Updated on February 24, 2018
Escape to Yelapa
La Cruz is sticky! As in, we’re having a hard time making our exit. We’ve met so many lovely families; the town is very cruiser-friendly, with great services and food; and we’re just out of travel mode. Banderas Bay has us in her grip. We did manage an almost-exit: a day trip to the town of Yelapa.
We’d planned on stopping in this bay on our way north, but of course we were running late and skipped right over it. We’d heard too much about this community to let it go entirely, though, so we planned a trip with our friends from s/v Nomi. A quick motorsail across the bay in the early morning hours, and we grabbed a mooring ball; the deep water extends almost to shore, so dropping an anchor is not an easy proposition.
Yelapa is an indigenous community that’s never been connected to the mainland by modern roads. Horses are big around here, and the phones have only been up for about a decade. We wouldn’t call them cut off, though; ferries from Puerto and Nuevo Vallarta arrive daily, and the beach is crowded with palapa restaurants and small hotels.
Our main goal, after a little fish taco break, was to find a waterfall. There are two notable ones in Yelapa; one that’s an easy hike through town, and one down a longer path that’s much better for swimming. Always up for a challenge, we went for the long hike—which ended up being a bit longer when we took a wrong turn! Eventually, we found nirvana: a warm cascade with a deep swimming hole at the bottom.
Our dusty return to the boat was marked with a little drama, as we arrived too late to catch our scheduled panga back to the boat. Fortunately, we managed to flag down a water taxi before they quit for the night, and stumbled back to the boat for some dinner and a good night’s sleep.
Or not. The swell coming into the anchorage flung the boat around so much, that at about 8:30 pm we decided we were done. Time for a quick night sail across the bay, with Nomi in our wake. Despite our familiarity with the anchorage, picking a path at night with distracting shore lights is always a challenge, and there are plenty of unlit boats around here to provide an extra jolt of excitement. We managed to anchor safely on the outside of everyone, and slept like rocks.
Now it’s several days later, and our tired legs have regained their strength. We’ve provisioned up, found a source for stove fuel, and are prepping the boat for our final push north. From here, we plan to head to Isla Isabella and Mazatlan, before jumping across the Gulf of California and towards La Paz. It’s been a while since we’ve planned any kind of passage, and we’re excited to get going. This may be our last big push; onward!