Side Trips

Yelapa - Bucerias - San Francisco - Quimixto - Sayulita - Las Animas

By far the most famous of the villages to the south of Boca de Tomatlan, Yelapa is an interesting blend of island lifestyle, artists retreat and hippie hangout. The lifestyle here is most definitely laid back and very, very informal. Beachfront restaurants serve up fresh seafood at fairly reasonable prices. Many palapa style and stick homes dot the, palm covered, beachside hills. Yelapa is devoid of modern conveniences such as electricity, phones or cars. There is one hotel that operates on generator power until 10 PM, it is candlelight and flashlights after that. A jungle waterfall is one of most popular attractions in Yelapa. Many cruises serve this village that is the closest thing you will probably ever find to a time machine. Step back in time and enjoy a simpler life!

This small town stretches along the Bay of Banderas approximately 15 miles north of Puerto Vallarta. Very laid back with a great beach, several hotels and a few great eateries, Bucerias is becoming a favorite among retirees. Quite a few homes have been built here by those wishing a bit slower pace than the city offers. You may find the laid back pace to your liking. Limited water sports are available from the beach.

San Francisco

Even smaller than Sayulita, San Francisco is a mango processing town and also home to a beautiful beachfront "Adventure Resort" that offers several different adventure packages. The beach is long and clean, several surf breaks are located along this beautiful stretch of beach. A couple of beachfront restaurants, and horses can be rented for a ride along `the beach or into the jungle. Several surf breaks. A very relaxing spot.


This tropical island type village radiates the feeling of the South Seas. A couple of large palapa restaurants dominate the landscape. There is a beautiful waterfall within walking (hiking) distance of the beach. A few homes along the beach and not much else but peace and tranquility here. This is a regular stop on the run to Yelapa by many of cruises and tours. A very tranquil setting. Horses can be rented.


Sayulita, is a charming fishing village located farther north, just off the main highway to Tepic. This idyllic spot is what many feel Puerto Vallarta was like 30 years ago. Located on the southern end of a beautiful bay, the beach is nearly always devoid of tourists. A few retirement homes have been built along the southern end of the beach and in the hills surrounding Sayulita. There is a great bed and breakfast, a trailer park, a few guest houses and a few of the locals offer rooms for rent. There are beachfront restaurants that serve delicious fresh seafood which is caught locally. You can rent kayaks and surfboards on the beach. There is a surf break directly in front of the village and several more along the beach.

Las Animas

A quiet beach, very restful, a great place to spend a day in the sun , with a good book or if you just want to get away from it all and do absolutely nothing. Palapa style beach restaurants serve up fresh seafood. Swimming, snorkeling, reading and eating, in total peace and quiet, are not that bad of a way to spend a day, a week or a lifetime. Horses can be rented and there are limited water sports available from beach.