Discover Yelapa: A Boat Adventure in Mexico’s Hidden Gem!

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The quaint village of Yelapa, Mexico is accessible only by boat and is a site that should be on your bucket list. One great way to get there is to book an all-inclusive boat trip that will take you across the Bay of Banderas to Yelapa.

Collage of pictures of Yelapa, Mexico.

My family and I booked a tour through Chica Locca Tours which offers guests all-inclusive boat adventures at an affordable price. Their tours are a fantastic way to explore the Bay of Banderas and to discover off-the-beaten-path gems. Trust me.

You won’t regret spending your day on one of their boats, exploring the beautiful scenery and wildlife in Puerto Vallarta. They offer various different tour options that you can choose from depending on what type of experience you’re looking for! It’s all-inclusive so there is no need for any additional payments once onboard.

Boats at a marina in Mexico.

I booked a trip on Chica Locca‘s Chica 55ft Yacht VIP for my husband, son, and myself. We weren’t the only passengers and that was okay. 

The first thing that I noted when we boarded is that we all had to remove our shoes.  Pretty smart.  It keeps debris off of the boat and also sets the laid-back cruise vibe.

Boat Amenities

Guests aboard the yacht start off with a plate of fruit and pastries for a light breakfast as the boat departs the La Cruz Marina.

Breakfast plate with fresh pineapple, oranges, cantaloupe, grapes, cinnamon roll, and muffin.

Meal options were a choice of chicken, beef, or vegetarian.  

Vegetarian salad in a styrofoam plate.
Vegetarian Meal Option
Roast beef sandwich.
Roast Beef Option

In addition to breakfast and lunch, snacks and drinks were included in the cost, including delicious margaritas and plenty of Coronitas.

Bottle of Coronita Extra.

Water Activities

On our trip, our captain drove the boat to a tranquil area and it was time for us to play in the Bay of Banderas.  Guests had access to paddleboards, a floating lounge raft, and crystal kayaks which were great because you can watch angelfish swim beneath you. We also had use of snorkel gear and life jackets.

People on paddle boards in Mexico.

On Board Massages

Man getting a massage on a boat.

One thing that sets the Chica Locca Tours apart from others is that there is an onboard masseuse – the massages are part of the package deal.

Options at Yelapa

Town of Yelapa, Mexico.

When we went, we were given two options when we arrived at Yelapa: to go to the beach or to go to the waterfall.  My family chose the waterfall.

Houses on a hillside.

For all of us to get from our boat to the village, we had to board a panga, an open motorboat often used as a water taxi.  While we waited for our panga to come to get us, we were able to admire some of the other yachts in the harbor.

Sailboat in bay.

The village is very rustic and filled with many Instagrammable spots.

Tiled heart shape on stairs.
Colorful flags in Yelapa.

As Cafe Eclipse points out above, it and Puerto Vallarta are very accepting of people of all cultures, genders, religions, beliefs, and colors.

Man riding a horse.

This trip is priceless because it lets one glimpse into real life in Mexico – kids playing around the jungle, burros carrying loads, and people living life.

Man underneath the waterfall in Yelapa.

We made our way up the hill to the Cascada de Yelapa – the well-known waterfall.  Our timing was a bit early being that the rainy season was just about to begin.  While the water wasn’t really falling much, it was still a beautiful sight to behold.

People walking downhill.

On the way back to the boat, there are several opportunities to buy a souvenir and help out the local economy.

Donkey on a hillside.


The word “Yelapa” is said to mean “where two rivers meet the sea.” 

Mural painted on a wall.

The village was settled by four families whose descendants still inhabit the land grant which is a reservation that is legally protected for its indigenous people.

Downtown Yelapa, Mexico.

After taking in the waterfall, it will be time to go back to the yacht and say goodbye to Yelapa.

I Love Yelapa painted on a post.

Memorable Trip To Yelapa

This was a trip that my family and I will not forget.  We got to see a side of Mexico that we would not have if we had not taken the Chica Locca Tour. 

We spent most of our day disconnected from technology and more connected to each other.  We traveled across the Bay of Banderas on a plush yacht and were given the VIP treatment.  It was just what the doctor ordered.

Family on a boat.

About Chica Locca Tours

Chica Locca Tours was established in 2010 and offers boat tours to Yelapa, the Marietas Islands, and private sailing adventures.  The all-inclusive prices include the tour, water activities, an open bar, light breakfast and lunch, and aboard the Chica 55ft Yacht VIP massages!  To learn more about Chica Locca Tours, visit ChicaLoccaTours.com.

Party boat in Mexico.
YouTube video

Thinking about heading to Puerto Vallarta? Be sure to read these other posts about the beautiful city on the Bay of Banderas.

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