Yelapa LagoonLet’s take a small boat From Puerto Vallarta to the remote beach resort of Yelapa, a magical oasis for tourism, local crafts and wildlife. And yes, there are bottomless margaritas for all on this journey! The trick is not to spill them while riding the waves. (Yelapa is only accessible by boat.)

Once at the resort, bargain with locals for one-of-a-kind bead work or beautiful sarongs and drink a Mexican beer – all from your beach lounger. Of course, you might have to compete with some pretty beach-savvy Mexican dogs for that coveted seat at the shore. You’ll see what I mean… (Aside from the dogs, this video is mostly human. The next is about local wildlife if you prefer to skip ahead.)

Yelapa boasts a population of roughly 10,000 residents with its very own school and hospital. Still, the economy has much room for growth and tourism offers an opportunity for locals to persuasively peddle their wares. While this can be a bit too persuasive for comfort at times, we found a peaceful escape to quietly enjoy the beauty.

Walk with us to a lovely lagoon where Mexican dogs playfully romp along-side herons, horses, humans, egrets, cormorants and sand pipers, as soaring black vultures with white-tipped wings glide through bluebird skies.

As an important aside, while we love iguanas and find them fascinating, to see them leashed and manhandled by sweaty, suntan-lotioned people during every sunny beach hour just doesn’t seem fair. For that reason, we refused to pose with one for a photograph.


  • Part 1:  Vacation in San Diego — We see shore birds, pigeons and fish which are pulled fresh from the water at the Empire Beach pier, and we ride a silver Mustang seeing more than a few Black Hawks as we drive through San Diego to Coronado Island and beyond, to the beach.
  • Part 2:  Ship Sets Sail — The sun is shining, sailboats are gliding through the bay, and the whole of the military is doing flybys to keep us in line on Lido deck. Enjoy the daytime view and stunning sunset from our veranda as the ship makes an impressive half-turn and heads for sea.
  • Part 3:  Wildlife of Bahia Magdelena — Bay waters teen with breaching gray whales, humpbacks, a harbor seal swimming for its life and other beautiful sea life.
  • Part 4: Whales of Puerto Vallarta — We board a small boat, the only means of transport to Yelapa beach, but find ourselves detoured by 7 feeding humpback whales. All this, after the most beautiful sunrise over Puerto Vallarta.
  • Part 5: Banderas Bay — After our crew’s entertaining dance, we relax in this beautiful landscape, snorkel with orange and black striped fish, and kayak the shoreline.