Here's some helpful information for your upcoming stay in Yelapa
Items to bring
A good idea for visitors is to pack light; you do not need lots of clothes or other accessories. You will need a small flashlight. If you like coffee it is a good idea to bring some, if you’re fussy. We do have coffee grinders in Mar y Sol Villas if you want to bring whole beans. Earplugs are also a good idea; as you are right on the water and the waves may keep you awake at night. As far as clothes … again pack light, cotton shirts, shorts and sandals. If you plan to do some hiking, a good pair of walking shoes or hiking boots. Bring along a sweat shirt or light jacket for the cool mornings if you are out and about or maybe going out on a boat. Of course you want a swim suit. You will most likely want to bring your camera and maybe a small pair of binoculars; we do have a large pair in the house. Sunglasses and a hat are a must also. Please bring all your own personal toiletries and a beach towel/blanket. Mar y Sol is supplied with good quality linens and bath towels. YELAPA has standard North American electricity so you do not need any adaptors.
Airport arrival in PVR (Puerto Vallarta)
When you arrive you will have a long walk to customs and immigration. Be prepared to show your passport and paper work that you completed on the plane, please review this link from the Banderas News about the "New Declaration Forms" it will explain how to fill them out and what to do when you go through immigration. Your next task is to find your luggage. You will then pass through customs, in Mexico they have the red light green light system, you push a button and if the light turns green away you go, if the light turns red they will want to look through your bags. Once you are through customs and if you have more luggage than you can carry (or you did not travel light) hand-signal a porter to assist you. He will cost about 20 pesos per bag. You now will enter a room with a bunch of friendly smiling faces. These are mainly, time share representatives, just keep on walking. Once you leave the main glass doors you will see the taxi companies located on the back wall. Grab a taxi and you’re a step closer to paradise. Price is roughly $30 USD for a "Taxi Cab" and $60 for a "Taxi Van" to Los Muertos, the price includes an "Government Airport Fee" or "Tourist Tax" that each commercial vehicle has to pay when leaving the airport, that’s why it seems a bit expensive. Tell the driver you want to go to the "Yelapa Hotel Lagunita Office" at the "Los Muertos Pier" (Moo air toes), the office is on the left hand side as you go down to the beach, next to the "Oxo" store. If you have never been in a Mexican Taxi this alone can be quite an experience.
VIP Airport Pick-up and Transfer to Playa Los Muertos ..... We highly recommend this.
This is a great option for the seasoned traveller or for your first trip to Yelapa. We will arrange for personalized pick-up at the airport. This is the same price as a regular taxi but with less hassle and some great stress relieving benefits. This service is also great for groups of all sizes. The price includes the following services that you will not get from most regular taxi drivers:
· Personalized pick-up; someone waiting for you when you arrive at the Puerto Vallarta Airport with your name on a sign, like limousine service.
· They expedite you and your luggage out of the busy terminal into a waiting car or van, no hassles with other cab companies and their sales reps.
· The drivers are familiar with Yelapa, they know the water taxi schedule and they speak English.
· They take you directly to Playa Los Muertos by the quickest route or they can make a stop if you want to pick up a few things before coming to Yelapa.
· They have telephone contact with the Los Muertos Yelapa Office; they can even request the water taxi be held for a few minutes if you are running late.
· A porter will meet you when you arrive to carry your bags and load them on the water taxi.
· At the Los Muertos Yelapa Office they offer - Baggage Storage, Internet, Telephone, Washroom, Water Taxi Tickets and any other assistance you may need.
Again you get all this for the same price as taking a regular taxi on your own. We have had a number of guests use this service and the comments are nothing but positive. If you are staying somewhere in the PV area before coming over to Yelapa we can still arrange for this same service to your Hotel.
We also offer this as a prepaid service with your reservation, including water taxi tickets; for details go to the page "Contacts and Rates". It is a great hassle free way to start your Mexican vacation.
Los Muertos Pier, water taxi tickets and catching the boat to Yelapa
We will let the folks at Yelapa Office know that you are coming they will sell you your water taxi tickets. They will also safely store your bags for you while you wait ... if you want to go shopping or get something to eat. Sergio, Roger or Celeste will assist you and help you with any questions. They also have a washroom and internet access available to our Yelapa guests. The office is located on the left as you walk down to the pier. You will see the white sign saying "Hotel Lagunita Yelapa Office", (next door to the Oxo). There is an Scotia Bank ATM just across from the office, a great place to get your pesos. Water taxis leave Los Muertos Pier throughout the day starting at aboout 10:00 am, with the last one leaving at about 6:00 pm, high season and 4:30 low season. Important to note .... The schedule is subject to change depending on demand and the schedule is reduced in the low season.
Important: Unless you have a prepaid e-voucher (available with your reservation) we highly recommend you buy your tickets at the Yelapa Office to insure you get them for the correct price and that your tickets are good on all the Yelapa Water Taxis. The current cost of a one way ticket is $150 pesos or $250 return.
Note: The pier at Los Muertos is under construction and the water taxis are loading from the beach. Be prepared to get your feet a bit wet. As of June the new pier is starting to take shape. It has a planned completion for October 2012, only 1 year late. It's looking good.
Boca Water Taxi
Another option for catching a water taxi to Yelapa is to travel a bit further by taxi to Boca de Tomatlan; the water taxi drop off point of the locals. The cab ride is a bit longer but the water taxi ride is much shorter. Depending on how many people the extra cab fare can be offset by the cheaper water taxi fare. They also have a good pier at Boca making it easier to get on and off the boat. The water taxi schedule out of Boca is more frequent than Los Muertos, the last boat to Yelapa leaves at 6:30 pm. There is a great little Cantina right by the pier with cold beer and good washrooms if you have to wait a bit for the next boat.
If you choose to catch the water taxi from Boca DO NOT buy a return ticket, if you do your ticket will only be good on that particular boat. As there are many different boats running to/from Boca (they do not share tickets) your options will be very limited on your return.
Note: There is no ATM at Boca de Tomatlan, you need to get your pesos before you leave Puerto Vallarta. Remember bring pesos to Yelapa not US dollars.
We can also arrange to have a private boat pick you up at any location and at the time of your choice. This is great for groups, as a VIP service or late arrivals.
While you are waiting for your boat at Los Muertos Beach a good place to grab a cool drink or something to eat is “Cuates y Cuetes” sometimes refered to as the "Yelapa Bus Stop" on the right hand side as you go down to the beach, great service and great food, right on the beach.
Note: The Los Muertos Pier is still under contruction and should be completed mid December it's looking great just taking longer than we all hoped. Check out the recent link below from the Banderas News. LOS MUERTOS PIER UPDATE
Most of the water taxi drivers speak good English and will load your bags and help you on board. Depending on the size and amount of your bags sometimes a small tip is in order. Sit as far to the back of the boat as possible, a smoother ride. Try to get on the left side for best shoreline views going over to Yelapa. Sit back and enjoy as you pass Los Arcos and the tiny Pueblos of Boca de Tomatlan, Las Animas, Quimixto, Majuahuitas and Caletas. Yelapa is a short 50 minute ride depending on stops along the way and how smooth the ocean is.
The "Beautiful Sea" pictured here is a typical example of just one of the many water taxis that serve the southern shores of the bay.
When you arrive in YELAPA tell the water taxi driver you want to get off at the "Village Pier". Do not get off at the beach or Hotel Lagunita Pier. On the village pier we can help arrange someone to carry your luggage. Look for this gentleman when you arrive, his name is Sipriano (Sip ree ano) he is familiar with "Mar y Sol" and very trustworthty. We use his services whenever we arrive in YELAPA. He will load all your bags in his carretilla (wheelbarrow) and carry them right to the house for you. This will cost you about 50 to 100 pesos depending on how many bags you have or how heavy they are.
When you arrive in Yelapa we will try our best to meet you at the village pier or make sure Sipriano knows you are coming, as long as we know what water taxi we can expect you on. However, sometimes this can be difficult to determine with flight delays, customs and traffic. If we miss you Mar y Sol is easy to find. Proceed through the village keeping to the left and finding the main path that leads to the beach and up river. Ask anyone how to get to Mar y Sol or the beach and they will usually be more than happy to help you. After you leave the village area you will come to a steep hill at the top of the hill you will come to two old phone booths on your right hand side and a huge speed bump. Our gate is right across from the phones. Look for the plaque on top "Mar y Sol Villas" and a sign on the gate that reads Vacation Rentals and our website casainyelapa.com. Enter through the gate, go down the stairs and you are there.
The currency of Mexico is of course the Peso and the best money to use for all purchases is the Peso. US dollars are widely accepted in Yelapa, but you will then be at the mercy of their exchange rate which is often much less than at the bank. The best way to get Pesos is to use an ATM at one of the many machines in Puerto Vallarta which are in English and in Spanish. When you arrive at the Yelapa Office at Los Muertos in PVR they have a Scotia Bank ATM right there
.... There is no ATM in Yelapa or Boca de Tomatlan.
For up to date currency conversion click here "CAD to PESO" or "USD to PESO"
If your plane is late or if you choose to stay in Puerto Vallarta for a night
If you somehow get delayed and you will not be on the water taxi you planned, the last one leaves at 6:00pm (high season), let the folks in the Yelapa Office know. They can call YELAPA and advise us what your new plans are. Your options are .... a later water taxi, if there is any more that day, rent a private boat which is about 2000 pesos or get a Hotel Room near Los Muertos Beach.
These are three beach front hotels that are closest to the Los Muertos Beach. The rates range from 500 to 1500 pesos a night.
This is another great option that will help you appreciate Old Mexico .... our favorite place to stay:
- Hotel Marsol www.hotelmarsol.net - Budget hotel maybe 2 star at best, an old Mexican Style Hotel .... cheap option but maybe not up to most peoples standards
- Hotel Los Arcos www.playalosarcos.com - Medium hotel about a 2 or 3 star, beautiful pool area and lobby, but you would most likely want to upgrade from a standard room
- Hotel San Marino www.hotelsanmarino.com - Nice hotel maybe 3 star, upgrading to a junior suite with an ocean view is great.
- Hotel Rosita www.hotelrosita.com - This is the first beach front tourist hotel ever built in PVR, upgrading to an ocean front room is worth it. This Hotel has a great history check out History Hotel Rosita The nice thing is there is a water taxi to Yelapa that leaves right from the beach at about 11:30 ish each morning, except Sundays. Note: This hotel is not at Playa Los Muertos but at the start of the Malecon (boardwalk along the ocean). However it is a great option if you want to enjoy the Malecon area; shopping, tourist attractions and restaurants.
Keep in mind these are all older Mexican Hotels and I would highly recommend upgrading to a better room or a suite. You will likely be disappointed in a cheaper room.
In general, Yelapa is very safe. But, keep money, expensive cameras and iPods with you or locked up. Always keep the entrance door locked if you leave the house. If you have a loss, report it to us quickly. Also we do provide a safe for your personal use in each unit of Mar y Sol Villas.
Scorpions and other bugs
Yes ... Yelapa has scorpions, mosquitoes and other pesky bugs. The chances are that you will not see a scorpion. Scorpions or Alacran's live under brush and in crevices, spots that are not often disturbed as they do not want to be found. They are about two to three inches long and are usually golden in color. Scorpions can move fast but are not aggressive and will run from you. Basic precautions are to wear shoes at night and do not leave clothes or towels lying on the floor. If you do leave things on the floor or the ground always give them a good shake when you pick them up. A good idea is if you climb out of bed in the night always grab a flash light and check the floor before you head to the bathroom. Because Mar y Sol is a house on the ocean as opposed to a palapa in the jungle you will have fewer bugs in general. The bedrooms do have screens on the windows so you can sleep comfortably at night without a cumbersome mosquito net.
At Mar y Sol Villas we regularly fumigate with a non-toxic biodegradable product to fend off and exterminate scorpions along with other pesky spiders and bugs.
In Yelapa there is a great laundry service, Isis, just next door kind of in behind Tienda Yure, good service, reasonable prices and free delivery.
Stores in Mexico are called Tienda’s (Tee en dahs) the closest to Mar y Sol is “Tienda Yure" (Yur ee). Just down the hill towards the Pueblo, before you cross the cement bridge. They have most everything you will need; grocery items, meat, fresh veggies, canned goods, homemade bread, ice, pop, juice, beer, wine, hard liquor. There are other Tiendas in the Pueblo if you want to shop around. Remember Mar y Sol has a fully equipped kitchen and a large Barbeque ... preparing meals at home is a good option.
Yelapa has its own water treatment plant that filters and provides the village and surrounding areas with very good bottled water and ice. In Mar y Sol you will find a water dispenser for the large bottles. You can also buy your own personal reusable water bottle at the local Tiendas and fill them there with bottled water and ice. This helps reduce the use of plastic disposable bottles.
Beer is pretty standard and although Corona may be the popular tourist beer the clear bottles allow it to go skunky very fast. Dark bottles are better, like Pacifico. The deposit on beer bottles is quite high so save them and return them when you buy the next case. A case of 24 beer is 220 pesos, plus a 60 peso deposit. Hard liquors are available at the Tiendas as well and if you want “Racialla” (Raw see ya - their famous local moonshine) just ask around. The Rosewood Shop sells it for sure, but be careful with this stuff. Also, be aware that most restaurants/bars free pour, so mixed drinks are often doubles and triples, you may be surprised when you get up to leave. As a caution you should never over indulge alone or with people you do not know.
Mar y Sol Barbeque
The roof top BBQ is great for cooking at home. We provide a wire brush for cleaning and other BBQ utensils. You can buy charcoal or "Car-bone" at the local tiendas.
There are a number of little beach cantinas and places to eat, these are more focused on the tourists and day trippers that come over on the “Booze Cruises”. But the locals love to go there too. There is nothing better than a day on the beach. It is fun to go down there and people watch. Most of the Cantinas are open until about 5:00 pm. Some of them do stay open in the evening and will put on specials for the locals. Octavio's place "Tino's Oasis" is where the locals like to go you will find it right in the center of the row of cantinas along the beach, it's our favorite place. The food is great, the beer is cold and the margaritas are dangerous. Tell the waiters at Tino's Oasis that you are staying with us at Mar y Sol and they will give you a discount.
The Water Falls
The “Village Water Fall” or “La Cascada” is an easy hike (5-10 minutes) up from the center of town there is a cantina and a good place to eat there, you will also find places to relax and take in nature. Along the path way is a flea market area that offers Mexican type souvenirs. The waterfall is a very peaceful place. However, the best time to go up there is earlier in the morning or later in the afternoon, this is to avoid the mid day crowds created by Vallarta Adventures day trippers.
The large water fall, “Cascadas Grande”, is about a 1½ hour hike up river, I would rate it as an easy to medium hike. You see a lot if interesting sites along the way. For directions we can provide you a hand drawn map. You can also hire a guide or take horses if you are unsure. If you want horses and/or a guide please let us assist you to insure you deal with the right people and get good service at a fair price.
Fishing and Other Boat Excursions
Want to go fishing, whale watching, snorkeling, visit the Marietas Islands, go to Corrales or other secluded beaches …. we highly recommend "Yelapa Adventures" talk to us and we will help set up a day trip for you. Check out their web site www.yelapaadventures.com they are the Premier Tour Company in Yelapa.
The Yacht Club is good, usually open 2 or 3 nights per week. Great food, right on the water and dancing. El Cerrito usually has live entertainment on Friday nights. Also there is "The Mexican Dance" every Saturday night at the local dance hall; this can be a lot of fun too. Many of the restaurants will have special events, entertainment and the like; usually you will see posters about town if something special is happening. Yelapa attracts some great musicians and you will often find great live entertainment at one restaurant or another somewhere in town. The dancing at the Yacht Club doesn’t usually start until 9-10 at night and the Mexican Dance is even later. But remember this is Yelapa do not expect to find the wild clubs and discos that you find in PVR or other Mexican cities.
We now have good high speed wireless internet in Mar y Sol, just bring your lap top. If you need a computer the Eclipse Cyber Café has computers and there is a new internet place just behind the Eclipse. The new Telmex highspeed internet has arrived, many more places now have new high speed internet in Yelapa, more cafés should be hooking up with faster and better internet service.
TELMEX has just added a new tower in Yelapa we have good cell service now. Check with your supplier for rates and service if you want to bring a phone with you. There are also many pay phones throughout the village. They accept "pre-paid calling cards" only, which are available at the local stores.
They have a good walk in clinic just down the hill from "Mar y Sol" on the path towards the beach.
The fun loving people that live in Yelapa are very friendly and normally very helpful. It is common to address everyone as you walk down the paths; a simple “Hola” goes a long way. If your Spanish is a little weak check out www.spanishprograms.com a great place to start learning “Espanol” for free.
Enjoy your trip and remember when you arrive in Yelapa ….. turn your watches back 30 years.
Randy and Judy