Forget Puerto Vallarta! Visit This Authentic Beach Town Nearby Instead

Stunning scenery of Yelapa, Mexico

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It’s safe to say Puerto Vallarta is having a moment.

Many travelers seeking an unforgettable Mexico beach vacation set their sights on Cancun or Cabo, but Puerto Vallarta has earned its seat at the table.

Consistently in the top 4 most popular vacation spots in Mexico, Puerto Vallarta is no longer underrated and a big reason why is this beautiful beach city has something Cancun and Cabo lacks – a sense of real Mexico.

Stunning scenery of Yelapa, MexicoStunning scenery of Yelapa, Mexico

But even then, Puerto Vallarta can become crowded as its popularity has skyrocketed.

While hugging the border of Jalisco and Nayarit, there are some sensational beach towns to explore nearby in both states.

In fact, over 200 miles of them line Mexico’s shores. But there is one beach town on the Jalisco side in the beginning stages of making a name for itself, where the journey is just as much fun as being there.

The next time you’re booking a trip to Puerto Vallarta, keep in mind another paradise awaits.

Here is why you should visit the stunning coastal village of Yelapa instead:

A Lesser-Known Paradise Only Accessible By Boat

Los Muertos pier in Puerto VallartaLos Muertos pier in Puerto Vallarta

Yelapa is a small coastal village tucked away in the Bahía de Banderas, away from any major roads, so the only viable way to get here is by hopping aboard a cheap water taxi from Puerto Vallarta.

That is unless you go the Naked and Afraid route and fight your way through the lush Jalisco jungles with snakes and tarantulas…but hey, that’s what makes the beach all the more enticing.

Puerto Vallarta is an amazing place to visit for a beach vacation, especially when splurging on resorts, but that’s where authenticity goes out the window.

Yelapa is here to make up for that, whether as a day trip or a weeklong vacation.

As many of Mexico’s beaches have surged in popularity, Yelapa serves as a reminder not every beach town has to cater to tourists with ritzy resorts, swim-up bars, and overhyped restaurants.

Beach in YelapaBeach in Yelapa

Saying Yelapa is cultural is an understatement and is well worth the fun journey to get here, which is all part of the allure in the first place.

Travelers can depart Puerto Vallarta from an official tour operator or via water taxi from the Los Muertos Pier provided by Go2Yelapa or Water Taxi Jack.

No Cars, Just Donkeys

While visiting Yelapa is more like going back in time than Back to the Future, it’s still okay to say, “where we’re going, we don’t need roads”.

Festive walkway in YelapaFestive walkway in Yelapa

Since there are no roads leading to Yelapa, it’s much more common to see locals getting around by donkey. Yes, really.

This is all part of the authentic appeal of visiting Yelapa.

While you don’t have to partake in getting around by donkey, the small town is easily walkable to enjoy local flavorful eats and drinks to get back to your cozy boutique hotel.

Cheap, Comfortable Beachside Stays

Beach chairs and beach huts in YelapaBeach chairs and beach huts in Yelapa

If shiny multi-level hotels are your jam, then Yelapa may not be for you.

If cozy stays along a pristine beach are your jam, then you can surely leave the cushy perks of Puerto Vallarta and make your way to this gorgeous beach town.

While Puerto Vallarta is actually more affordable than one might expect, Yelapa is even cheaper with a handful of boutique hotels and rentals wrapping around the U-shaped bay.

This summer, nightly rates range from the $40’s to $200’s ranging from casitas to incredible wellness retreats.

Astounding Nature From Beaches To Waterfalls

Pristine beach in YelapaPristine beach in Yelapa

Set along the backdrop of lush jungles, travelers can find themselves kicking back on the beautiful Playa Yelapa with a cold cerveza in hand.

The town may be small, but it packs a punch with an array of activities to keep busy in paradise, from snorkeling the picture-perfect blue waters to an easy guided hike through the jungles.

Here is where tourists will find the picturesque Yelapa Waterfall, the perfect break from the beach and still a place you can swim.

Puerto Vallarta may be more popular, but Yelapa provides a more authentic, laid-back experience surrounded by stunning nature.

Tourists swimming at waterfall in YelapaTourists swimming at waterfall in Yelapa

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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com

Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.



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