Could anyone e-mail what companies you have used outside of the cruise line to book excursions in Puerto Vallarta. We are interested in Las Caletas and Yalapa & Mahuitas. Anyone do either of the excursions? I would LOVE feedback. It will be my husband and I and our daughters 13 and 5. Both are very strong swimmers and want to do some snorkeling. Thank you!!
We hired a van driver at the cruise ship pier. He took us on a 4-hour tour for about $20 a piece. We had two other couples with us. We went to Chico's Paradise, and a Tequila plantation. He took us whereever we wanted to go, and suggested some places.
It is very easy to get to Yelapa on your own. All you have to do is take a yellow cab or bus to Boca de Tomatlan. The cab will be faster but the buses in P.V. are great too. (The buses are so inexpensive they are almost free.)There you will walk down to the beach and take a water taxi to Yelapa. These are smallish panga style boats that are used for public transit. The water taxis are great fun and they run every half hour or so. You will save a ton of money going it on your own and you'll really have a wonderful adventure.
There are NO cars on, in, or out of Yelapa. All tranportation and commerce is done by boat.
Be careful and ask for the return schedule when you buy your round-trip water taxi ticket. They will tell you when the last taxi returns to P.V. I believe the last returning water taxi is at about 4:00 or so.
You can also get a water taxi to Yelapa at the pier on Los Muertos beach. It is a much longer water taxi ride. I prefer to go to Boca de Tamatlan to get the water taxi because the drive through Conchas Chinas is so beautiful. There is oh so much to see along the way.
Yelapa is a beautiful beach that reminds one of Gilligan's Island. It is fun to hang out on the north end of the cove near the little hotel that is literally just a hillside peppered with little grass shacks that you can rent for overnight stays. The hotel has incredible food and great drinks. You can even use their rustically unique swimming pool with swim-up bar for free if you buy a beverage. The beach there is great for swimming and other water sports.
If you don't wish to do it alone there are several tour boats at the Cruise Ship Pier that will take you directly from the ship to Yelapa. They are quite a bit more expensive than doing it on your own but are less hectic and not quite as adventuresome. I enjoy getting there on my own so to speak because I enjoy meeting the people and experiencing the real Vallarta lifestyle rather than the more touristy experience. But that is just me.
I was on the Oct 12 trip to Mexico on the Sapphire and did the Las Caletas tour on Pta. Vallarta. Due to the time change travelling south, the tour starts at 7:45 am which I though was early and it was crazy getting out of the ship with all the tours starting around this time. By the time we all got outside and had to wait for everyone, we probably didn't leave until 8:30 or so. The boat trip was a bit too long for me, took over an hour out to Las Caletas. It was a nice cove, I didn't think it was awesome. We had about 2 hours to do whatever, snorkel, swin or kayak which is all included. Lunch was served at 1pm (a little late for me and i was starving since we all got up early). Food was great. After lunch, you have about another hour and it's time to get back on the boat at 3pm. We were probably back to the ship a little after 4 pm.
Just my opinion, i thought the tour was ok. I didn't think long boat trip there was worth it, i think you could find other "hideaways" somewhere closer. The organizers though were great, very friendly and did a little "show" on the boat on the way back to the ship. If you have other questions, e-mail me. I think I took some pictures of Las Caletas.
these are just my thoughts, other people might have had a better time.