Nearby Towns, Puerto Vallarta
I know that this might be an unpopular tip among back packers, but Yelapa is nothing more than a tourist scam.
First the people that live there refuse to admit that there is a road to this place. You can access the road through El Tuito.
The sentiment that I got from the people that live there is give me your money or leave me alone. A good example of the sport of tourist gougeing is the children on the island, they offer themselves as tour guides to a water fall on the island. The problem being is that they will not guide you the entire 4 block walk for less than $10 US even though there are signs pointing you in the right direvtion the hole way.
When you finally arrive at the "water fall" that everyone rants and raves about, it turns out to be nothing other than a trickle of dirty water comming off a big rock. Well, not trying to sound too negative, but it amounts to a guy urinating off of a cliff. It is truly pathetic. When you ask each other what is the big deal the local response is, "well it isnt rainy season, that is why it is so small."
This place has absolutly NO culture and its draw is that the police arent here to stop anyone from doing anything. Wich, by the way in untrue, the police from El Tuito moniter the islands activities. Although the police from that town are VERY relaxed, they still come when ever there is problems.
I dont know why this place rubbed me so wrong, I am actually a really laid back person. The only thing that I could come up with was the way drugs are literally forced down your throat the minute your boat touches the island. Although I dont use drugs I dont hate the people that do. I am just bothered by people that refuse to believe that you dont want any and question you every 5 minutes to see if you changed your mind.
If you are a pot head that wants to get high with other pot heads, I highly suggest this place. But if you are a tourist looking for culture and odd ball things to do, avoid this place like the plague.
Unique Suggestions: Well, I sincerley suggest that everyone avoid this place, but if you must go....
Check out the local architecture, it is really neat how the houses in the town are built.
Yelapa today is much different than the Yelapa of 200 years ago. Aparently do to some natural activity (earthquake, volcano, shifting of the earths plates etc..) a massive land mass suddenly apeard. I suggest you go take a look at the ruins of the old yelapa.
Fun Alternatives: Oh, and please dont think that this was a one time experience and that I might be wrong. I have been to Yelapa on 3 different occasions walking away with the same feeling everytime.
The Marieta islands is an ideal place to go and see what it is like to live on an island. The only tour that goes there is called rhythems of the night.
I recommend you hire a guy with a boat to take you there.
Do it while whale watching, you will love it.
If you take an excursion to the town of Los Animos on the south side of the bay when you get on the beach a guy is going to immediately try and put an Iguana on your shoulder.
Of course when you and all your friends get all excited and take a bunch of pictures not realizing the guy is going to ask for about 50 pesos each!!!
Fun Alternatives: Avoid the guy with the Iguana unless you want a picture like mine for 50 pesos :-).