Yelapa Hike: Yelapa Tapa

This is one of my favorite hikes in Yelapa, due to the workout it provides. You go from sea level to 665m (2100 ft) over a distance of 6km (3.7 mi). Mileages discussed in this article assume a start point at Michelada’s Vicky.

Starting at Michelada’s Vicky in the pueblo, there is a path towards the waterfall/Tacos y Mas and a path to the right up the hill towards a blue building. Take the path to the right towards Leticia’s Tienda and follow the path. In less than a minute, you’ll merge with another path, passing a painted mural of a whale along the way.  Continue on the path up hill past the whale.

From Micheladas Vicky, head uphill towards the blue tienda.
At the whale mural, head left and uphill.

A minute or two later, you’ll come to a green building with a yellow garden curb. Head left uphill to continue up and out of town. At .4 km / .25 mi you’ll come to a bit of a T intersection with a house where the blue water line crosses the path. Follow the path uphill to the left (past the red gate).

At this house, head left up the path
Head left and follow the path uphill.

Walk up the path for a short distance until the path changes to an actual dirt road, where several vehicles are parked (some seemingly forgotten). During the winter/spring the road is fairly passable, but during the rainy season large ruts and washouts take over.

The first part of the hike is the steepest and winds through the jungle with several micro climates. One moment you can be in the hot sun and the next in cool shade. About 2.6 km into the hike, the road opens up a bit at a corner with nice views towards Puerto Vallarta and up the river valley leading to Yelapa.

The road opens up at the 2.6 km mark with a view up the river valley
This isn’t a typical photo towards Vallarta, as clouds had rolled in on the morning it was taken.

At about 4.7 km/2.9 mi, a small opening on the left appears. For years, I thought this was Yelapa Tapa, but that’s still about ten minutes away.

Yelapa Tapita

As you near the summit, the road on the right will open up with a view of a jungle valley. Keep your eyes out for an opening on the left side of the road, which is the entrance to Yelapa Tapa. It’s a launchpoint for paragliders, who generally will take a quad 4×4 up here with their gear to launch. Take a break and enjoy the views of Yelapa beach, Vallarta, Punta Mita, and even the Marietas.

The view from Yelapa Tapa. Click for a full screen view.

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