The best days of our life have been spent in Vallarta and on Banderas Bay cruising, whale watching, snorkeling and just enjoying the bay. Probably, our best day in the Banderas Bay would have to be the day we booked a private charter on a 60 trimaran to Yelapa. We were picked up in Puerto Vallarta at Los Muertos Pier at 9 AM, when we first saw the boat, we were very excited to see such a large boat with no plastic chairs, just fluffy cushions all around and on the second deck was 2 water slides and lounging chairs. From the pier we had to catch a water taxi to the boat which was only 60 yards away, we had a group of 40 people anxious to cut loose on the water. The trip only ran about $80 USD per guest and was all inclusive and I mean all inclusive. They even set up a website page so the guests could book online individually.
The water taxi only charged us about $3.00 PP USD for round trip transportation to the boat and back to the dock, it probably is higher now because that was 7 years ago and everything has gone up in price especially with the rise in the dollar value in Mexico. Anyway, once we were aboard the 60 foot magnificent trimaran with 2 decks and bright colored large fluffy cushions, hammocks, 2 decks and water slides, I knew right away that this was the right boat. As soon as we boarded the crew was ready to take our orders for beverages and delivering breakfast to your little comfort area on this amazing 60 foot trimaran. I chose abloody mary and my wife chose a screw driver and of course, Absolute Vodka on both counts! This is a great way to start the day. Some guests were drinking non-alcoholic beverages and coffees so the staff handled everyone's needs and wants perfectly.
We started our journey south with some whale watching and there were plenty to see, it seemed the whales were performing for us, jumping and breaching out of the water very close to the yacht. Of course it helped that we all were in complete comfort on 2 levels plus a giant splash net on the front that we had over 20 people on. Quite incredible. After seeing plenty of whales and dolphins in the bay, the captain picked up speed although still slow, the crew threw some lines out and we were heading to the very cool snorkeling area just south of Quimixto. Along the way there were 4 fish caught, 2 Skip Tuna and 2 Mackerel and some of my guests reeled those fish in and really loved it while the rest of us watched.
Upon arriving at our first destination for snorkeling, the crew passed out the snorkel gear, and also put out the Kayaks and Paddle boards and other cool floating rafts so we could relax in the water if we did not want to snorkel. The snorkeling was awesome with extremely clear waters, plenty of cool fish and these giant manta rays that were all over the area and some even came out of the water as if they were flying. The kayaking was fun too, I tried paddle boarding too without success, I am just too tall and clumsy to stand up on one of those paddle boards. The other thing that really made this day special was the water slides, the kid came out in most of us and we were up and then down the slides which were on both sides of the upper deck. After about 1-2 hours the captain started moving south again along the beautiful southern coast of Jalisco. There are some very nice spots along this coast with some white beaches, however we were on our way to Yelapa, a small fishing village to the south about 30 miles. The crew started serving lunch which consisted of a grilled chicken breast & pasta salad of which both were delicious. Of course not a person on the boat was ever without a drink in their hand, the service is world class.
Once arriving into Yelapa Bay which is the second largest bay in Mexico, it was quite a spectacular site with a small fishing village with beautiful beaches that stretched 300 yards. The small panga boats came to take us into the beach or town for a hike to the waterfalls of Yelapa. We really did not want to hike so the other option was to get a horse and take the ride through the village to the falls. This village has no cars so the ride is pretty easy and the horses seem to know where to go plus a guide was with us the whole time. This was a blast, occasionally I would get ahead of the group and take plenty of pictures and stop at the little store to grab a beer before the rest arrived, some of the horses were pretty slow or my friends did not know how to ride. We had about 15 horses in our group and the price was extremely reasonable at around $15 USD per person. The ride to the water falls was about 25 minutes with a very short walk from the horse parking area to the falls. The waterfalls were fantastic, the water was really cold but invigorating. Standing under the falls was like getting a great message hitting all the right spots on my back and neck. Once we got out we noticed a small hut just above, it was a tiny little bar that served beverages and beers. We tried a shot of the Mexican moonshine called Raicilla, it is agave based and really strong, be careful with this stuff, we only had one shot but man what a nice buzz from that stuff. We also took a bottle home from this guy who was the maker of this potent moonshine.
We rode back through the town again on our way back to the beach and because the tides had gone up, the river we crossed on the way up was much higher but really added to the journey because the water was up to our feet and above while crossing. We arrived at the beach and some guests grabbed a lounge char and some had a drink at one of the many beach restaurants in Yelapa. We chose with a few others to go back to the boat and relax so that is what we did. They provided transportation to and from the beach.
We got back to the boat and went to one of the double hammocks and my wife and I just cuddled and tried to take a short nap, unsuccessfully but very relaxing. The crew played some good music and again served us some more drinks and before long everyone was back on the boat and getting ready for the journey back to Puerto Vallarta. Before leaving everyone took another last swim and did a little more kayaking and paddle boarding. Once we departed the crew started passing out tequila shots and let the party begin. They asked who wanted to go on the water tube behind the boat and we were one of the first volunteers along with another person because it held three at a time, I even brought my beer out there and we cruised behind the boat for about 10-15 minutes before they did a change up with others, great fun.
As we headed towards Puerto Vallarta, the music was great and this boat has a dance floor that many of us started taking advantage of, it may have been the raicilla or the tequila but we were having a blast. The crew made a fresh ceviche for us with the fish caught that day which was the best I ever tried. As we got closer to Puerto Vallarta, we got a little sad because we did not want the day to end but everything must come to an end and so it did, the panga was there at the Los Muertos Pier for us and took us back to the mainland.