Located on the Western Pacific coast of Mexico, Puerto Vallarta is an authentic Mexican town as well as a world-class resort. Visitors here enjoy a wide range of experiences because Puerto Vallarta has water activities, mountains, jungles, the city and nearby villages to offer opportunities and excursions. Located at the mouth of Banderas Bay (one of the largest and deepest in the world) it is surrounded by hills and mountains with lush vegetation. In many areas around the bay, the jungle drops down to the waterfront. Add to that amazing weather and youíve got a great place to visit.

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

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The Malecon

The Malecon is a walkway along the ocean stretching from the south end of Old Town to central downtown. It passes by shops, restaurants, hotels, and the usual characters like mimes, clowns and artists.

Water Taxi to Yelpa

From the peer on the south end of the Malecon, we found the water taxis offering rides to Yelapa. The ride was about 1 hour, with views of the coastal forests, villages and region the entire way, worth the trip already. They dropped us off on the main beach in Yelapa. From there to town is a short interesting trek. You walk the beach to the right, crossing a creek. It was calm but almost up to our waist! A bit beyond the creek, we found the stairs and cobblestone trail that takes people over a ridge and up the adjacent valley. You are now in Yelapa. To visit the waterfall, look for signs or just let instinct guide you up into the tropical deciduous forest. In less than a mile, youíll be at the waterfall. Itís about 30 feet high, with a pool for bathers at the base. The falls are nothing that great but itís a nice trek there. Be sure to visit the restrooms at the fallsÖ.a scramble up a hillside. It was entertaining watching touristís work so hard getting up only to find a nasty open air toilet at the top.
After a visit to the waterfall, spend some time walking around Yelpa. This little fishing village seemed authentic. The constant tourist walking through town must get old for the residents. Since we had our kids, it was easy mingling with local families. A few tables were out selling trinkets to tourists but that was about it.

City Center

Find your way to the Plaza de Armas, the cityís main square bordered by City Hall, banks and shops. The Lady of Guadalupe Church can be seen from here one block away. After the church, go left and up into the hills onto Zaragoza. Take stairs to Casa Kimberley. This is before my time but its Elizabeth Taylors home and filming location for The Night of the Iguana. Iíll have to rent this movie I guess. Even if you donít know the movie like me, youíll be in the Gringo Gulch, an mountainous area with white stucco houses with bright red-tile roofs.
Here is what we saw during a one day whirlwind tour!
These guys would climb the tall pole, wrap rope around the pole around 100 times, and then tie the end of the rope to their feet. As they swung around, they slowly worked their way to the groundÖabout 5 minutes of swinging.
The Malecon
The Malecon
Around town
The Lady of Guadalupe Church
Inside the church
Around town
The city is divided by the Rio Cuale. This is the river as you cross it on the Malecon. In the river is an island with a park, walking trail and craft stalls. The flee market is also nearby.
South end of Puerto Vallarta
Views from the water taxi to Yelpa
Yelpa beach
Looking down on Yelpa beach from the trail to the city
Town of Yelpa
The waterfall
Looking at the town of Yelpa from the beach area
Need a place to stay
Yelpa docks
Mckinley getting to know the locals
Lunch, a bag of chips
View from the docks
The Malecon
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Puerto Vallarta performers
Puerto Vallarta street Pirate Ship
Pirate Ship
water taxi to Yelpa Yelpa beach Town of Yelpa Yelpa waterfall Yelpa beach Yelpa locals Yelpa Mexico Yelpa docks Yelpa docks Yelpa lodging Yelpa from the beach