Monday, February 25, 2013

Yelapa, Mexico

TH and I travel to Mexico at least once a year.  We've explored most of the coastline, but not much of the interior.  (I live in Alaska.  December vacation = beachtime.)   Our most recent trip was to Yelapa, a small fishing village, forty minutes (by boat) south of Puerto Vallarta.  In planning our travels, we were looking for a quiet, charming, fishable, and rustic-esque vacation spot.  Jackpot.

Things to look out for in Yelapa: 
  • The pie lady!!  She appears on the beach in the afternoons, toting coconut, lemon meringue, cheesecake, and chocolate mousse slices.  By the end of our stay I was thinking about pie more often than where to get my next margarita.  Forty pesos a slice may sound steep, but a thick triangle of pastry paradise won't leave you disappointed.  

Sneaky Picture of The Pie Lady 
  • Dog and horse poop; it's everywhere.  But the dogs are really cute.  
  • Manguito's, located at the base of the bridge on the way to the far away (and elusive) waterfall. Luis serves margaritas that will make the waterfall even more elusive.  

  • Raicilla.  Do not let any "friends" convince you to take a shot of this home-brewed agave liquor.  Your next day burps will still taste like charcoal simmered in a pot of diesel. 
  • Shambala and Tacos y Mas.  Both restaurants offer incredible food (try the goat cheese spring roll at Shambhala and the avocado pie at Tacos y Mas), dangerously good margaritas, and impeccable service.  
  • Free spirits.  As Jack Donaghy says, "Never go with a hippie to a second location."

Things you don't have to look out for in Yelapa:  
  • Cars. The cobblestone roads transport only horses and a few 4-wheelers. 
Sneaky Picture #2

  • Timeshare salesmen.  This is not a highly targeted sales market.  If you spend a week or so on the beach you will get to know the three jewelry tray dudes and the two iguana-pose photographers. 
  • Thieves.  Our friends stayed in a house with one wall.  Our landlord told us that in the past thirteen years he knew of a two thefts of tourist items, both of which were resolved when the village pressured the thieves into returning the goods.  I'm not saying you shouldn't take standard precautions, but we personally felt incredibly safe. 

Where we stayed: 

  • Cassa Tassia at Mar y Sol Villas.  We felt that our location and view were the best in Yelapa. We stayed for two weeks and paid under $90 a night.  High season is expensive in Yelapa, but cheaper digs are available if you are on a tighter budget and are willing to rough it a bit.  Yelapa Info is an incredible resource. 

Cassa Tassia is on the second floor of the white building

dinner with friends on our rooftop terrace
What we did:
  • Fished with Jay (ask around, he's easy to find).  
  • Hiked to the town and far waterfalls.
  • Walked to the next village, Pizota, and took a water taxi back.
  • Enjoyed meals at Shambhala, Tacos y Mas, Cafe Bahia, El Cerritos, Maguito's, Angelina's Gardens, and Christina's (which has an exquisite upriver location).

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