatlan and were all set to head to our next destination…Barra de Navidad.

Stay tuned!


2 thoughts on “Paradise Found”

  1. I have been to Yelapa and it is paradise. The quaint rustic charm of this village makes it perfect for a digital detox (either planned or inadvertent). I only did a day trip (cruise excursion) so I guess that qualified as a “booze cruise” although the bar became “open” when the catamaran broke down on the way back and we needed to be towed.


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