Visit Yelapa for handicrafts and raicilla by Javier

Javier Rodriguez, craftsman in Yelapa, Mexico. Photo by Gizellle Lau.
Photo by Gizelle Lau.

A great spot to hide out for the week or for a day trip from Puerto Vallarta, Yelapa is as rustic as it gets – electricity was only installed within the last decade.

Fishing village of Yelapa near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Yelapa is a place where life is simple and most locals walk barefoot.  Villagers make a living by fishing, making or selling handicrafts, operating stores at the front of their homes, and tourism.  One of Yelapa’s biggest draws for travellers is its stunning natural waterfall.  The waterfall at Yelapa towers at 150 feet and pours into a small swimming hole perfect for cooling off from the hot Mexican sun.

With no roads and steep mountain slopes, visitors can reach the waterfall via a 15-minute uphill hike or by renting a mule.  As you walk up the cobblestone steps up to the waterfall, you’ll pass by the shops of numerous locals including Javier Rodriguez

For the past 40 years, Javier has been carving handicrafts out of rosewood, just like his father before him.  His workshop floor is covered with carving dust and tables display his artwork: bracelets, jewelry boxes, vases, mortar and pestles, and other unique pieces.  For every purchase, Javier will pour you a shot of locally concocted “raicilla” – a Mexican version of moonshine – a less refined tequila-like drink.

The town of Yelapa has no cars or roads and has only recently become accessible by car – a long 2-3 hour journey from Puerto Vallarta through rough mountain roads.  The best way to get to Yelapa is via a 45-minute ride by water taxi or chartered boat from Puerto Vallarta where you’ll also enjoy great views of the city against the backdrop of the Sierra Madre Mountains.

Looking to book a trip to Mexico? Check out the Trip Builder where you can talk to hundreds of local travel agents ready to give you the best custom prices on your trip! 

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