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Lingering in Yelapa

If you can't tear yourself away at the end of the day (or you miss the last water taxi), consider renting one of the locally run rustic accommodations near the beach.

Modest but charming in a bohemian way, Hotel La Lagunita has rooms right over the water. Puerto Vallarta. 322/209–5055. www.hotel-lagunita.com.

Rustic superchic describes La Verana hotel, a five-star property represented by Mexico Boutique Hotels. It doesn't accept walk-ins, however, and you need to make a large deposit in advance of your stay. Puerto Vallarta. 066/687–9358. www.verana.com.

You can arrange other accommodations by asking locals for referrals.

If you're lucky enough to be staying in Yelapa, there's plenty to do beyond the beach. Splash across the shallow lagoon or catch the water taxi to the main pier for a jungly walk past private homes and small shops; this is the Yelapa most folks never see. Turn right from the main pier, and walk to the point; turn left, and head up into the hills.

Check out the candlelit Club Yates disco on the south side of the estuary (Wednesday and Saturday nights during high season [December through Easter week] and holidays). Or ask around for birding adventures (www.birdinginyelapa.com), one of several yoga classes (especially www.yogainyelapa.com, winter season only), or hire a local pangero (panga operator) for a trip to a secluded southern beach for swimming and a trek to a clandestine waterfall.

For a simple meal in a tiny outdoor café, visit El Manguito, just a few paces from the footbridge on the north side of the stream. Order shrimp, fish, lobster, beef, or just chips and salsa. It's open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Puerto Vallarta. 322/209–5061.

But the best part of staying in Yelapa is that after the booze cruises decamp and the water taxis put in for the night, you'll have the cool and groovy place to yourself.

Updated: 2014-06-02

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