Shops, Locals and Hiking Trails
Restaurants that are by and used by Vallarta Adventures rip you off by charging what they call, A Gringo Tax. Beach Gardens-Angelinas and the Hotel Restaurants are honest and fair.
The Locals, not expats, only concern themselves with your money and how much they can rip you off with a smile. Don't trust them, I live here. Hiking Trails, NOT, they are very dangerous, do not hike by yourself, the locals that live in the back trails, hate gringos that hike in the back woods, besides, there's alot of dangerous snakes, scorpions and no-see-um's. Repellent does not help at all. If you must hike these paths, do not hike by yourself. The so called restaurant by the waterfall, is a major rip-off. They will cheat you out of as much as they can, to them and the rest of these folks, it's like a big game to see how much they can steal from the Gringos.
Yelapa, where burglars can watch you arrive
Yelapa's expatriate community and overnight visitors are periodically targeted by cat burglars -- local young men who are probably watching as you arrive.
Start talking to the long-term expatriate residents about the thievery problem, and you discover that nearly everyone has a story. The problem waxes and wanes, but Yelapa's small population, openness, and intimacy, together with the necessity of arriving publicly by boat, carry with it a special risk of being surveilled and targeted. The burglaries tend to occur without injury to the sleeping victims; but another feature of Yelapa is the ability of known criminals, including convicted murderers, to hide out there with the complicity and even protection of some in the local population.
I would encourage all visitors to Yelapa to enjoy its special beauty and keep in mind that most in the local community are kind and trustworthy and helpful. However, it is wise to avoid displaying expensive items in public and essential to lock them up in rooms or dwellings, even when stepping briefly into the shower. The thieves are stealthy climbers and only barred windows and metal doors can keep them out.
- Whale Watching
- Hang Gliding
Scorpions (and a cat named Diablo)
Scorpions seem to be a bit of a problem from time to time. We never saw any in our palapa, but the people in the next palapa down found several in their bathroom sink. We always made sure to shake out our clothes, towels, shoes, etc. just in case. The hosts had a scorpion sting emergency kit on hand, if needed. (The real beast to watch out for was "Diablo", the resident kitty cat !! I love cats, however, Diablo lived up to her name and shredded my friend's arm for no reason whatsoever. (She seemed to have a split personality - the CAT, not my friend !) Diablo also liked to hang out in our palapa and run across the ceiling beams going about 100 mph !!!)
Where not to stay!
I didn't ask enough questions about my rental. I assumed. I pre-paid. My bad. I got a rental with a shower that didn't work, no clean towels or bedding, bed bugs on scary matresses, mildew-covered screens...well, needless to say, I soon found out for $75 I could have gotten a lot more, even toilet paper and the first morning's coffee! Comfort, as a matter of fact. I contacted the owner, but she wasn't sympathetic. Quality places can be had easily. One very reputable casa-guy(Dave) told me he answers questions all the time by email in a timely fashion before renters committ.
I certainly didn't expect the moon. I did expect, and paid for, more than I got.
Despite this, Yelapa was a paradise. I'll be returning.
BEWARE OF BEING RIPPED OFF AT MIMI'S CAFE
My boyfriend and I booked a whale watching trip through the woman at Mimi's cafe in Yelapa. We were told it was $25/person and her husband would be our guide. We spent 3 hours on his boat (during which time he never said ONE WORD to us!!). At the end of the trip he demanded $150. We had to pay because otherwise he would not let us off the boat. We consulted a bunch of locals and were told that the normal price for a trip like that would be more like $45 for the ENTIRE day and would include stops at various islands and lunch. When we went to talk to the woman at Mimi's she told us "too bad". Stay away from Mimi's Cafe, she and her husband are thieves!!
- Whale Watching
- Sailing and Boating
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