Yelapa, Mexico

Tucked into the southernmost cove of Mexico's largest bay, the Bahía de Banderas, Yelapa is a tiny seaside community that looks like it's straight off of a postcard. The village is the perfect spot to get away from the stresses of life and just chill out by the sea. In fact, Yelapa - surrounded by jungles and mountains - is reachable only by boat, has no cars and even electricity is a recent aquisition!

Once you've taken the picturesque, 45-minute water taxi ride from Puerto Vallarta to Yelapa, there are endless things to do, see and experience. The cove is the ideal site for all sorts of fun in the sun: sunbathing, snorkeling, parasailing, swimming, etc. Yelapa's restaurants serve up some of the best and freshest seafood around; in fact, you'll probably even see the local fishermen coming in from a day at sea with the daily catch.

The village is wedged between mountains, jungles and the sea, providing it with stunning scenery and natural wonders begging to be explored. A quick stroll will have you gazing up at a 65-foot waterfall as it pours into a pool of clear, shimmering water- a perfect spot to take a dip. Another waterfall is just a short excursion away on foot, accessible with a fascinating hike through the abundant flora and fauna of the surrounding jungle.

As for the village of Yelapa itself, even the influx of daily tourism from Puerto Vallarta can't chip away at its tranquil, bohemian vibe. Its residents, some of which are expatriate writers and artists who just couldn't imagine leaving, are welcoming and friendly. Once the the last of the lingering tourists hop onto the final water taxi of the day back to Puerto Vallarta, Yelapa takes on an even more tranquil atmosphere. If you're interested in spending the night, many families rent out rooms and there are a handful of pretty places to stay.

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