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.DSCF3657

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.DSCF3621

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.

Hanging out in a palapa in Yelapa
Hanging out in a palapa in Yelapa


I mean, look at this sign. You see the arrows, pointing towards the camera? Would you interpret that as, "Keep going through this gate, straight ahead"? We didn't.
I mean, look at this sign. You see the arrows, pointing towards the camera? Would you interpret that as, “Keep going through this gate, straight ahead”? We didn’t.
Mad dash to the finish
Mad dash to the finish



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!DSCF3656

3 Comments on “Escape to Yelapa

  1. omg omg omg you know Linda?! everyone give hugs all around from me!!

  2. Hi Bambinos,
    Such amazing pictures and windows into your adventures. YU would make great tour guides, yes?

    I wonder how your schedule will shape up for a visit along the northern California-Oregon Coast.

    Of course I want to see you!!
    Please let me know approximately what your dates might be.

    We are having a bit of snow right now. Mount Ashland is higher than we are and providing good skiing, finally. No, I am not a skier, but the hills are beautiful with snow caps.

    Hope you will be able to come this far north. If not, I need to figure out how to hook up with you around the SF Bay.

    Sending BIG Hugs!
    Aunt Bee

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