I’d rather have a palapa in Yelapa than a condo in Redondo – quote from a Mexico boating guidebook.
After doing some work on our chronic fuel delivery problems we decided to run across Banderas Bay to the pueblo of Yelapa, located on the South side of the bay, a bit East of Cabo Corrientes. The only way to visit is by boat – there are no road connections from Puerto Vallarta. It is 15 NM across the Bay, so a couple of hours each way. A great way to spend a sunny day and a good check on the repairs we made on the fuel system.
We headed off around 9 AM and saw several different groups of whales along the way. We slowed and watched a couple, but after a while, we decided to keep going, wanting to get over to Yelapa before lunch. Approaching the entrance to the bay, we were greeted by Philipe in a panga from Fanny’s restaurant, a beachside palapa. He offered to guide us in to a mooring buoy, necessary here because the bay is very deep with only a small shelf suitable for anchoring. Yelapa is absolutely gorgeous, with steep cliffs covered in vegetation rising from the bay and sandy beach. It is, however, very rolly… open to the NW Pacific swell. Friends reported spending the night moored between two buoys, but also reported that their guests got seasick. If we stayed, we certainly would have had to deploy both flopper stoppers.
After tying up, Philipe took us over to the village dock, where we walked through the hillside town up a paved path to the waterfall. Along the way, we met Charlie the burrow and his owner, Manuel, a lifetime Yelapa resident. Here along the path, families set up open air shops featuring their handmade wares. We wound up buying two light blankets made by a son and daughter of Manuel.
The waterfall was beautiful and served as the fresh water supply for Yelapa. Returning to the town dock, we hailed Philipe again and went across to his family’s restaurant on the beach. There we had an outstanding lunch. I had the whole red snapper, grilled with garlic and butter, while Gwen had some gigantic, and tasty shrimp.
After a couple of pleasant hours enjoying the scene, we returned to Miss Miranda and started back to La Cruz. The highlight of our return trip was a breaching, dancing, playing whale that was right in front of us, seemingly unwilling to let us pass without putting on a show. Gwen got some outstanding pictures. We also saw a school of rays swimming just under the surface, but they swam off before we could get photos.
We got back to La Cruz without incident and with enough confidence in the fuel system to take on the next leg, 171 NM North to Mazatlan.